I'm participating in my 1st monthly wine writing challenge (#MWWC19). This is a monthly challenge put on by the Drunken Cyclist where a theme of the month is selected by the previous month's winner and wine writers interpret that theme in their own style. It's purpose is to get wine writers to challenge themselves and be more creative. As wine writers we're always writing about winery visits, wine tastings, meetings with winemakers, etc. that it's good to force us to think outside the box and focus on the writing itself. This month is the 19th challenge and the theme of this month is choice, selected by last month's winner, Elizabeth of Traveling Wine Chick.
We all make many choices in life that can take us in all different directions. You may have hit a point in your life wondering if you made a different choice at a crossroads how different your life would've been if you chose the other path. My journey and choices through the wine world have led me so far to where I am today and it's been a whirlwind of a ride. I never would've thought that I'd be a wine blogger and some days I ask myself why I got into this when I work a fulltime job and spend the nights writing and building relationships, but in the end I'm grateful for the opportunity it has presented and made me a better person.
My beginning in the wine industry
After living in Italy for a short period of time 14 years ago this month, wow how time flies, it opened my eyes to the wine world. I further was intrigued as I began making annual trips to the Finger Lakes wine region in upstate New York introduced to me by one of my good friends that used to work for the Fox Run Vineyards. I was curious about what it was to work in the wine industry at that point, but not being local to a wine region living in the Boston area I figured the best way to immerse myself in the business, while still holding down my career, was to chose to work at a retail wine shop part time. This way I was surrounded by wine, talking about it, drinking it and establishing contacts within the industry.
I worked in wine retail part-time for 5 years until I bought my first home and moved further away. I tried to continue to study the Italian language and the world of wine and I was completely overwhelmed. Plus, I was not doing each one to my full potential. I chose to take some Italian classes for about 4-5 years and focus on that for the time instead. Still practicing to this day as it's a never ending process, I felt it was time to get reimmersed in the wine industry. This is when my blog, Vino Travels, began. Shortly after I started my blog I even gave selling wine part-time for an Italian wine importer a chance, but there are a whole set of reasons why that wasn't the path that I wanted to go.
I felt that if I started a blog it would force me to read and research wine continuously every week. Boy I didn't know what I was getting into. I started just writing about wines I was trying that I really enjoyed, so if you look back through my very first blogs you'll see blogs about wines from all over the world, but I felt that I still was trying to take on too much all at once. I sat down and figured I needed to make a choice about the direction that I wanted to head towards and what the goals of my blog were really going to be.
Why an Italian wine blog?
I had been to Italy a multitude of times, had been to many regions, understood the language and probably had the best understanding of Italian wine. Plus, being of Italian heritage and meeting so many great winemakers throughout Italy I wanted to tell their story and open the eyes of wine drinkers around the world that wine life isn't all about cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and merlot. What better focus for me than on Italian wines. I had so many stories to tell of all the winemakers I had met, my favorite grapes and wines I tasted along the way. And so Vino Travels was born and is in it's 2nd year. I'm grateful for the opportunities that have come my way and the connections I have made around the world. I'm also excited about what tomorrow brings and I still feel that there is more to come with my future in the world of wine. It was the best choice I've made to this day.