Kristen Oswald

WINE BAR ASSOCIATE

Kristen has been slinging bottles and talkin’ shop ever since her first gig at 15, bussing tables and ducking fistfights at a biker steakhouse in her hometown. Born & raised in a wildflower-swaying small mountain town tucked into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California, Kristen’s appreciation for good food and wonderfully raucous community was formed catching rainbow trout with her dad and brothers on high country fishing trips, sniping fresh veg from her mom’s summer garden, and vying for attention at loud dinner tables where the whole neighborhood was always welcome to come over for dinner, or raid the freezer for otter pops.

Since 2005, she has worked all manner of amazing and wacky jobs in the hospitality and food industry. After years of traveling to South America, and a sprinkle of off-the-grid farm work-trades, she eventually completed her undergraduate studies in Socio-Cultural Anthropology at UC Berkeley. In 2012 she moved to the North Bay to study western herbalism at the California School of Herbal Studies and garden for local seed saving organizations. She most recently spent a few years contributing to the tight-knit community at Scribe Winery in Sonoma where she was most known for burying jars of unknown elixirs in the garden, and giving guests unsolicited advice on how to properly skin and process a rattlesnake.

A new resident, but a big fan of the PNW, she arrived on the scene in Portland last year to begin a 4-year masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, clinical herbalism, and acupuncture at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. When not completely enveloped in her graduate studies, Kristen spends her time dedicated to a daily besting of the NYT crossword, whipping up questionably smelling herbal remedies, and telling medium funny jokes to anyone that will listen. What she most appreciates about the wine world is that it is one of the only appropriate places where she can talk emotionally about dirt, topography, and ancient glacier activity and not be out of place. Add some unadulterated starlight and a danger-sized bonfire, and you might never hear the end of it.