The ABC’s…

There’s a reason why I’m in the industry I am.  I don’t pretend to play a part other than anything that I am when it comes to being a wine drinker and I definitely never deter folks from enjoying wine for what it is ~ grape juice.  There’s a beauty to my industry that many will never understand.  The players and the posers will continue to be who they are at the end of every day.  Yet, the world will keep spinning and  we’ll all enjoy our vino for all of our very own reasons. 

As a Sommelier, I am constantly emerged in the wine world.  I don’t really do anything else by day (or night) that doesn’t involve wine.  I’m not a kindergarten school teacher by day with a wine drinking hobby that I decided to make into a small business, some crazy collector that happened upon a lot of money so decided to get into wine because my friends thought it was cool or even lay carpet by day for a couple of bucks on the side.  I am in the wine world every day, all day long – in restaurants, in bottle shops, teaching, writing and constantly tasting.  And, the truth is…I love it.

I chose many years ago to become part of the world that had me at its ‘first hello’.  After spending a lifetime amongst a family involved in small restaurants and then working and managing within many fine dining settings from the time I was a kid, taking on a degree as a Sommelier was the natural step.  The day I packed up and hiked it up to the Pac NW to take on my Sommelier degree was a tough one.  My friends thought I was crazy and my family said, ‘What are you going to do with a wine degree?’  They said I’d never make it, yet I never looked back.  I decided something that so many of us never do when it comes to career:  Follow my heart and my passion.  And today, I’m happy to say…I am so proud to say that I did.  And through my profession, the ABC’s of life have become a little bit more clear.

These thoughts ran threw my head Friday nite after teaching one of my favorite Cooks of Crocus Hill classes in St Paul www.cooksofcrocushill.com called:  The ABC’s of wine.  The class is a tough one because there is always so much fun land to travel and well, just not enough time.  If you like wine, well then… it’s just so hard to drink ALL those wines in a three hour setting!  And one of the best parts, the class is taught blind.  It evokes more folks to look into wine from a sensory style of drinking.  A ‘why do I like it, what am I tasting, how do I go about understanding my own palate?’ is really the name of the game.  With so many questions, so many wines, and just a full three hours worth of fun – it is always the most impossible class to get folks to actually want to go home afterwards.  The students always tend to linger on asking questions that intrigue them most and most importantly, share their discoveries about wine.  I tease that they all become 1% Sommelier after attending one of my classes, but the ABC’s class may just need to bump 1%, to give folks a full 2%. 

I am rewarded with amazing comments about ‘how the light went on’  for folks after my class.  Many are repeat offenders and many just coming for the first time.  Whether it is their first or their 100th ‘wine tasting’ class, students always say they walk away with something new after coming to one of my classes.  And, here’s the point…it’s fun.  In fact, it’s really fun!  There is a ton of laughing, a lot of fun comments that allow folks to be what they want to be when it comes to wine and it gives them the freedom to come up a set of tasting notes that are all their own.  I don’t want students walking out with a professional set of tasting notes after a class like this – I just want them to have fun.  And, in the end…feel empowered to drink more wine.  Any wine.  And, pick from any region or section in a local retail shop.  The intimidation of restaurant wine lists and giant retail shops, I hope after coming to one of my classes, goes away.  We also learn that the jokers who are out there hyping up their wine hobbies with a lot of $ and with a ‘what they think they know about wine’ kind of attitude, should just simply sit down.  You know why?  Because today’s wine drinkers don’t care.  They care about a great deal and almost everyday…just a good bottle of wine.  We learn that wine does not come with an attitude but with expression.  It’s a beautiful discovery that some of us learn once you weed your way past those points of extreme snobbishness and pretension. 

But for everything written here, it was one comment that made my whole ABC’s of wine class this past weekend.  It was this:  “Don’t ever quit this job of yours.”  I asked my guest what he meant by that and he said, “You truly do what you love and for a reason.  You have a passion for this and it shows through and through.  You laugh, you smile and you just down right have a great time with this bit called wine.  Don’t ever quit what you do for a living, it would be a huge disservice to us all.”  And with that, I raised my glass.  And in the very end, I can say “Look Mom, I made it.” 

If you have not had the pleasure of coming to any of the classes that I teach at Cooks of Crocus Hill, see here for more details and public events:  http://amuseewine.com/html/wine_events.html  I would love to have you. 

And if you’d truly like that front row seat, hiring Amusée to come to your own home to put on a ‘wine tasting extraveganza’ for friends, coworkers or family, might just be your best bet.  Whether it’s a holiday wine tasting party, a gift certificate for a friend to throw their own party with Amusée, or just a nite on the floor drinking wine with your gal pals – Amusée will bring the party to you. 

And for those who continue to come to class after class, I thank you.  You make the difference, and you are the reason why I love what I do!  Thank you.  Salut to old friends and new!  I hope to see you all very, very soon.

Replies for “The ABC’s…”

  • Saul

    Been a while since I checked out the blog, so I had to pop it up first thing this morning. Thank you for a great start to what I’m pretty sure will be a hellaciously busy week, as well as what might be a few of the calming thoughts to get through it.

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