The Secret Lives of Wine & Food Writers

I think we tend to have this rather staid image of wine & food writers (perhaps wine, more than food). They are hunkered over a glass, eyes closed, inhaling the essence of the wine. They are proper folk, likely to wear tweed, maybe Brooks Brothers or Ann Klein. Perhaps they are jazz aficionados or classical types. They travel the world and run with a set somewhat above our own. The last thing you’d expect to see them doing is shaking it…hula style.

Not necessarily so.

One of my favorite writers is a local gal: Michelle Anna Jordan. She’s a busy one. Whe write three columns per week for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, delivers freelance articles, seems always to be writing a book, is a wine judge and spends her Sunday evenings at the microphones on KCRB, our local public radio station interviewing wine and food types with what can only be described as a classic PBS voice.

She also is an accomplished Hula Dancer.

She revealed this to me a few years back when we were hanging around at a wine event chatting. I mentioned to her that in my youth I had a good 7 years of tap dancing lessons. I think the idea of finding someone else who had indulged in an “unconventional” form of dance delighted her and she disclosed that she was beginning to take Hula lessons.

That was four years ago. So today, in addition to being one of Sonoma County’s most important andHula_1
busiest food and wine voices, she’s an accomplished Hula Dancer.

Michelle’s next recital is set for September 16 at 7pm in the Elsie Allen High School Performing Arts Theater in Santa Rosa. She’ll be performing both traditional (Hula Kahiko) and contemporary (Hula ‘Auana) Hula. This is not “get-off-the-airplane-in-Oahu-style” Hula. It’s the real deal performed by a cast of dedicated dancers.

There is almost always something more to the wine media, something stowed away that isn’t public and isn’t mentioned in articles on Chowder, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir or the best farmers markets. This tends to be the case, I find, with most creative types. While they deliver their creativity and expertise in certain public ways, there’s almost always something even more interesting hidden away…that’s mainly all their own.

I wonder if Robert Parker does the Hula?

If you are in the area and want to see authentic Hula, check out Michelle and the Na Huapalo O Hula Troop. You can get more info at 707-526-3099.

Posted In: Wine Media


4 Responses

  1. Julian - September 6, 2006

    I shouldn’t mention myself in the same breath as you guys – I’m just a lazy dilettante in what I do – but curiously, I love to Lindy Hop when the opportunity arises. Good wine makes happy feet, as a Latin poet might have said.

  2. Fredric Koeppel - September 6, 2006

    something we have in common… i took tap dancing from ages 5 to 10, my brother, who was four years older, also took classes. we danced on local television in Rochester NY, where I spent my first 10 years. (This was VERY long ago.)

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