Wear Your Values - The ABG Pin
The wine industry is full of badges of success.
Rare wine tastings. Culinary conquests. Dream-worthy experiences. Being part of a secret club creates its own brand of success, and its own set of demands.
We’ve all been there. But to be honest, it can be exhausting to try to keep up with something that is also so fleeting.
That’s why I’m writing this week about a welcome change that is coming for professionals in the wine community who are committed to long-term health and wellness.
As evidenced by the nearly 1,000 people who are a part of the A Balanced Glass community around the world, you all have made a commitment in some way to openly and publicly commit to raising awareness, voicing opinions and holding discussions that help yourself and others to better navigate a career in the wine business.
And you do this in a number of ways.
All of you have chosen to put your time and effort here. For some it’s commenting, for others it’s reposting, sharing and debating the issues that are raised in the weekly posts and articles.
Many of you support ABG by attending gatherings or events as a way to meet other people in the community, and engage in dialogue that can be just as rich and complex and gratifying as that wonderful aged bottle that you’ve pulled from your cellar.
But if this is about community, then how do we more easily find each other? How do we recognize our shared, common interests?
Inspired by the Pin Project that I recently wrote about, I developed a simple calling card for us - A Balanced Glass pin.
Barely bigger than a dime, the ABG pin is a small but mighty way to show your support and commitment to wellness. It’s less an indicator of a secret society, and more an opening invitation to start a conversation on how to navigate health and wellness in this industry.
As valued readers and supporters, I’m making the first 100 pins available to you. Please email me at Rebecca@abalancedglass.com and I will be sure to send one your way. If you prefer to support the cause, the pins will be available for sale at $8USD to help cover the costs of production, postage, and handling.
The ABG pin is another way that we can help support each other in the community, and as we head into the high season of “O-N-D,” maintaining health and wellness can seem all the more elusive or even unattainable.
Let the pin be your reminder that you’re not alone.
Whether you wear it to show support, give it to someone who needs support, or you simply keep it on your dashboard or by your computer, it’s a small reminder that there are hundreds and now more than a thousand people who think like you.
In this day and age, that’s comforting to know.
I know that change in the culture of this industry takes time and may even take generations, but it’s small tokens like this that I hope will quietly help people connect and lead the way in the wellness.
I hope that you parade your pin with pride, and post your pics to Instagram tagging @abalancedglass Even better if you are inspired to host your own pinning ceremony ;).
Can one pin make a difference?
Maybe. Maybe not. But I am reminded of the Dalai Lama’s great quote, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
Have fun, and thanks as always for your support.
What We're Reading:
There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.
The Wellness Movement Has Infiltrated Car Design – Quartz.com
The prospect of a zen-like cocoon may appeal to stressed-out Americans in other ways.
Our personal tech columnist tracked his sleep for two weeks with an Apple Watch and some software. Here’s why he concluded it was a pointless exercise.
Meet the Tribe!
Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the folks who make our profession so dynamic.
Brendan Dobbin, General Manager, Flour + Water Pizzeria (Ne Timeas Restaurant Group)
Years In Industry:
18 years. I grew up in Houston Texas, with the dream of being a multi-sport professional like Bo Jackson (partial inspiration for my son's name - Beaux). During my finance degree at Texas Southern University, hospitality jobs funded my tuition and ignited my passion for food and wine. From the legendary Katz’s Deli Bar and Grill to Max’s Wine Dive, I gained a great appreciation for wine. Heading West in 2013 for an internship at Amici Winery in Napa Valley, then headed to San Francisco and haven’t looked back.
I successfully completed the Certified Sommelier Exam in 2015 while working with some of San Francisco’s top restaurants in GM and Sommelier/Beverage Director roles. Currently I’m managing the new venture for the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group at Flour + Water Pizzeria. Above all, my top job is being a fit dad to my son, Beaux Charles, and my partner Monique, who is my wellness motivator. #MakeDadBodsGreatAgain
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Diet & Booze! Working in hospitality, I’m consistently faced with instant pleasures in the form of inebriation and unhealthy food. Time (lack thereof) and fatigue are major challenges to achieving my fitness and wellbeing goals. When I’m tired and stressed from the long hours and guests’ neurosis, it's easy and convenient to just give in.
It’s difficult to be a morning person working late nights. My gym closed its childcare facility which now prevents me from being able to get in a gym session on days off with my son.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
For me it’s reminding myself of the mantra “discipline is freedom”. I can say no to free food. I don’t have to decompress with booze after every long shift. It’s fun, but the hangover, drunk eating, and fatigue is real!
Knowing I can’t get quality exercise and function at the highest level as a dad if I indulge in alcohol and gluttonous food, keeps me motivated to moderate and keep those bad habits in check.
I run, lift weights, shoot hoops and box for energy and muscle sculpting, and a weekly sauna to help detox. I take a pre- workout dietary supplement in the morning for endurance, and magnesium at night for natural calm. Family time and watching my son grow every day is the joy of life, and a little Nextfix and chill with Monique.
You can connect with Brendan on Instagram at @fitdadsf
Let's Meet Up!
As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you.
Attendee at TEXSOM Sommelier Conference in Dallas, August 18 to 20 (Beck)
Speaker at Dream Big Darling in Paso Robles, September 15 to 17 (Cathy)
Finalist at Louis Roederer Wine Writers' Awards, London, September 18 (Cathy)
Emcee at Australia Decanted in Lake Tahoe, Oct. 6 to 9 (Cathy)
Presenter at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, February 25 to 29 (Cathy)
Presenter at the Future Wine Expo in Santa Rosa, May 12 and 13 (Cathy)