6 things you might not know about The Winesleuth…

My good friend Oscar from Quevedo Port wine, located in the Douro Valley, Portugal recently sent me an internet meme  that he had received from Ryan and Gabriella over at Catavino, to share 6 things about myself that my readers might not now about me. I’d have to say I’ve been there, done that, but some of the more lesser known things about me – well, here they are…


my first

Bartles & Jaymes all the way, baby….My first experience with wine was Bartles & Jaymes winecoolers. Yeah, sneaking out to a house party and chugging back peach wine coolers was the epitome of cool when I was 15, back in high school. I think that I must have loved them because I certainly kicked back quite a few (and puked them right back up, many a summer night). I mean, what teenage palate doesn’t adore sugary, fruity, alcoholic drinks masquerading as Kool-Aid? What I would do now if I was faced with one of them – laugh in it’s face, maybe?

I was a Thai soap opera star (sorta)….Back when I was a backpacker, I was a recurring extra on a Thai soap opera. I kind of fell into the gig. One day, Matt, an Englishman we had met in Bangkok, suggested to us that if we wanted to make a bit of extra dosh, besides teaching English, to go down and register with a local production company. Well, before you know it, we were getting calls once a week to be Nurse No. 1 and Nurse No. 2. We only did it for the few months we were in Bangkok but by the end, our students were beginning to recognize us from last night’s episode!


the great leader

Teaching in Mao’s old primary school……….I was offered the chance to teach in Mao Tse Dong’s old primary school when I was in Chengdu, China. Chengdu is where Mao spent his formative years. While I was travelling around China I met some great people and in Chengdu, I met- thru friends, the head teacher of Mao’s old school. The officials from that school wined and dined us (I had some of the best Szechuan food ever!) because the No. 2 school had one English teacher and they were determined to get 2 English teachers because, after all, they were Mao’s alma mater and the number 1 school in Chengdu. In the end, we didn’t take the jobs because using a megaphone to control 60 kids just isn’t my idea of a productive teaching environment but sometimes I wonder what direction my life would have taken if I’d stayed in Chengdu.

Taiwanese jailbird….I once spent the night in a Taiwanese jail. Long story short -It wasn’t my fault (dodgy boyfriend) and I was exonerated and freed the next day with my passport. Needless to say, I caught the next flight out to Hong Kong and on to Indonesia!

Wannabe torch diva………I’ve always had a secret desire to be a great torch singer. Unfortunately, my voice just doesn’t lend itself to those great (any) songs by Dinah (Washington), Billy (Holliday) and Peggy (Lee). Oh well, maybe in the next lifetime.


"my" headquarters...

I am the UN…..I’ve been mistaken for just about every nationality in the world. From Egyptian to Chinese and back to Brazil (although I haven’t been mistaken for Swedish- yet). I guess I just have one of those multinational faces. My friend Mark always refers to my “chimichanga face”, referring to that delicious tex-mex dish. I’m not sure if I should resent that or not! I guess it does have it’s advantages as no one ever thinks I’m American, I just blend into the crowd. I’ve spent many an afternoon trying to convince some Third World shopkeeper that I really AM American. It can be quite funny sometimes. One shopkeeper in India insisted that I couldn’t be American because of my brown skin, black hair and dark brown eyes. My travelling companion however, who was blond and blue eyed – now, she was American (she wasn’t, she was Polish)! For the record, I am a 3rd generation Mexican-American, born and bred in California, USA.

Now that I’ve spilled the beans I’ve got to tag  6 other bloggers to carry on the chain, so here they are…

Eatlikeagirl, Niamh is an Irish blogger in London. She was recently sited on the 10 best food blogs in the world in The Times, knows all the best places to eat in London and gets invited to lots of cool events. Let’s see what she has to say…

Foodrambler, Abi is a newbie to the blogging scene so it would be cool to hear more about her….

Wannabewino, I met Sonadora at the US Winebloggers conference and she was great fun! She also loved the English sparkling rose I brought along so I think she has quite a refined palate – give it up, Wannabe Wino!

EatingLeeds, Alex in Leeds, England, does some sharp cooking and knows a thing or two about wine, let’s hear more from the north of England ( a strange and mysterious place to this wannabe Londoner)….

I met Oenophilius in Sonoma during the US winebloggers conference and he had a ready smile, a hearty laugh, and loves wine – qualities I adore in anybody.  I would love to hear more from him (esp. about his man-crush on Obama!).

And last but certainly not least, my friends over at the Eagles Nest winery in Ramona, CA – Julie and Dennis Grimes. They are such a fun couple and their website is great! They make winemaking look like a lot of fun, even though it really is ALOT of hard work.

There you go bloggers, looking forward to reading all your posts!


  1. I have to admit that I am an enormous fan of this meme. I have learned so much about people that I would have NEVER guessed about them on my own. I could have assumed that you backpacked around several parts of the world, potentially where you gained your direct and no BS attitude (a trait I adore about you), but you completely threw me off guard with both the jail incident and the soap opera. That, my friend, is truly interesting 😉

  2. foodrambler /

    Gosh a singing soap opera jailbird?? Thanks for passing on the baton – I will have to have a good hard think and see if I can remember some interesting stories…

  3. ooo…jail in Taiwan…sounds like my scary US border incident!

  4. It was actually a lot of fun to write! Next time I’m gonna tag you! Cheers!

  5. Wow it’s amazing what we can learn from people with this meme tagging thing 🙂
    Thanks for sharing with us Señorita Denise 🙂

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