Vanessa Vin comes to her role as a food and wine writer at the Independent with a clear sense of purpose. She is a passionate advocate for people of color and other communities left out of the conversation when it comes to the appreciation of fine cuisine. Read her first in-depth article on what she intends to do about this. In the meantime, here’s a glimpse into the life of this young writer. 

Vanessa Vin in the yard of her childhood home. | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

What first word comes to mind when you think about writing? How does your desire to write connect with your passion for food and wine?  Today, it’s “amplify.” I believe each of us has a talent or ability we are meant to share with this world, but often, making that happen is time-consuming, and promoting your story requires a little help. That’s where I come in. My goal in writing for the Independent is to promote, support, and amplify the voices of people and small businesses in our community, especially those belonging to BIPOC, queer and trans communities, youth, and caregivers!

Can you describe your perfect Santa Barbara day? Complete with meals, please.  My perfect day starts with a hike, of course! Usually up Hot Springs in Montecito, and then I cruise on over to Backyard Bowls for a Green Bowl (sub hemp milk for apple Juice, and sub almonds for granola) and a taco or two from Lilly’s next door. I then head to the Santa Barbara Harbor, where I’ll borrow my friend’s board and do a little SUP sesh, usually paddling out around the pier and back. I finish the afternoon off with a shower and head for a glass of wine and yoga girl salad at Satellite Wine Bar followed by a stroll through the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and end the evening with a cocktail and tapas at Milk and Honey. 

How did you know that you were destined to become an oenophile?  When I tasted my first vintage German riesling, a 1991 J.J Prum, I felt like the lights had been illuminated in a dark attic to reveal a room filled with gold and treasures.

What’s a treat that you reserve for special occasions?  Champagne! When I pass my next wine exam, it will be Laurent Perrier’s Champagne Rosé!

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