E1: I Make Wine Because I'm A Hustler (with Bertony Faustin)

Our podcast begins with a discussion about the difficulty we often have connecting food to the broader issues of race, gender, and class.

We talk about our podcast's name, Racist Sandwich, and about our interpretations of food's relationship to race.

And last but not least, we have an engaging back-and-forth with Bertony Faustin, a documentary film maker and Oregon's first Black winemaker, who is attempting to democratize the wine world.

Produced by Alan Montecillo. Music by AF the Naysayer and Blue Dot Sessions.

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Soleil Ho  You’re listening to “Racist Sandwich,” a podcast that explores intersections between food, race, gender and class. I’m your co-host Soleil Ho.

Zahir Janmohamed  And I’m your co-host Zahir Janmohamed. On today’s episode, we’re very honored to have Oregon’s first black winemaker Bertony Faustin. But first, you might be curious about our name, “Racist Sandwich,” and where it came from. We actually have an interesting story. We had some alternative names.

Soleil Ho  Yeah, there’s my favorite of Zahir’s suggestions, which is “Easy Exotic.” Super sexy.

Zahir Janmohamed  I also had “Dumplings,” which is a nod to one of my favorite writers, Zadie Smith, her book White Teeth. But we ended up coming up with “Racist Sandwich” because there’s actually a true story. In 2012, a principal here suggested that schools should understand the needs of students by asking them what kind of food they want. So maybe not serve peanut butter and jelly sandwich, maybe serve pita, maybe serve torta, maybe—if it’s a predominantly Asian school—not have milk in the lunches because Asians have a higher rate of lactose intolerance. 

People flipped out and said, Are you calling the peanut butter and jelly sandwich racist? And instead of listening to her critiques about diversity in schools, they kind of mocked her and she was ridiculed and the school had to kind of come to her defense. So, that’s where we got the name “Racist Sandwich.” It sort of shows how silly we oftentimes get when we try to talk about food and race. And what we wanted to do on this podcast was to have a discussion about food and the food industry from people of color, with people of color and to center it around people of color. And I think that’s especially important here in Portland given that it is America’s whitest major city. 

So that’s what we’re about, that’s what our name is. In this episode, what we’re going to do is have a little discussion between Soleil and I that we recorded a few months ago, actually, about why we came up with this idea, a little bit about ourselves and what inspired us to want to do a podcast about food and race.

Soleil Ho  I was born in Chicago, raised in New York City, mostly. Then I moved to Iowa for college. After that, I moved to Minneapolis. After that, I went to graduate school in New Orleans. And now I’m here in Portland.

Zahir Janmohamed  You were telling me a little bit about your experiences as a chef of color in Portland. There’s not too many chefs of color in Portland. Tell me about why you thought it was important to connect these two subjects, race and food.

Soleil Ho  I think every person of color has that story where they are bringing lunch to school, right? And it smells bad or it just looks weird, and it’s not a sandwich. I just used to get some weirdo stuff, like summer rolls, in my lunchbox. And the kids would be like, What the hell is that? It looks like giant worms! And I would feel so bad, and I would feel like such a dummy for thinking that was OK. And, you know, it was OK, but…

Zahir Janmohamed  It was OK for them to say that or it was OK for you to take it to lunch?

Soleil Ho  It was OK for me to eat some frickin’ summer rolls, dude! Like, dang!

Zahir Janmohamed  Did you ever ask your parents, Can you just put like a Twinkie in my lunchbox or something?

Soleil Ho  I will say, I did not eat a Twinkie until fairly recently.

Zahir Janmohamed  How was the experience?

Soleil Ho  Oh, it was gross. It was real gross.

Zahir Janmohamed  Have you had a fried Twinkie?

Soleil Ho  No, no.

Zahir Janmohamed  Then you’re missing out.

Soleil Ho  OK, what’s your deal, Zahir?

Zahir Janmohamed  I was born and raised in California. My parents are Indian from Tanzania. Growing up it was kind of interesting because I would tell kids, My parents are from Tanzania. They’d be like, Oh, but you’re not black! I’m like, Oh, there’s Indians all over the place.

Soleil Ho  They’re everywhere.

Zahir Janmohamed  But you know, I was teased a lot for the food that I brought to school as well. And then my parents, my mom, realized that, and I started taking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—which, by the way, I don’t particularly like. But I would still eat it, you know? Because you want to fit in and so much of, I think, the way that I was sort of viewed at school was through the food. And so I would bring cupcakes to school on someone’s, on my, birthday and they’re like, Why didn’t you bring Indian food? I was like, I like cupcakes.

And it was interesting, right? Because if I do bring Indian food they’re like, Oh my god, you’re just so into your Indian culture. I’m like, But you asked me to bring that.

Soleil Ho  Yeah.

Zahir Janmohamed  So I was born and raised in California and then, let’s see... I spent some time in the Middle East, and then I actually worked in politics for nine years. I worked at Amnesty International and the U.S. Congress. And then for the last four years I was living in India. Coming from India moving to Portland, which is the whitest major city in America, has been a bit of a shock. 

And I know when we met, part of what I’ve been wrestling with as a writer, especially a writer of color, is how do I tell my story in a way that doesn’t center itself around the white gaze? And that’s what my mentor, David Mura, talks about, which is it takes a tremendous amount of effort to learn how to write your story the way you want to write it. And sometimes I’m given that chance and sometimes I’m not. 

And when we met, I was struck by you having the same experience in the kitchen. The idea that when you make a dish, your own identity as an Asian-American woman is sometimes brought into the discussion in a way that you don’t want. So, your food is too spicy, your food is too Asian. I mean, your menu, you were telling me, you’ve got like 35 dishes on your menu, two of which are Asian, and someone said it’s too Asian.

Soleil Ho  I will say, something that my family says a lot is don’t trust an Asian when they tell you something’s not spicy because, more often than not, you’re going to get burned. So a lot of times, I do have to adjust my sort of internal gauge of flavor and spice to fit a more general audience. And, on a practical level, that just means putting less chili in, less fish sauce, that kind of stuff. And it is really interesting thinking about audience as a chef, because writing for a workshop or something like that, you’ll get that feedback. Although, I think in the restaurant industry it’s a lot more extreme because people are spending their money. And they’re very indignant that they’re spending their money on something that’s too spicy or too confusing.

Zahir Janmohamed  Yeah. In workshop, I hate when I’m asked to put something in italics. So, for example, if I’m talking to my dad, nothing is in italics. Even if we’re speaking in English. So, like the word “gulab jamun,” which is an Indian dessert, I’m not going to put that in italics because in my household it’s not a foreign word. And yet, in workshops, I’m always asked to do so and explain it. Because, I don’t mind italics—I’m fine with that—but then when I have to explain, it slows down the narrative. And then you end up with a story that’s like, “The Taj Mahal comma a structure in Agra comma,” and it just becomes so boring.

And so I wonder for you as a chef, in terms of writing your menu, in terms of preparing something, how much do you have to translate your experience for a customer base that’s unfamiliar, or maybe uninterested, in knowing about your own heritage.

Soleil Ho  Right. I have had that experience and it is really frustrating to me to have to explain a lot. Sometimes our menu descriptions blow up because I can’t use the shorthand words. I have to explain and explain and explain until the guts of what I’m trying to put across are lost in all the explanation. There’s so much to talk about the ways in which food can bring us together, can push us apart, can be used for political ends.

Zahir Janmohamed So, Soleil, that was your discussion from a few months ago. We kind of sound awkward.

Soleil Ho  It was kind of like a first date, wasn’t it?

Zahir Janmohamed Yeah, really like this weird counselling session trying to figure out what the hell we’re doing. I hope it gave you a sense of what we’re about at “Racist Sandwich.”

Soleil Ho  So, when you hear the words “Oregon’s first black winemaker,” I mean, it’s 2016, right? And so it’s got me thinking, Why was there only one? Why hasn’t there been one before Bertony Faustin? And then you realize African Americans weren’t allowed to own land in Oregon until the 1920s. So in that way, Bertony Faustin is singular. And what’s amazing about him is that he’s facilitating relationships with minorities—people of color, sexual minorities—to enter this world of winemaking that has been so exclusive for so long.

Bertony Faustin  I’m actually not a drinker.

Soleil Ho  Oh, that’s interesting.

Bertony Faustin  So even when I started the label back in ‘07, I wasn’t a wine drinker. I wasn’t an anything drinker, you know? So I started it for other reasons. But I do, obviously, have to taste everything. When I say I’m not a drinker, I usually don’t do a glass of anything. I may have a beer once a month or something. I’m a stout guy, so anything dark I love in the beers. But wine, it all depends on what I’m doing, how we’re enjoying it kind of thing.

Soleil Ho  How did you end up having this winery and starting this label at Abbey Creek?

Bertony Faustin  My path into the industry unfortunately started with some tragedy. So I’m first generation Haitian American, grew up in New York City. My family originally escaped from Haiti to come to the states to have a better life, things like that. And that’s kind of that hustler spirit that’s been passed down. In 2007, my dad, 60 years young, passed away. And I was actually working and didn’t even make it before he passed when he was in the hospital. When I came back from the funeral, my in-laws have had this property over in Germantown since ‘79, but no one made wine. They grew the grapes for tax purposes and were just selling to a broker every year. But in ‘07 I was looking around and I was like, You know what? I’m going to go ahead and make some wine. And everybody was like, Ok whatever. He’s grieving, let him be. Until I started to convert this old barn, it was going to be the tasting room, et cetera. So I looked at it more as… just more of a, you know, it was a hustle. 

When I first started I wasn’t planning on being the first anything. I wanted to change my career. You know, it’s the typical… it’s cliché. What am I doing, what are you doing with your life, what has meaning kind of thing. So I was going through that. So that’s why I was just like, whatever, I’m going to do whatever I want, because I can. Wasn’t thinking about the industry, et cetera. And I had my own misconceptions about the industry: that you had to be pedigreed, you had to be white, you had to be in this long line of winemaking history to do it. It wasn’t until 2010, after enough practice and things like that, we submitted wines and we got gold medals and all that ish. So it was like, you know what? Hey, I’m actually relevant now. This is what I’m doing.

Oregon celebrated its 50 years of winemaking. And I’m in the vineyard and get some sort of Oregon Wine Board email blast: “Oregon’s celebrating 50 years.” And the picture that they put is David and Diana Lett. Those are Oregon pioneers of winemaking. Those are the folks who… but they’re, you know, two white people. I’ve heard this whole story my whole eight years, which is great. We have to know history. But it didn’t represent me, it didn’t represent some of the people that I knew. So just like I said, in ‘07, this past year I was like, I’m going to make a documentary, and just because. Again, it was one of those, I’m going to go ahead and share my story and tell folks about a brotherman out here making wine. And not just making wine but being relevant as well. In my short time, my eight years of winemaking, I feel that I’ve surpassed a lot of folks that have been in there 20, 30 years. I get them calling me asking me questions. Which to me is kind of unique—that whole in the wine industry but not necessarily because of the passion of loving to drink wine and things like that. So, I look at it as a whole different kind of beast for me. It’s a succeed thing, it’s success. I’m gonna go out of the norm.

Soleil Ho  So would you be able to talk about the general arc of the documentary? Is there a narrative that y’all are pursuing there?

Bertony Faustin  The main thing that we’re trying to show is the day in, day out challenges of being a minority in the industry. Again, this fabled “It’s a white industry. Europeans brought wine over,” kind of thing. Black folks are known to... we like sweet stuff and Hennessey. So again, we’re not that typical face. And kind of the buildup to me wanting to do this documentary was the day in day out. People come to our tasting room, I don’t greet you as, Hey welcome to Abbey Creek. I’m Bertony, the winemaker. I just say, Welcome to Abbey Creek. We’re going through the flight. And then they ask, Who’s the winemaker? And I say, Me. And you see them pause. They’ve got this look of puzzlement as opposed to, you know... 

It’s like, ok. Ok, well, you don’t have a vineyard, do you? 

Yeah, I have a vineyard. And then they pause again. It’s still… I gotta keep validating myself to these people, that, yes, I am the winemaker. 

Ok, so, you went to Davis for winemaking?

Nah, I didn’t go to school.

And then it just throws them off, off the bat. A: I don’t look like I’m supposed to, plus I’m doing all of the other stuff that people have lived all their lives to have a vineyard and all this passion. The wine industry has done it to itself, because it’s full of shit. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Wine is wine. You can go buy wine anywhere. I can go to 7-Eleven and get wine. But what are we selling? We’re selling this fake romance and “I’ve gotta do magic to make this wine happen.” No, it’s basic chemistry. You take fruit. And actually native yeast can ferment wine, you don’t even have to add anything to it. But again, everyone gets bought into this whole idea of winemakers have to look this certain way and do a certain thing.

Zahir Janmohamed  Is there ever pressure on a lot of minority winemakers of color to dress a certain way, to talk a certain way? So it’s like, you can be Mexican-American or African-American, but just dress a certain way, like wear those ascots and listen to like...

Bertony Faustin and Soleil Ho  [laughing]

Zahir Janmohamed  I don’t know some Italian—I don’t know! Isn’t that what they’re called? Those scarves or whatever they’re called?

Soleil Ho  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Bertony Faustin  Correct, correct!

Zahir Janmohamed  I mean, because I was in Napa just recently, and it’s like you just see some of these people of color working at these places. And I think, Do they really want to dress like that? I mean, I don’t know, you know?

Bertony Faustin  But again it’s part of that you think this is what you have to do to be in the industry. I had the luxury of... I run my own house that I’m like, You know what? To hell with that. You come into my tasting room, there’s hip hop playing, there’s R&B. I’m in jeans and a t-shirt.

Zahir Janmohamed  How do people react to that?

Bertony Faustin  At first you can see their look. People look around and they’re like, Oh ok, that kind of thing. But again, I do what I do. My whole thing is just bring the people to me, I’ll take care of the rest. And then we start breaking down that whole, it’s just wine. Who gives two shits about the legs and the dirt and the soil and—

Soleil Ho and Zahir Janmohamed  [laughing]

Bertony Faustin  It’s the wine industry. It’s stuff that we do—or the industry does—to make you feel important.

Zahir Janmohamed  So just to rewind the conversation for a sec. So, you said that when you start this in 2007, you didn’t drink wine before. Why didn’t you drink wine? Did you just not grow up with it? You didn’t like it? Or...

Bertony Faustin  Well, we didn’t grow up with it. The only wine I saw at the house was Manischewitz during Easter. I never drank it. So my family didn’t drink. And I was a wannabe athlete all my life, so I never partook. I was that guy that hung around the cats on the corner with the 40s and passed the blunt but didn’t partake in any of that.

Zahir Janmohamed  Weren’t you an athletic trainer for a while?

Bertony Faustin  Correct. I was a personal trainer, as well. Personal trainer, massage therapist. So fitness has always been my life career kind of thing. And then after that, when I did start the label, I just found out I was too old to start drinking. So it was like, whatever, I’ll just keep doing what I do right now. A little segue, though, that throws people off, this guy who doesn’t drink. When I started the label I actually worked at Sake One in Forest Grove. That’s the world’s largest, American-operated sake brewery. But imagine you’re in Forest Grove. I don’t know if you guys have ever been. 

Zahir Janmohamed  No.

Bertony Faustin  It’s country. It’s the country side of things. But that’s where all the wineries reside, and you walk into a sake brewery in Forest Grove. And then there’s a black guy in the tasting room. So, that was always… Even when I started on I was always that anomaly. It’s like, Why is there a black dude pouring sake in Forest Grove? So, I got that whole front of the house kind of educating, teaching folks. So that’s kind of how the whole industry, when I stepped away to do wine 100 percent, that’s kind of how it made our brand. You know, most of my customers are going to be new wine drinkers, inexperienced wine drinkers, things like that, because we want to… I feel like now I’ve got a task to teach and educate people that all of the other shit was extra. It’s just you drink wine because you like it kind of thing. You don’t need the sweetest wine. We can turn you on to something fruity, et cetera. That’s going to learn you going forward to again infiltrate an industry, break all these kind of stereotypes and molds of what we think wine drinking’s supposed to be.

Soleil Ho  It seems that there’s stereotypes that run both ways, too. You speak about consumer stereotypes about the wine industry, but also I’m reminded of that story a few years ago, or maybe a year ago, where this African-American book club—right?—was kicked off of the Napa wine train

Bertony Faustin  Correct, correct.

Soleil Ho  So it seems like there’s all these barriers, too, that keep African-American consumers from actually participating, right?

Bertony Faustin  Correct. Right. And funny that you mention that. So, since I decided to do the documentary, people like yourself, we had the AP article, I’m doing interviews constantly. I’ve seen the most black people in the past two months than I have in my whole eight years of making wine, which is great. So I’ve been actually doing tastings for small groups: the Sigma Theta, sororities, things like that. So I had about 25 black women. And I don’t know if you’ve ever been around 25 black women in a place with some alcohol and drinking and feeling good. So they were in the tasting room, in the winery, we’re still open to the public, but, you know, we’re doing a nice little thing. And a white couple came in, probably in their 40s or something, and they asked my associate, Oh is this a private event? He’s like, Nah, nah, just come up to the bar. We’ll take care of you. Again, you know, I’ve got 25 black women, we’ve got some beats playing, drinks are flowing. It gets pretty loud, you know? And then I come around the corner and they’re gone. I’m like, What happened to the peeps? Well, I guess they just didn’t feel comfortable and they left. But my thing is, that’s how we feel every damn day everywhere we go. And we don’t leave, damn it, you know? And it’s just that kind of stuff. Once you turn the tables on them, all of a sudden it’s different now.

Zahir Janmohamed  I was going to say there’s a new wine restaurant, or sorry, wine bar over in the southeast of Portland and they have this tasting on Fridays. And I looked outside, all these beautiful picnic tables and this beautiful sunshine, and it was like everyone was white. And I thought, even if I wanted to go in there, how comfortable would I really feel? And it’s also like for me growing up from immigrant parents, there’s a lot of these words I don’t know how to pronounce correctly. And there’s this assumption that I should know how to pronounce, I mean, “pinot grigio” or—

Bertony Faustin and Soleil Ho  [laughing]

Zahir Janmohamed  I don’t even know. I know I butchered it.

Bertony Faustin  But it’s alright.

Soleil Ho  No, it doesn’t matter.

Zahir Janmohamed  But it’s so funny, though, because so much of this culture around wine isn’t necessarily about the beverage. It’s about a particular way to pour it the right way or know that you have to do this—

Soleil Ho  The temperature thing gets me.

Zahir Janmohamed  And I didn’t grow up with that, but if I just want to enjoy it, it’s like I’m sort of made to sort of feel inferior for not knowing these things. I’m like, I don’t fault white people for not knowing the intricacies about Indian culture—

Bertony Faustin  Of course, of course.

Zahir Janmohamed  But somehow the wine culture… So I think for so many, I think, people of color, they want to get into wine, but the industry itself sort of feels very alienating. So I’m sure for these black women who came to your winery, they were just like, Finally we can go and we can relax.

Bertony Faustin  And be ourselves. No one’s going to, Shhh, turn it down a little bit. Hell no. But if you think about being in Italy, France, wine is about camaraderie, breaking bread. That’s my whole thing. You’re supposed to be laughing and joking and enjoying. It’s just grapes, it’s just wine. There’s nothing special about it. But that’s what I’m trying to bring back to the game. That’s what it’s supposed to be. I call it breaking bread, because if we really do go to the hills of France, people will bring you into their house. They’ll be like, Oh come in, like you’re family. It seems like it’s just when the whole thing came to the States. Now it turned where it’s got to be all…  It’s got to be fly or we’ve got to know all this bullshit about it. And again, the beauty, what I love is now, and I do have some black wine club members, and it’s great. And I’m always trying to give them a little bit more knowledge, turn them on. Because I want you do go back to work on Monday and tell Bob and them, Yeah I went wine tasting this weekend or, We made wine or, We bottled wine. So you can order that bottle of wine at dinner.

Zahir Janmohamed  That’s one thing for a lot of us writers here. Finding a space, a community, of writers of color is important anywhere, but especially in Portland given this state has a long history, for listeners who don’t know, of KKK. And there’s some serious racism still going on in this city.

Bertony Faustin  Correct.

Zahir Janmohamed  So for you, how important is community, and how do you sort of bring up a lot of young winemakers of color?

Bertony Faustin  We’re planning on doing a minority scholarship at Chemeketa and OSU as well for that young, black, brown, lesbian, gay person who wanted to get into an industry or wants to be. I’m still trying to make it happen, but I want to do like a ghetto 4-H and bring the inner city kids to the vineyard. You know, we can go to the farm, but who wants to be a damn farmer? But show them that, you know what, we can be out in the vineyard and do cool stuff and things like that. Show them the grape plants and take them through that whole process. Everybody thinks, Oh yeah we’ll come harvest. To hell with harvest. I need you now. We need to train these plants. We need to pull weeds. We need to do things like that. So again, showing these young kids is that, yeah, you know, What’d you do this weekend? We went to a vineyard, in Portland at that, and learned from a black dude how to make wine. So that’s kind of what I’m trying to do to instill or bring up our community as well.

Soleil Ho  So you’re talking a lot about the democratization of wine. So what can restaurateurs, what can front of house people, what can sommeliers do to sort of facilitate the environment that you’ve been facilitating at your winery to make people of color, or just minorities who are not welcome in the wine world, feel welcome?

Bertony Faustin  Well, the tough part about all of that is, especially if it’s not your house, you have a boss that wants you to act a certain way, do things a certain way. So I feel it’s up to that individual minority or... We have a job to do. I don’t care whether you want to accept it or not, when you see another person of color, you see a minority, et cetera, you’ve got to go that extra, you got to make that extra step just to let them know, I see you. Yeah, I’m up here in this stuffy ass shirt and everything, but I see you, though. To me that gives you that… That’ll break down that stress of, Ok what am I doing kind of thing, where if you’ve got something wrong I’ll just come and adjust it for you and give you a wink as opposed to call you out that you’re doing it wrong. So that’s how I see it personally, myself.

Zahir Janmohamed  So there are these comedians Key and Peele, who I love, and they talk about how like when white commentators talk about football players they talk about, you know, a black star will be an athletic proweress, but a white player’s like, Wow look at the tactical mind of Peyton Manning, right?

Bertony Faustin  [laughing] Uh huh.

Zahir Janmohamed  So do people say, Wow, Bertony’s wine shows his hard work and his immigrant work ethic. Whereas a white winemaker says, Oh they’re cerebral. They went to Davis, they studied in Italy.

Bertony Faustin  Correct. Correct.

Zahir Janmohamed  When people talk about your wine, do you find something sort of this racialized way of talking about your wine, even if they don’t know they’re racializing you?

Bertony Faustin  For me, what I get is they’re always trying to find a reason why it happened or why I did it. Well, ok, you didn’t go to school, but you had a chemistry background because of anesthesia so that’s why you’re doing ok kind of thing. It’s like, no. It’s all mute and irrelevant because my description is I make wine because I’m a hustler. I’m a hustler that happens to make wine. I’m not a winemaker who’s hustling. But they still want to keep trying to find reasons why I’m successful other than just because I said I wanted to do it. Oh, the worst thing that I get is, Oh how many cases did you make, 1,200? Oh, that’s so cute! It’s like, Oh go ahead little negro, nice! You’re making a little bit of wine! Keep doing your thing! Good luck! Don’t tell me fucking good luck. What’s that supposed to mean? You tell Abbey Tasting Room, good luck? That’s the worst to me because it’s always that almost condescending, Oh that’s cute. You’re making wine, you do 1,200 cases.

Zahir Janmohamed  So we should talk about the wine specifically. I know your rosé is sold out, right? I checked on the website.

Bertony Faustin  Correct. Correct.

Zahir Janmohamed  So what makes your rosé so awesome?

Bertony Faustin  Well, the thing about, again, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the wine industry is just hype. Is my rosé awesome? Sure, because I’mma pitch it to you, I’mma tell you damn it it’s awesome. It’s that Jedi mind trick, You need to have this. Why my rosé is all sold out and awesome: I don’t make a lot of it. I only do 40, 50, 60 cases. Oregonians are a big pain in the ass with climate, because once it gets sunny everybody’s doing one thing. Ok so rosé is the kick. That first rain, all of a sudden nobody’s drinking rosé no more.

Soleil Ho  I notice that there’s a line of wines that you named after your father.

Bertony Faustin  Correct.

Soleil Ho  Bertony Senior?

Bertony Faustin  Yeah, one wine. So again, starting in the industry back in ‘07 everyone didn’t need to know my story, why I did it kind of thing. But I just felt this past year, I needed to finally do that tribute label. So, it’s called “P.O.P.” P-O-P, Port of Pinot. So it’s actually a pinot port that we did with Abbey Creek branding. A port is a fortified wine with brandy. So we actually took our wine to a distiller, they made it the brandy, blah blah blah, and did that. So we started this one about 2012, 2013. But again, even though this is a tribute wine to pops, I still got to hustle and sell it. So I actually sold it two years ago already. We sold it as futures. So as people come into the tasting room, you let them take a little taste out the barrel. So I only bottled 28 cases, 26 of them are already sold, like literally paid for. And that’s part of that making it unique, making it something that you want to have this. You can’t just go to any Zupan’s, New Seasons, blah blah blah. No, damn it. You’ve got to come find me. You want to have this thing. And that’s the wine industry. You’ve got to find your niche. But “P.O.P.”, that was kind of my finally, you know what, we got to represent my family. In anything we do, I try to keep that Haitian culture. You come to my tasting room, there’s no crackers. I have plantains. It’s just, that’s your palette cleanser. So things like that, I always try to instill my family and my culture any day I can. And then my dad looks like Mandela.

Soleil Ho and Zahir Janmohamed  [laughing]

Bertony Faustin  Especially when it’s painted. Because people are like, Oh who’s that? It’s actually my dad. You can tell they’re like… They want to ask, Why does he look like Mandela?

Soleil Ho and Zahir Janmohamed  [laughing]

Bertony Faustin  My dad does look like Mandela.

Zahir Janmohamed  Thank you so much.

Bertony Faustin  Yes.

Soleil Ho  We can say that we met you—

Bertony Faustin  Indeed.

Soleil Ho   —before you were super famous.

Bertony Faustin  Indeed. I say infamous. I’m well-known, but I’m broke-ish.

Zahir Janmohamed  Should we refer to you as a reality TV star?

Bertony Faustin  Not yet. That’s a lot of things to happen between now and August so...

Soleil Ho  Yeah, you need a sex tape.

Bertony Faustin and Zahir Janmohamed  [laughing]

Zahir Janmohamed  Thank you so much. This has been such an honor. The first guest of Racist Sandwich. We really appreciate it.

Soleil Ho  Bertony Faustin. You can find more info about his documentary at www.redwhite-black.com.

Soleil Ho  Thanks for listening to the first episode of Racist Sandwich. You can find us online at RacistSandwich.com, on Twitter @raceandfood or on Facebook at RaceandFood.

Zahir Janmohamed  We also have a blog in English and soon a blog in Spanish, so we’re very excited. We hope you join us for our next episode in two weeks with an interview with Han Ly Hwang from Kim Jong Grillin’, a food cart here in Portland. Thank you for listening. I’m Zahir Janmohamed.

Soleil Ho  And I’m Soleil Ho.

Transcribed by Ann-Derrick Gaillot.