A petite blonde woman radiating a vivacious smile and sparkling blue eyes sips her glass of Super T at the Ponte Tasting Room counter. One could typecast and make the assumption that she is unwinding from a day at the office or possibly planning the following day’s lesson plan as a school teacher. However, many would never know they were in the presence of a military enlisted California Highway Patrol officer.
Meet Chief Master Sergeant Jennifer Crain. Jennifer has been a Ponte Wine Club member for over six years now. She comes into the Tasting Room twice a month – once to pick up her shipment and another as a “getaway day” to sample wines, visit with server Abby and have lunch at the Smokehouse Restaurant.
Originally from South Dakota, Jennifer completed nursing school after high school and then joined the United States Air Force where she was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington. She completed her first four years of active duty and remained there an additional two years in the Washington Air National Guard before transferring to the California Air National Guard. In May of 1992 Jennifer moved to Moreno Valley and joined the 163rd Medical Group and has been an Aerospace Medical Technician for over 23 years now. She just recently re-enlisted for three more years. “It’s funny,” Jennifer says, “as a little girl, I always wanted to be a nurse. And here I am today, doing what I do and loving life.”
Most people would consider her military duties career-enough for one person. Well, not for Jennifer. She has also been a full-time Peace Officer for the California Highway Patrol since June of 2003.
When Jennifer is not saving lives or patrolling the roadways you can find her playing softball (she’s been an avid player for over 25 years) or cooking for family and friends. “I really enjoy buying cookbooks (from Ponte) and trying new recipes,” Jennifer explains. “The deal is I buy the food and prepare the meal and my group of friends has to bring the wine. It doesn’t get any better than that!”
One of her favorite recipes started with a recommendation from a Ponte associate to purchase a bottle of Maximum Garlic Dipping Oil and “Oh So Garlic” Seasoning from the Ponte Marketplace. The suggestion was to marinate a pork loin in those items and some orange juice for 2-3 hours. Jennifer grilled the pork loin and served it with garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and, of course two of her favorite Ponte wines, Super T and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has been a favorite dish since!
If you ever see Chief Master Sergeant Jennifer Crain sipping on wine in the Reserve Room, stop and say hello, ask what new recipes she’s created and share a toast to thank her for her diligent service.
By Lindsey Dick