Where ever you go, there you are!

I wanted to be an archeologist when I was a kid. The name was cool and it was the biggest word I knew at the time. When I was nine, I watched a show about volcanoes and the weird tunnels they sometimes leave and I suddenly changed my mind. Then in 2004 when Mount St Helens tried blowing up again, I drove down the state with some college buddies to join the mass of other lunatics to stare in wonder at the smoking monolith. Nothing happened. My feelings towards rocks didn’t change but I remember feeling amazed by the remaining devastation from the 1980 blow. Even though it was near 20 years later, certain plots of trees were still prostrate on one side of the national park.

Worst volcanic eruption in USA history

Anyway…I didn’t wake up one day and decide to try my hand at the wine business. My first sip of wine came – appropriately enough! – from my Nana’s refrigerator at her Issaquah, WA house when I was maybe 5 years old. Someone had left a half empty glass in the fridge and all that is yellow is apple juice so I had a sip. Not juice! I’ve worked in the service industry for over a decade… sadly dating myself a bit. I was working at Matt’s Rotisserie and Oyster Lounge when Sideways hit and ruined the reputation of perfectly good Merlot. When was a commodity to me, an extra charge on the bill and a bigger tip. I was 19 when I first saw the UC Davis flavor wheel in a tasting room at Chateau St. Michelle during a manditory staff training. I wasn’t allowed to taste a damn thing!”That’s fine, your nose will help you detect the wine’s flavor,” instructed the wine director. What the hell? Who says that to teenager? Years past, I left Washington. Had to get outta there. I attended college in Maryland. I met someone, got a “job offer” and moved to Boston, MA. Fast forward one year later: I’m near my Christmas tree on the couch in my Somerville apartment wondering what the hell I’m doing. My tree needs an angel or something.

Oh Christmas Tree!

I really want wine to be my profession but how I can’t help noticing that being a wine connoisseur is more of a hobby. The lucky few who successfully make the wine industry a career sparce and jaded, often just ending up at a liquor store. EW. Is that all there is? Well, I’ve been looking for part-time day employment within fields I focused upon in college: writing, technical communication, even light teaching. My girlfriend was encouraging and suggested that it’s sometimes hard to follow our passions and still meet our financial requirements. And how!

I’ve read too many wine books, worked a variety of odd wine jobs and sacrificed waaaay too much time with those who are dear to me for all of this to just turn out to be a hobby. I love wine. I love talking about it, drinking it and writing about it. Seriously, I dream in French labels and wine laws… I DON’T EVEN SPEAK FRENCH!

When I get my tax return back this year, I’m going to France. Massachusetts has removed over 24% from my paycheck  each week and if I can’t afford to go to Bordeaux, I’m gonna steal someone in the face. These are the things I think about regularly. Not “oh, will I get married?” …

Like I said, clay angels!

not “so and so doesn’t like me today!” not even “will I have kids?” – well, that’s kind of a lie – I think about buying a ticket to France, lying on my back in the Burgundy earth and making dirt angels! That’s how badly I want this. 

I can literally taste the dark clay in my mouth. My boyfriend repeatedly tells me if everything came easily, there would be nothing to work for in life. If tedious studying and working late nights as a server isn’t paying my dues, I’m not sure what is.  I don’t want to be a doctor or a lawyer; I just want to give people the best wine experience that I can as a career. Where ever that is.

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