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  • Writer's pictureMolly Jean

The Stottle Experience

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to work a Club Member Event at Stottle Winery in Lacey. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a great local winery. I got a glimpse into what it would be like to work/operate a tasting room. I got to peak out of the backstage curtain to watch the company members dance. But before, the show there is always a prelude.

The Bearded Man (Blake) and I stumbled upon the winery's Hoodsport location on the way back from hiking Lena Lake over a year ago. Lucy, was our first impression of the winery and the company. She was lovely and genuinely excited to be sharing the wine creations of the vintner, Josh Stottlemyer.

She was educated on the wines, sharing facts and anecdotes on how the winery/wines came to be. She explained the differences in wine bottle shapes, while asking about us and what we did for a living. I shared with Lucy my distaste for property management and my passion for wine. She was so pleasant and inviting. So when she suggested we join the wine club, we couldn't and didn't want to say no. By this point we had already lost our wine club virginity and felt comfortable entering into a new relationship with someone new.

We had subsequent stops into the winery on our way back from hikes or Hunter Farms (where we get our pickled quail eggs - plug). Lucy was actually one of the first people we told I quit my job to do something with wine. She was so supportive and asked if I would be interested in applying for a position with Stottle. Thrilled with the idea, but aware that it would be a problematic commute while juggling my current job, I decided it would not be appropriate to apply. Instead, I let her know I was open to helping out with crush, events - anything really.

Soon after Lucy called and asked if I would like to help out with their Club Member Event. Of course I would! For the subsequent two weeks, I was stressing. I forgot everything I knew about their wines, their story, how to open wine, how to pour wine- I was freaking out. I wouldn't be Molly Damn Jean if I didn't overly stress out or worry about something I shouldn't. Can you tell I am sweating?

The Bearded Man kept telling me not to worry, it will be fine. Ha. Does he even know who he married?

The day finally came and I headed down to Lacey for the event. I told myself, worst case scenario I can remove myself from the wine area and just be a greeter. Actually, in writing this I realize the worst case would be me breaking a bottle of wine. Thank God, I didn't have that thought before the event.

Fast forward, the event was in full swing. I watched Josh pour wine and I memorized his tip to count to three (slow pour spouts were on the bottles) while pouring tastings. I can do it, one, two, PLEASE DON'T TALK TO ME WHILE I POUR, three. Someone, wants a double taste, one, two, three, one, two, three. I may have actually been mouthing/murmuring the counts.

Another challenge was my handedness. As a left handed person, I eat, write and apparently pour with my left hand. It proved challenging at times when people placed the glass down for a refill with their right hand, too close to my left hand causing my arm/elbow to be held out and awkwardly high. Perhaps, I only noticed this. But, I am sure if anyone was on my left I would have elbowed them in the face.

After I started to get my grove, I made sure to check myself. Hey Moll, you are doing fine. No customer will be angry if you accidentally pour more than one ounce for a tasting. Do you like this? Are you having fun? This is essentially what you gave up your good paying job to pursue. What do you think? Can you do this?

Well folks....I friggin loved it! I was chatting with people and getting to know them. They were happy, I was happy. It was beautiful. I liked the fast pace and while I may not have been the best at pouring or the role in general, I am sure I will improve.

It was a great experience and I am so thankful to have been offered the opportunity. I got home and talked Blake's ear off about every little detail about my night. I got newly inspired to immerse myself more in the wine world, beyond the drinking. But we will definitely keep that in there.

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