Howdy! Welcome to Vinously Speaking! A wine blog that is about the down-to-earth, fun side of wine and wine-gulping! This wine blog was created with 4 aims in mind: to make its readers laugh/smile at least once with every post, to be quick and easy to read (cause Lord knows you ain’t got a lot of free time), to teach/show you one thing about wine with each post (without being wine-snobby about it) and last but not least, to help you better know…ME, the crazy Texan gal who is gulping all that wine and making a complete dork out of herself to bring you the funny side of enjoying wine! (Who am I kidding! I am a dork with or without a wine blog, now I am just documenting public evidence of it =P)
If you want a brief summary of who I am, my main adjectives are: funny, semi-nerdy, clever, goofy, witty, blunt, optimistic, efficient, confident, curious, loyal and in-your-face. I am a 100% certifiable grade A dork and I am I proud of it. Spending time with me has been likened to the feeling one has on a roller-coaster; outrageously fun, unpredictable, very addicting and there’s always a long waiting line! =) If you are pressed for time, there ya go! Get on outta here! If you are still curious about me and my story or you are in stalker mode…..READ ON.
So who am I? Well first of all my full name is Veronique Cecilia Barretto (say that with a mouthful of wine, haha) I have gone by a shortened version of my middle name, “Ceci”, since I can remember. “Ceci” rhymes with “Messy” and I DO NOT like when people pronounce it “See-See”, if I wanted it pronounced like that I would have doubled up the two vowels like Cece or Cici. So if we ever meet in person and you say “See-See” I will use you as my new wine spittoon =P
As I said above, I am Texan, born and raised. YeeeHaw! I hail from the lovely city of San Antonio! I received my undergraduate degree in Diplomacy & World Affairs from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. I planned on going to law school but wanted to take a year off before applying … I’m so glad I did! During that year off, my mom and I signed up with a company doing in-home wine tastings. During that time I fell madly in love with wine. I was about to send off my law school applications when my mom told me, “You can always go to law school. FOLLOW YOUR PASSION!” =) And so I did!
I set out on a quest to find some kind of Masters program in wine because I really wanted to get my Masters. I ended up finding a masters program in France, which didn’t seem like a bad country to get a wine education in, they know a thing or two about winemaking ;) With that, I packed up my bags, spent 3 glorious years in France. The first year was spent learning french at the Alliance Francaise in Lyon and the rest was spent completing my Masters (MSc) in Wine Business at the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France.
After my Masters program was done, I came back home to San Antonio, TX. I opened up a wine shop, along with my business partner, Melissa Unsell. We had the wine shop for two years, it was called Vinously Speaking. I loved it and miss it, but I quickly realized it was not my preferred area of the wine world. I then worked for a few years as a brand ambassador for a Texas winery and fell so much in love with the Texas Wine Industry! I also spent that time studying and taking exams to pass the WSET Diploma, the top certification of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. I have one 10 page paper to complete and a wine theory exam left and I will be one of roughly 8,500 in the world to have this crazy hard certification. I left my job at the winery in late 2017 to once again feed my entrepreneurial side and start my own wine edutainment business. I have come to realize that within my passion for wine, is my passion to educate and entertain, thus edutainment. So stick around and what what I do :)
If you feel like you still want to know more about me, below is a list of fun facts about myself that I compiled:
- I collect zebra print! It is an obsession really.
- My favorite singers are Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and John Mayer.
- Favorite music genres are jazz and funk, but my Spotify list has a bit of everything.
- Favorite movies: ‘The Sound of Music’ & anything with Jim Carey or Will Ferrell.
- Favorite movie genres are comedy, musicals, and black and white films.
- I have, and had, the cutest welsh corgis ever! My first was Dolce and my second is Vita!
- I HATE chocolate. I am not a fan of desserts/sweets in general.
- I love stanky cheese!
- I LOVE to cook! (and clean, but I am not a clean freak!)
- Favorite magazine is Food & Wine.
- My favorite wines to drink: Bubbles, Amarone, Valpolicella Ripasso, dry Sherries, Vin Jaune.
- I HATE shopping, except for wine, food, and party/event stuff. I love to plan events/parties!
- I have a keen attention to small details and have a great memory, leaning photographic.
- I have intense and extremely vivid dreams.
- It took me an extra 20 days, a 16 hour labor, and forceps to be birthed into this world.
- I am the oldest of 3 children and have the oldest child syndrome real bad.
- If you are into zodiac, I am 100% Aries.
- I am lucky to call my parents and siblings my best friends!
- I am an extrovert, a ham, a comedian, very witty, and really good at imitating accents =)
- I definitely laugh at my own jokes. I am the comedian and the audience!
- I graduated Valedictorian status in high school; this explains my semi-nerdy side.
- My lucky number is 13. Favorite colors are black and white.
- I am Mexican with deeper origins of Italian, French, Spanish and Native American.
Vinously Speaking & Vinously Yours, The Ceci Sipper