SAN FRANCISCO – Nobody knows if Miles Raymond belongs to a credit union, but chances are if he had his druthers, he’d be a member of San Francisco Fire Credit Union. That’s because Raymond – the character in the critically acclaimed motion picture “Sideways” – would have loved talking, sipping and sharing wine tips with SFFCU President and Chief Executive Officer Diana Dykstra. During the last 10 years, Dykstra’s interest in wine has turned into what she admits is an “obsession.” Her collection today consists of some 500 bottles of wine; because she doesn’t have room in her home to store them, the bottles are safely ensconced in three separate climate-controlled rental storage facilities in the city. While she readily admits her first love is Napa Valley Cabernet – the Napa vineyards are an easy drive from the San Francisco area – her fascination with wines has taken her to the Tuscany region of Italy as well as to Spain and Portugal. “I’m really starting to expand my horizons,” she said. Dykstra has come a long way from when she grew up drinking Gallo Hearty Burgundy and thinking it was “a really good wine.” From there, she moved on to drinking “cheap French wines” which she says she thought was “pretty cool” because they came from France. Until she began learning more about wines, she tended to buy “anything that tasted good and was within my budget,” she said. “I wasn’t discriminating.” Today, however, she is much more selective in the wines she purchases. Her collection includes1994 and 1997 Napa Valley wines, which she says were the best vintages to come out of that area in decades. Her current favorite wine is Backus from the Joseph Phelps Vineyards in California. She often finds a new wine pleasing to her palette when she least expects it. “Yesterday I went to lunch and had a wonderful French wine that I hadn’t had before,” she said. “I immediately went over to the wine store and bought that and others. It was a $200 obsession. It’s a terrible habit.” “My obsession now is buying a bottle to drink five to 10 years from now,” she said. “My husband thinks I collect wine so that one day he can take it all to Sotheby’s and we’ll auction it off and make a fortune. “My husband believes we’re making investments,” Dykstra added. “I believe I’m just waiting for a good bottle of wine.” -

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