“We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy. The miracle in question was only performed to hasten the operation, under circumstances of present necessity, which required it.”
This paragraph was taken from a letter written by the esteemed Benjamin Franklin in 1779, during his time in Paris.
The entire quote works for me, really, but for purposes of this particular blog post, I’m going to focus on the part about God giving us wine because He wants us to be happy. This is something I believe. For me, lots of things are based in fact, but others are based in faith, and while I’ve always believed it, these days I realize I have firsthand knowledge that God gave me wine so that I may find happiness in my life.
Allow me to explain.
It’s not that I was unhappy initially, it’s just that my path to wine had not yet been discovered by me. Who can say exactly when it happened, that wine would find a special place in my life? I must point out that I never turned to it for purposes of the alcohol in it. That was never the case. Rather, I found a love and admiration and respect for it quite quickly, which translated into a passion and a desire to learn more and more about it.
|Happy - on the porch with a glass of Macon|
At the time I began exploring wine shops and restaurant wine lists, I was a very different person and my life was completely different from what it is now. I was in law school, preparing to embark on a career as an attorney, and I was engaged. To this day, when I think about it, I still wonder if I ever really had my heart in law or in that engagement, but whatever the case may be, some time later I found myself making some drastic changes in my life. Feeling lost, I turned to wine. Again, not for the alcohol. It was for something enjoyable to think about and learn about and experience, even if some of it would be on my own.
Fast forward to two years ago, when I thought perhaps I’d like to enter the wine industry in some capacity. I decided to sit for the Court of Master Sommeliers level 1 two-day course and exam, and to my surprise, I passed it easily. How could this be? I studied law and politics for years, and yet after a very brief preparation for this wine exam, it felt so natural to me. I’d spend some time self-educating over the next several months and learning about the possibilities in the wine industry, and before long, with the help of a friend in the wine industry, I’d land my first real wine job. And since I’ve had that job, I can’t even begin to quantify what I’ve learned about wine, about the industry, and about myself. Happy? Yes.
I’ve met some cool people in this industry - some who inspire me, some who make me laugh, and some who share my passion for wine. Some I consider great sources for learning, some I consider friends, and then something else happened. On the job, I met someone who shares my love for wine, and who, as I’d learn, shares other interests with me.
Those of you who know me well probably know by now that after some pretty rough experiences, mostly on the personal level that proved discouraging for a while, I’ve entered into a relationship with a fellow wine professional. Most of us would agree that personal information is generally at its best when left off of a blog, but I know it can’t hurt to mention that without choosing the path where wine has led me, I would not have met this person. I realize that I’m enjoying wine more now that I’m not opening bottles alone for the purpose of self-educating, and with it comes so much more. So, when God brought wine into my life, did He bring me happiness? ABSOLUTELY.
Sometimes I forget to thank God for the many blessings in my life. Sometimes I take things for granted. But as more and more people tell me that they wish they had my job, that they wish they got to hang around other wine professionals, and that they wish they got to drink wine all day and night, while I’d like to remind them that being in the wine industry is still a job and isn’t just fun all the time, I’d also like to remind myself just how lucky I am. And that, yes, God wants me to be happy. And with my job, I’m enjoying bringing good wine to others so that they too may be happy.