Wine I love you, my journey to self discovery, started when I traveled to a yoga and fitness retreat in Tulum, Mexico, on a new journey of “self discovery”. Traveling solo for the first time in a while, I booked my trip wanting to do some soul searching and gain new perspective of the direction I wanted to steer my life in (plus getting in a little sun and beach time), but what I left with was a new found energy to create something that had been building up inside of me my whole life.
To other people it’s simple, find a job to afford what they need in life to be happy and self-sufficient. For me, a job with a salary wasn’t going to be enough, it had to be something I loved, something I believed in and something where I could connect with people and create unforgettable experiences for them.
To give you a bit of background, I have always been a self starter. My first business venture, “Pen Friday” was launched in Grade 6. My “business partner” and I would wrap colourful string around pens and sell them for $0.75 each in our school lobby at lunch. I think we made a couple hundred dollars which we donated to The Breast Cancer Foundation (at least our hearts were in a good place).[x_clear]
The phrase “Wine I love you” that kept popping into my mind, led me to the first job I have ever really loved at Everything Wine in North Vancouver. Aside from the fact that I didn’t know anything about wine when I started, my role as Event Coordinator led me to the realization of my true calling. Working within a small community to plan tasting events and bi-annual food and wine festivals was when I found myself most able to shine. Of course, you can’t work in a wine store and make friends with all your co-workers who are tremendously knowledgeable in wine (and drink wine daily) when you know nothing yourself (I was teased A LOT!), so I started learning and studying, and soon became quite knowledgeable in the world of wine! It wasn’t long until I received my first two certifications and I was able to incorporate this new found knowledge into planning events, which made them even more successful!
After I moved back to Ontario, I rented a small bachelor apartment in Liberty Village (with the best view of the city!) Only knowing one other person in the neighbourhood and following on with my “Wine I love you” feelings, led me to start my own wine club to meet my neighbours and see if anyone was as interested in wine as I was. I posted the club on the Liberty Village Residents Association Page – which is a phenomenal outlet to meet people and see what’s happening around the neighbourhood. The reaction was shocking! Within a couple of weeks, the club grew to over 450 members, all avid to see what this new network would offer. I realized that my concept of running a “small” club and inviting people over to meet, drink wine and socialize, would have to expand.. and that meant finding a bigger location than my 450 square foot bachelor apartment!
Our events started off with monthly tastings in my building party room. I created guest lists with the first 70 people who R.S.V.P.’d (I have never received more messages on Facebook in my life!), and each guest would bring a bottle of wine and dish to pair pertaining to a theme chosen. My neighbours REALLY got involved, and it created this world of meeting new people while drinking wine and eating (some people went all out and made INCREDIBLE dishes). It was unbelievable to witness how well everyone got along while enjoying the same thing!
After a couple of these social events, some of the members starting inquiring ways to learn more about wine in a smaller setting. Before I knew it, I was planning intimate wine tastings for members of the club and for their family and friends. This gave me the opportunity to share my knowledge about different wines, food pairings, and wine renown regions around the world.
Welcome to Vine & Vintage, a journey into the wonderful world of wine and the story behind the bottle. Come explore with me while we learn and interact with one another through wine tasting and food pairing.
Now you can understand when I say “Wine I love you”!
“Figure out who you are. Optimize who you are, but never apologize for who you are”
– Gary Vee