Home Italy Going Ahead and Saying #cof2012 Secrets: Spending the Week with Such a Group

Going Ahead and Saying #cof2012 Secrets: Spending the Week with Such a Group


Can I just go ahead and say the things we’re not supposed to say after trips like this–a week long tour of Colli Orientali del Friuli with the #cof2012 group?

The whole #cof2012 group with the man that would be Conte

…That I woke up one morning half way through the trip and my first thought was, I really like each of these people. How lucky!


Chris with his first Picolit at Solder

…That Chris, aka. Houston_Foodie, is outrageously easy to get along with. I met him first of the group, as we shared the flight from Amsterdam to Venice, and though we were both exhausted and had just fought our way through security, we were happy to meet each other. And that, seriously, sums up the group dynamic for most of the week–even when any of us were exhausted, we got along with ease.

But, back to Chris, there isn’t anyone else with whom I’d rather share an appreciative nod across the table because of how good the food is. He knows his stuff, and he knows how to appreciate it too. And he’s brilliant at showing his calm appreciation to a host. I’m so grateful for that. I liked too how comfortably we could chat about our views on wine, and whatever aspect of the trip.

Talia’s Spirit Animal: The Unicorn. Image from Unicorn-Pictures.com

Talia is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. She’s a total hipster, but it works. That is, she’s a hipster without any pretension. She just happens to like all the cool, (at least partially) ironic stuff there is to like in the world. I haven’t laughed so hard, or enjoyed someone else laughing so hard in a long time as with Talia in this recent week. Talia’s got that great combo of lightening up any situation, while totally knowing her shit. Her writing is beautiful, and smart, and she has impeccable taste in birds.

Part of the #cof2012 group shortly after arrival. photo by Jeremy Parzen

Whitney is beautiful, and charming, and great for dry humor. I love how covertly quirky she is, and how readily she admits to where she’s coming from. She’s honest, and seems to know what she wants while being willing to try new things. And did I mention charming? Plus, damn she takes great pictures. I also look forward to a visit in LA at some future date when I can experience her wine-food pairing practices.

Stuart George, Photo by Whitney

Stuart, no doubt, is a bit of a maze, and worth patiently getting to know. I told him directly that I was glad we’d had the week because I would have been intrigued by him up front, but with the extra time it was easier to get a start on getting to know him. His dry, of-the-moment humor spices up any moment, and he has a steadiness that does well in a fast paced travel around week like this. To put it another way, Stuart has a sort of reliability that comes, I believe, from being a man that knows himself. (And, as the above portrait by Whitney shows, he doesn’t always wear his eggs-and-bacon cricket sweater.) I’ll be glad to patiently get to know him.

Jeremy’s Wonderful Joy, Photo by Whitney

Most of all though, thank you to Jeremy. His translation skills were irreplaceable. His joy was infectious. And his offer to vet any man that offers to date me–well, I’m taking him up on that. Jeremy’s ability to appreciate the people he is with, and to celebrate each of their talents as he sees them–well, that’s irreplaceable stuff too. He’s got a glowing heart, and he wishes for others to be happy. What more could you ever want from anyone? (Besides his impeccable taste in wine.)

Talia, Stuart (back to his eggs-and-bacon cricket sweater), Whitney at the Consortium Office

If any of you ever need a wingman in any of your future wine adventures, short notice or not, feel free to call me up. I’ll be happy to see each of you every time.



  1. Elaine, thanks for the overly kind words and for being part of our trip. One of the things I love about these projects is connecting with people I admire — like you… What a fun trip and what a perfect group… I had a blast… un abbraccione j

  2. […] Upon arrival in Friuli, the same generosity of spirit showed itself in person. Jeremy did a wonderful job of balancing his own needs while tending to the well-being of our group. His ability to coordinate our travels, translate those we visited for us from their Italian to our English, and to both observe on his own and check-in on how well we were doing was a blessing. Further, he was willing to compliment any of us on what he appreciated along the way. […]

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