New blog post alert! I originally started writing this for this blog after a couple friends asked me how I know so much about wine. But then the kind folks at the Pouring Points blog at the the Napa Valley Wine Academy liked the idea – so I expanded it and voila!
The truth is – I’m still learning. But I discovered through reading, being active on social media, finding like-minded friends and ultimately building my confidence levels, it wasn’t too difficult to do. So here are some of the tricks and resources I’ve used to jump start my journey. If you’re just starting out, I hope they’re helpful to you, too!
When I started this tumblr 18 months ago, it was an experiment. A place for personal writing, and a home to share interesting wine stories or pass along some thoughts that were longer than 140 characters. It was also a place I could geek out on wine and not bore my non-wine-interested followers on other social media platforms.
I didn’t know where this would take me, nor do I know now my exact destination. But writing here flooded me with confidence and sparked the creative juice that had been buried deep inside me after spending so many years focused on daily and investigative hard news. It reminded me how much I enjoyed getting lost in my own words (rather than helping someone else shine). It introduced me to new friends and new experiences. It gave me an outlet to learn. And also, a place to brag. Most importantly, it’s forced me to look deeper into my passion.
I’ve written before how understanding wine is a journey for me. There’s not one aha moment or a single bottle of wine, but it’s essentially a series of small experiences that keep building upon each other.
So, I’m beyond thrilled and over the moon to share that another step in that journey is about to take place.
Last week I was notified that I was accepted to attend The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley. This year’s event is slightly different than the previous 11 years. The only way to attend is to be awarded a fellowship or be an “editor’s choice” from an existing wine or travel publication. So I submitted an application for a fellowship. That included professional writing samples (although I also included a few items from this site, since my professional writing on wine is still very new), letters of recommendations and a cover letter that I took particular care in writing to convince the judges I’d be a perfect participant (I’m not sure how much wine they were drinking when they read everything, but it worked!).
This means that for four days in February, I’ll get to interact with, learn from and discuss everything wine with titans of the wine writing world, as well as meet more folks in the wine industry. It will also be an opportunity to meet other participants – who like me – share this passion. (They haven’t published a list of the participants yet, but the speaker list is beyond impressive!) Panels will take place at both Meadowood – a gorgeous resort in St. Helena – and the Culinary Institute of America. As a fellow, all expenses (except travel to Napa and a few of the meals) are paid. I’m beyond honored and humbled by this opportunity.
It’s funny, about a year ago I followed tweets from the 2015 symposium, and fidgeted in my seat at work because I really wanted to be a part of it – and now that’s happening. It’s a fabulous reminder that anything you want is in reach if you keep focusing on what makes you happy.
Stay tuned in February, I’ll be sure to come back with a complete report!