The intention of this blog is to share all about all of the things we indulge in. For me, I aspire to indulge in life itself. As I believe we all should. I believe we should all treat ourselves to something special every once in awhile… give in… indulge, whether it's on a nice meal, a nice glass of wine (or even a cheap glass of wine for that matter), or even a grand vacation. You deserve it!
So for me, I will use this as an opportunity to share what I have "vin"dulged in lately, whether it was wine, a great meal, or a trip. And I hope you share your own stories of vindulging as well.
A wee bit about me:
I was not raised around wine. It's sad but true. It was just not a part of my upbringing. I come from a family in Phoenix, Arizona, who’s (alcoholic) beverages of choice were Bud Light, Brandy, and Tequila drinks. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that, there was just sadly no wine involved in my youth. To this day, I am still trying to convince my big sister to move past the Boones Farm for it is not real wine. But hey, I also try to live by the motto drink what you like! If Strawberry Hill floats your boat then more power to you sister!
I moved from Arizona to San Francisco in 2001 after graduating college, and that is where I first fell deeply in love with wine. Traveling through the many wine countries of Northern California became my outlet from my “real life” (which was a combination of being a full-time Grad Student/ full-time After School Program & Summer Camp Program Director/ part-time Speech Instructor at San Francisco State University). Imagine if you will, starting your day teaching Speech 101 at 8 a.m. at SFSU, then rushing to the elementary school to direct an afterschool program full-time, then back to the university to take grad classes until 10 p.m., then home to study. That combination would drive anybody to drink. But instead it became my hobby, which grew into a profession when I moved to Oregon with my husband, Sean.
I still remember my very first trip to Sonoma….
It was the 4th of July weekend. I was directing a summer camp and in desperate need of a few days off by mid-summer. We planned a 3-day trip to Sonoma, and stopped at the very first place that was open, The Cellar Door, which was a tasting room for many wineries that did not have their own, and it was there I became hooked. I don’t even remember what we tasted there, but I remember where we went after. We didn’t know what we were doing, so we went with recommendations during that trip, the first winery they recommended was Gundlach Bundschu, our 2nd stop, and it was there we joined our first wine club… it was all downhill (or perhaps uphill) from there. After that trip we made dozens and dozens of trips back up to the many wine regions of N.California, and vowed that someday when I was done with academia that I would work at a winery. Then we moved to Oregon. I was then close enough to work in the industry.
I started working for Ponzi Vineyards, first as an Assistant Tasting Room Manager, then to Private Event Coordinator, but realized my passion was about wine, not planning other peoples weddings and parties… so I then took the opportunity to be the General Manager at Cathedral Ridge Winery, a smaller but quickly growing winery in Hood River, Oregon. During all this time, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some my favorite wine regions, including France where I spent time in Champagne, Burgundy & Bordeaux. Being close to WA I’ve been able to make several trips to some of the amazing wineries in SE Washington, and beyond. My husband is from upstate NY, so I gladly join him on trips to visit his family, as long as it involves stops at the Finger Lakes wineries. Pretty much, I base all of my trips around wine regions.
And I find now, that after years of working for independent wineries, I realized I can’t just focus on one producer of wine, I need to know more. So I decided to start studying for the first level of certifications through The Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS). I took and passed my introduction level in 2007, and am now actively studying to take my certified exam through CMS. So as I continue to learn, study, taste, and travel, I will write about my journey, my experiences, and of course the many many wines I plan to continue to consume!