Why have I created this blog might you ask? For two reasons
1-I can share my new life journey into the Wine Industry
2- To inspire and teach anyone who is interested, what I have learned and loved in my own little wine world.
“A clash of culture creates a curious harmony”
Joseph Bastianich, David Lynch
There was a time in my life, a very recent time I might add, where to me, wine fell into two simple categories: white or red.
I remember at the beginning of my wine career, participating in a Penfolds wine tasting and asking what Grange was. I was laughed at (in a playful manner) by a group of educated coworkers, my new boss and the Penfolds Wine Representative, and I thought, “yeah, I’m going to be that new girl who doesn’t know anything about what she is doing and makes a fool of herself”
For those of you who don’t know what Grange is (which is PERFECTLY acceptable!), I will enlighten you so hopefully you don’t run into the same embarrassing stint I experienced. Penfolds is a highly regarded wine producer located in the heart of the Barossa Valley. “Grange is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine from the Penfolds portfolio and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia.”1 The vintages produced are known as huge collectors items.
So yes, I understand their laughter- as I WAS working in a wine store… and had NO idea what one of the biggest wine producers in the worlds’ “claim to fame” was.
A New Beginning
My introduction into the wine industry took off during a previous job at a company called Everything Wine. The large company is owned by The Jim Pattison Group and, located in British Columbia. It is one of the most unique corporations I have ever had the privilege of working for and that I have ever known because of their diversity of wines and the highly educated staffs willingness to help customers! I found the position of Event Coordinator at the store in North Vancouver, funnily enough, on Craigslist, and the next chapter of my life began.
I was very intimidated; moving to a foreign city all by myself, starting a new job in an unfamiliar environment that was focused on something I knew nothing about or, hardly even liked, I might add! All I had to look forward to was the opportunity of continuing a life in a BEAUTIFUL province and having the ability to plan events, tastings and festivals, which back then, was my biggest dream!
When I say I didn’t know anything about wine, I mean I knew that it was located on the opposite side of where I used to shop at the LCBO.
My coworkers were some of the most educated and intelligent people I had ever met and all shared such a great passion for wine. I had entered this realm of something I had never journeyed through before. The spark of my desire to learn about wine didn’t start out because I loved to drink it. It was actually the desire to be able to communicate and share the same passion with these people, who became my friends and family, and have the knowledge of what surrounded us and what we sold to customers day after day.
Now trust me, now I share both the love of wine drinking as much as I love learning about it. (maybe the drinking side a little bit more)
What I find so fascinating about wine and what I think really first got me hooked is that the industry is ALWAYS changing and there is always something new to learn and explore. The reason I love it so much is that there is not one single person in the world that knows absolutely EVERYTHING about wine and it is a culture that has come together based on wine lovers sharing with each other; sharing facts, technologies and even grape varieties.
I studied and received my WSET 1 & 2 (WSET – Wine and Spirit Education Trust Program is a British organization which certifies individuals based on their knowledge learned through courses they provide throughout the world and exams given for ranking students) Professionals in the Wine Industry are aware of an individuals level of knowledge based on their level of completion. Proudly so, I passed both with Distinction.
I just moved back to Toronto (my home city) after having lived in Beautiful BC for the past 4 years (2011- recently in 2015). I came to a point where I missed my family back east A LOT. So, after months of debating, I decided to leave Beautiful BC and my Everything Wine Family and return home.
I had NO idea what I was going to do once I got there. I thought it was only natural that I continue on with my Event Planning career since my wine path was so much a part of my BC life and not the life I had left back in Ontario. WOW, did that not work out! I missed wine SO much!
So, GUESS WHAT! I went back at it! I signed up for WSET 3! I met some really interesting people in class. 11 weeks later, I am STILL waiting for results of a pass or fail with the addition of a percentage mark!
The Industry Path
After a month into studying, I started looking for jobs. It was the most stressful time of my life as I am sure many can agree, studying and job searching, never a fun time. One day I found a post on Linked In (Job Posting is a great tool on Linked In!!! Make a profile and start searching; very reputable jobs and easy to use!)
The position was for a Marketing Coordinator at a Liquour Agency for their Wine Division. (For those of you who aren’t familiar- I am asked this question a lot- A Liquour Agency represents different brands of alcoholic beverages and markets, and offers these products to different liquour boards.)
This agency is called PMA Canada and their head office is located in Oakville, Ontario. Long story short, I applied, was interviewed and got the job!! It is only a one-year contract, but it was a foot in the door and a step in the right direction!
PMA (Peter Mielzynski Agencies) is Canada’s Largest Importer of Quality Wines and Spirits. It is a WONDERFUL company (and they represent delicious wines!) I have been working with the most dedicated, friendly, and intelligent individuals and cannot wait to see what my future holds with the company.
Through this blog, I will share Wine Events I experience, trips I have the opportunity to take with my Wine Team, and on my own, winemaker visits and many more exciting stories along my journey. I will provide food and wine pairings, give insight on great restaurants (with amazing wine lists) and wine bars, post pictures I take and most of all be here if you need help along your own wine journey!