Wine is an experience
Wine isn’t about drinking. It’s not about a simple pleasure or a form of entertainment. It’s an experience. It’s a sensory experience. It’s a personal experience. It’s a social experience.
People tell me that I just like wine because it’s a classy way to get drunk. I’m fresh out of college, an irish girl living on her own. Just to be clear, if I wanted to get drunk, I wouldn’t choose one of the most expensive methods there is. And also – I’m not doing this to get into a “romantic industry.” I do not think that this is a romantic industry. Just like anything else, it’s very difficult. Maybe even more difficult because there is no set path like there is for engineering or marketing. It’s more of an art. But there’s a million art schools, there’s 4 year art degrees offered. There’s no 4 year wine degree. You have to build your own path.
I fell in love with wine when I was just barely 21, studying at RIT. There weren’t fireworks, there wasn’t a romantic kiss in the rain – there wasn’t one specific instant that I realized my love. I took a wines class at the NYWCC through RIT. I really enjoyed it, but was terrible at it. I don’t know the smell of a peach versus a nectarine, I don’t know what the difference between vanilla smells like versus sugar cane. So I took another class at RIT, and I got better at distinguishing my flavors and scents. I haven’t gotten to the point of Gary Vaynerchuk, where I’m eating dirt and cigarettes to learn my flavors, but I’m getting there. After my second wines class, I took a third, and a fourth. And by the end of it, during my fourth wine class and during my fourth year at RIT, I realized that I had fallen in love, and didn’t even realize it.
I graduated in May 2008 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Print Media. I moved to Rhode Island in August to work for Hasbro Inc in their pre-press department. For 6- months I handled packaging art and instructions for international toys. During that time, I was hopeful that my time with Hasbro would continue into a full time position. Now, March 2009, I’m unemployed and on a mission. I want to find my own niche in the wine industry. I want to make a living doing exactly what I love. Right now, my ultimate goal is to become a sommelier. I understand that at this stage I do not have the knowledge or experience for that, but I hope over the next x amount of years, I will learn and experience all that I can about wine. I will taste, I will read, and I will discuss.
So far, I have applied and applied and applied to every position in the wine industry that I’ve found. I’ve made contacts, and asked questions. I’ve gotten some very poor answers from people I would’ve expected much more from, and I’ve gotten some very amazing responses from people I didn’t even think would respond. Some of the best advice has come from people I’ve never met.
Right now, I’ve just booked a flight to California to learn more. I have a meeting with a Portuguese wine importer in San Jose. I’m not positive where it’s going to go, I may come out with a job, I may not. But I’m excited regardless.