Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In Memory ...a Friend to All

I was stopped in my tracks this week. Anyone that knows me or at least follows this blog knows this doesn’t happen to TexaCali Ali. I learned about the death of Mike Friend and it took the wind out of my sails in one giant swoop. The last 24 hours I’ve gone over many memories of Mike…the first time we were introduced when I worked for a wine distributor in 2004, the luncheon where Mike and I sat side-by-side together while tasting pinot noir from Anderson Valley, the way he smiled each time I walked into his store or department. Every single memory of Mike Friend is pleasant, inspiring, humbling and just flat good. He was a dear friend and confidant to so many of us rookies in Dallas over the years.

After doing a search in my inbox last night, I found an email from Mike back in October 2005 “Ali, always a pleasure to see you in the Dallas market. In all my years in the wine business I’ve never encountered someone quite like you. Your tenacity, enthusiasm, sales-know how and over all spirit is a rarity (and a breath of fresh air). Keep up the good work – those family owned wineries need you more than ever. Look forward to tasting with you again soon, Mike”. And that’s the way he was.... to everyone, especially my young peers in the world of wine sales.

I always looked forward to seeing Mike, listening to his thoughts, opinions and of course always getting out of him what “new discovery” he might have encountered since the last time we spoke. I will miss Mike, it was a true honor to know him - he was a "wine-angel" to many in this business and most certainly earned his wings. A rarity indeed. - Ali

Read more about Mike and Celebrating his Life...

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