The tasting and celebration party for the winners of the "Drink The Best Wine in Japan 2017" was held on July 11th, this year. I was notified in advance by the organizer that Masut earned the top award in the category of 'best fully body red wine' and so I would be expected to go up on the stage to receive the award.
Receiving a medal and an award sounded great but the idea of having to get up on stage freaked me out. I realized that I didn't even have a dress to wear to such event other than a few old kimonos which would not appropriate this time, since I would be expected to serve Masut that day as well.
I was going to spend some time looking for a nice dress to wear but then July came and I still hadn't found one. So my friend rented me a nice blue dress that she recently bought but hadn't worn yet. It was an elegant dark blue dress which I would not select for my wardrobe but it would certainly make me look classy. Another friend of mine offered blue shoes that would match this dress. Now I had two of "something blue" and two of "something borrowed" like "Something Four" a bride would wear on her wedding day, and one of them is my "something new." And I have a "something old" that I've been wearing ever since I started handling wine. It's my father's wedding ring. I had it remade by a jewelry designer when my father passed away 27 years ago. I didn't pick a specific design, I just told the designer to make it prettier. The designer was known for carving roses which I thought he would do for this ring, but instead he engraved grapes with leaves and embedded several blue stones to be grapes. My father was a chef and he wanted me to get into the food business. He wanted me to import foods that he sourced from all over the world, it was one of his dreams. So when I started handling wine, I felt like I should wear this ring, so that he could and should support me from heaven. This ring is definitely my "something old." Now here I was probably luckier than when I got married and everyone else on stage, ready for the show.
Then the day arrived. I came early and set up my booth which took less than 20 minutes because we only have a single brand. After the rehearsal, the entrance door of the event hall opened and over 250 people rushed in. After the opening speech, my name was announced and I went up on the stage. Once on the stage, I became aware that I had never been stared at by so many people in my life and my heart started to beat faster, but then I saw a few familiar faces here and there on the stage and could breath a bit better. One friend had bought a ticket just because she wanted to celebrate and congratulate me, which made my heart warm.
The highlight of my life lasted only 10 minutes (LOL-10 minute of fame) and I quickly got back to my booth ready to serve Masut. Our booth turned out to be busy the entire evening and we poured all 12 bottles that we brought with us. That means over 200 people must have tasted our wine.
This is our second award since winning the Gold Sakura Award. Now that the wine "no one ever heard of" has received top credits in Japan, I should be using this award as much as I can to promote this wine and I better work fast while the iron is hot!