I recently finished reading Atlas Shrugged (finally) - it certainly took me long enough, but to be fair to myself, the book is over 1,000 pages. I decided to keep it light and fun after finishing that book, so I selected Julia Child’s My Life in France.
Already I’m enjoying her book so much - the imagery, the honesty, and following her every step of the way is fun for me since she’s one of my culinary idols (in fact, I admire much more about her life than just her culinary achievements). What’s intriguing to me is how quickly she learned a great many things, both simple and complicated techniques, a culture and language with which she was initially unfamiliar, and so much more.
In a sense, she makes me feel inspired to keep on learning and when learning, to stay positive, find my passion, and go with it - and enjoy it all the way.
It’s amazing, just how much a person can learn in a short amount of time, when he/she is having a wonderful time learning, sharing the process with others, and seeing where it takes that person. I find it wonderful when someone takes on a new project or learns something new for the fun of it, only to watch it develop into a profession.
Two years ago this week, I started my wine blog. I’ve mentioned it before that I started learning about wine just for fun, because I had taught myself some basic dishes to create, and was enjoying cooking, and felt it was time to learn some about wine pairing. After a short time, I began teaching myself to write tasting notes (although they were primitive tasting notes), and I started researching grape types and regions. About five months later, wine began speaking to me differently - it wasn’t just for fun anymore. I wanted it to be a much bigger part of my life, and decided to sit for the Court of Master Sommeliers Level 1 course and exam. What frightened me a bit on the first day was that nearly everyone else in the room was quite experienced in the wine industry, and I was a lowly blogger with just a few months of writing under my belt. What was I doing there, anyway? Who was I trying to kid? Well, after the exam on the second day, Champagne in hand, I heard my name called to receive my certificate - I had passed, after just a few weeks of studying Karen MacNeil’s Wine Bible. No, I didn’t think I knew everything about wine, but I was beginning to realize that I should at least give the wine industry a try, and that I was indeed capable of learning quickly about wine. And most importantly, I knew I was going to enjoy it - I just didn’t know how much fun it would be.
I’m so happy with what the past two years have taught me, both about myself and about wine. While I wish I knew sooner that I was going to enter this industry, it’s certainly “better late than never.” Last week I was riding the train home from the city and I had two bottles sticking out of my messenger bag - I was coming home from the office. The gentleman seated next to me spotted the bottles of Bordeaux and Rhone and wanted to know if he could ask me a few questions about wine. I removed my earbuds - Ella Fitzgerald can wait until later, I decided - I’d be happy to talk with him about wine. I’m happy to talk with ANYONE about wine! An hour later we were still talking about wine, food, etc., and he asked me, “So, what do you do?” I answered, “Well, I was an attorney, but (reaching into my messenger bag to pick up the bottles) now I’m a wine rep and sommelier,” to which he replied, “That’s wonderful, making such a change, especially since you still seem pretty young. You must love your work.”
|Photo courtesy of J. Mitchel Photography|
I do love my work. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing, and I’m so glad I made the decision to start my blog and ultimately enter the wine industry. I’ve heard that the happiest people are the ones who love what they do for a living. And I also think it’s important that people find their passion and pursue it, because what starts out as something “just for fun” can turn into a path in life that brings the person a great deal of happiness. I’ve learned that even a less than perfect day on the right path is far better than the perfect day on the wrong path.
So, while I continue reading Julia Child’s book and watching the dvds of Julia and Jacques Pepin (another of my favorites) working together in the kitchen, I’m reminded of how important it is that I found my passion, that I continue along the right path, and that while wine may have started as something “just for fun” in my life, it’s my obligation to keep on learning and stay on the right path. Two years ago, when I started this blog, I had no idea what wine would bring to me, and what my life would have in store for me.