Rebecca O’Sullivan has been one of our trusty event somms for the last few years, but we’re ecstatic to bring her into the shop in an even larger capacity. She’ll now handle the wine selections for the shop! We asked Rebecca a couple questions to re-introduce her.
- What was your initial draw to hospitality/what’s special to you about working with food and wine?
I’ve been in the hospitality business for two decades and always enjoyed learning more about food and wine, but it was moving to New York City after finishing my graduate degree that really clued me in to how very much I had to learn about food and wine. One of the things I especially love about wine is that it cannot be conquered. You can never taste it all, learn it all. This is both humbling and challenging. I also love that it is a time dependent, living thing. And an experiential thing that is at its best something that can bring people together.
- You’re an artist—that’s awesome! Is there any connection between your interest in food and interest in art?
Absolutely! Both are things that are experienced, and in my opinion, both of them feed the soul. The fermentation process, part of the “magical” transformation that grapes undergo, shares a lot of similarities to the process of creation in the studio.
- We feature a lot of women winemakers in the store. As a female sommelier, have you seen the wine and spirits game change a lot for women since you first got involved? Have you had the chance to work with more women winemakers/sommeliers?
I definitely feel that there are many more women in the business than there were 10, 15 years ago. I feel fortunate that I had a great female mentor when I decided to get more serious with my studies. And yes, I do feel that women winemakers are getting a bit of extra light shining on them and I think it is wonderful!
- Have you traveled anywhere special that affected/reinforced your love for food and wine?
My husband and I had one night in Paris this summer on our way home from a family trip. We managed to grab two seats at Clown Bar, right when they opened, literally one minute later would have been too late. They have a great small production, natural wine list and I’m still thinking about the most perfect, ethereal bottle of trousseau that we had along with an exquisite preparation of pigeon. When things come together in that way, you don’t forget it, and maybe part of the greatness is that you can never really replicate that experience. Food and wine have the powerful ability to pull us back into our bodies in an increasingly simulated world.
- Do you have a specific mission or philosophy regarding the wine you plan to bring into the shop?
I want to take what Tipsy already has in place—varietal driven selection, approachable wines for every palate—and highlight how much diversity can exist within a single grape either due to where it is grown (climate, soil), vineyard practice, or winemakers prerogatives. I look for cleanly made wines that communicate something about where they came from—if they are organic or biodynamic, that is a plus too. I plan to continue to support and highlight women winemakers, something Tipsy has already been doing. And more Gamay!
- What do you most look forward to about your new role with Tipsy?
I’m excited to bring in new wines, of course, but also to engage with Tipsy’s existing customer base and ensure that we are catering to their needs, and hopefully introducing them to some new favorites. I love talking wine and hearing what people are currently loving. Tastes are constantly changing, new things are always becoming available- that’s one of the great things about the wine business, you can never know it all or try it all.
- To you, how does Tipsy differ from other wine shops?
I think Tipsy’s friendly and inviting atmosphere both in the physical location and online are welcoming places to shop and discover wines. The world of wine is a deep and vast ocean and while this can provide a life’s worth of exploration, it can be intimidating at first. At Tipsy we welcome all tastes, all budgets, all knowledge levels- and all dogs too!
- What do you do when you aren’t working or making art? Give us a fun fact!
Fun fact: I am also a Tarot reader!