This is a compelling two-minute video from The New York Times online edition's "One In 8 Million" series about Alexandra Elman, a blind woman who is an expert in picking wines. Her impressive list of current clients includes Solera, Tia Pol, Cru and The NY Athletic Club, to name a few.
But is not her portfolio that is truly amazing. It is her inner passion for wine that spills out in her calm and soothing voice. Being a wine lover myself, listening to someone like her talk about wine is truly sublime. The way she describes her "limitations" as advantages in her world. Her lost sight is but one shuttered window in a world of so much light. She lives through the wine creating vision from her memory and her palate.
The way she talks of wine reminds me of the scene in Sideways when Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Maya (Virginia Madsen) are talking of wine as a living being. Ms. Elman, too, sees life in wine. The life of the wine and her own.
Listen for yourself. Watch the video, but then close your eyes and listen to her speak. It feels as if she is in the very room.