Welcome to my newest endeavor, “Vinously Speaking” – a blog for my dear family, close friends, those friends I have yet to meet and any anonymous readers: all of whom share, to some degree, a great passion for wine and all that it entails; history, geography, culture, food, friends, conversation, debate, social & academic events, education, and above all … pleasure! I invite you take a few moments from time to time to read my blog, open up a bottle of your favorite wine, pour yourself a glass (or if you can’t, at least imagine it), and enjoy!
Well to start off my first entry the natural questions to answer for my readers are, “How did I become so interested in wine and where has it taken me?”
It all started at the end of my senior year of high school when I was hired as a server at a french bistro in San Antonio called the Metropolitain Bistro. I imagine it was fate that persuaded my boss to allow me to participate in a staff wine tasting for our new wine additions even though I was the only one under the legal drinking age of 21. Either that or he maintained the european rule of law on his property from his culinary studies in France. In any case, I hope the statute of limitations for serving alcohol to minors has expired or that all of you, my readers, are kind enough to respect the unwritten rule of ‘what is said in a blog, stays in a blog’ … =)
So back to the bistro staff wine tasting … I remember the first glass of wine poured for us – a Shlumberger Reisling (just in case, riesling is a white grape varietal originating from the Rhine region in Germany) … I thought it would be torture to drink wine rembering when I was thirteen and took a secret sip from my mom’s wine glass, wondering what the pretty pink drink was all about (don’t worry, my mom has progressed a looooooooong way from the Franzia boxed rose and now she enjoys the bolder worldy wines). Well needless to say, the “pretty pink drink” was totally ‘yuck’!!!!! (If you are reading this and are drinking a boxed Franzia wine….don’t feel bad. There is always a silver lining, which is…..there is hope for you, there is PLENTY of time to make your way up the wine ladder) Well, back to the underage Shlumberger Riesling tasting … I listened attentively to the wine representative, smelled the wine when she told us to and I thought to myself, “Self, its not so bad, its actually quite pleasant, nothing at all like the nasty pretty pink drink.” Then I went for the gold and took the first sip………much to my surprise it was HEAVENLY!! The clouds parted, a ray of sunshine fell upon me and angels sang Ode to Joy! It was DIVINE!!
I passed the rest of my time at the Metropolitain asking the owner all the questions I could about wine…and considering my first word was “why?“… you can imagine it was a lot! On a side note, I have to thank my parents for my passion for learning because they never let a question go unanswered no matter how annoying. =)
After that summer of working at my beloved little french bistro, I went off to pursue my undergraduate degree at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. Like most college students, the ‘ocassional’ drink at the ‘occasional’ party was not out of the ordinary. The only problem was that I couldn’t stand the taste of beer and I couldn’t stomache the hard liquor too well. So the majority of the time, when someone was generous enough to share or buy me some, I would drink wine. In the very rare ‘free time’ I had in college I would indulge myself in learning some of the basics of wine knowledge. I was also lucky enough to meet a group of friends who enjoyed wine as well and who opened my eyes to the numerous types of cuisines one can find in LA. Once we all turned 21, we would go to some amazing Sunday wine tastings at this little wine shop near our college called the Colorado Wine Company(http://www.cowineco.com/). We even spent our last day together after our graduation at this same wine shop. We said our goodbye’s and off we went into the deep blue yonder, aka the real world.
Not too long after I returned home to San Antonio, my mom appraoched me and told me about a new concept company called The Traveling Vineyard. It was basically ‘in-home wine tastings events’ where a personal wine consultant would come to your home, do a wine tasting for you and your friends with wines from around the world, and when the event was over you could order the wines which would then be shipped right to your front door. And even better, as one of those personal wine consultants you could make money off your sales. I knew this was a sign from above. I couldn’t believe I could get paid to learn about wine, taste wine, share it with others all while meeting new wine enthusiasts!! We didn’t even wait to host our own in-home wine tasting to get a preview. No Sir! We called up the nearest consultant and being the helium hands that we are, my mom and I signed up before the wine consultant, Melissa Unsell, could say “Would you like to try some of the wines?” =) And you will be proud to know that I am still great friends with Ms. Unsell, who has sinced transferred her ‘side job’ over to an equally fabulous in-home wine tasting company called Wine Shop at Home (her Wine Shop At Home Website) and will be coming to visit me in France in the fall !!
Anywho, while working as a consultant for The Traveling Vineyard, conducting all those tastings, attending our annual wine convention to taste hundreds of wines and meet the wine makers, producers and other representatives….I decided to ditch my previous idea of going to law school and decided to pursue a masters in wine business, then sink my teeth into the world of wine and tear out a big chunk just for me!! I began my search for a master’s program in the US of A, but to no avail. Then, like a miraculous sign from above, I met an irresistable french hunk, named Stephane, who was working in San Antonio for a few months, fell head over heels, and decided that France didn’t seem like too bad of a place to come study wine business and it was bound to have one or two tiny programs. Ok, Ok, … maybe more like 20 world famous ones!!! So I packed my bags, followed my frenchman over here, am taking french language courses to, well, learn french, and then I am going to start my Masters of Wine Business at the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France, where I am currently residing.
I know that was a mouthful, but I wanted to start this blog off on the right foot, or shall I say the right glass of vino! In this blog, I will bring you interesting articles I find on wine, and my take on them, any cool news in the wine industry (Please note that at the end of my blog page I have added a google news bar that reads headlines from different wine news. All you have to do is click and read if you see something cool). I will also include anything I read from wine literature that I think you may find useful and entertaining. Also I will include photo entries from my wine travels and adventures here in France. The sky is the limit with my blog.
I look forward to discovering more about the world of wine with you! Should you come across anything you think would make a good entry in my blog, should you have anything you want me to research and create an entry for, or you just have a question on wine … feel free to email me or leave me a comment! I would love to know what interests you about wine as well!!
And to end our time together, I leave you with a toast I wrote just for ya’ll (yes I am Texan)!!
“May your glass always be full of enjoyable wine,
Your table with delicious food,
Your house with the laughter of good friends,
Your mind with an uncontrollable passion for learning,
And your heart with a love for living every moment of life to it’s fullest!”
In vino veritas! Cheers!
Ceci aka Veronique