January 2018 marks one year since I obtained my CSW credential. I don’t think even I realized how incredibly ambitious this was on my part — having 0 industry experience, and not much wine knowledge at all. Nevertheless, I managed to pass the exam in January of 2017. I realized almost immediately that while I now had some solid book learning, I was desperately lacking real life knowledge.
So, I began searching out every wine opportunity I could find. I created a social media presence for Side Hustle Wino and began connecting with other wine people. I read industry news sites, magazines and books. I listen to wine podcasts daily. I volunteered at numerous wine related events, and for a period of time this past year, I was planning events for 3 different Meet Ups. I accepted a side hustle job that allows me to occasionally work for pay featuring wines at Costco. Most importantly, I drank a lot of wine, because really how else am I supposed to really, truly learn? I also tried to purvey all of this activity into an occasional worthwhile blog post. I believe this method of operation is what my Dad likes to refer to as “throwing a lot of shit at the wall and seeing what sticks.”
Maybe not the best method of operating, but I did continue to learn. A lot. I am beginning to feel comfortable in my knowledge, which is something that can’t be given or studied, you have to acquire it through experiences. This is not to be interpreted as I know a lot, because I don’t. But I do know a little, and what I know now, compared to this time last year, well that is a lot. Knowing that this is just the the tip of the iceberg is what is so exciting about wine — I will never get bored with this subject matter.
I’ve attached a slideshow of some of the wines I experienced in 2017, by month. There were a few really good wine moments — a 1961 Gevrey Chambertin! A white Bordeaux – Domaine De Chevalier – that changed how I think about wine.
On a completely personal level, 2017 was a challenging year. Knee rehab for me and serious health issues for both of my parents who are 750 miles away — and I am an only child to my Mom. Both of my daughters moved into new places. My Mom moved into a new place and so did my 94 year old Grandma who is in better health than any of us.
The one thing that was severely lacking in my life in 2017 was travel. Five trips to Cleveland left me constantly chasing PTO at my day job. I ended up taking time off without pay to spend the week with my husband and daughters at Thanksgiving.
So, while am spread a little thin right now, 2018 will likely be me the end of my “real” job. It is project based and is scheduled to end this year. My plan is to “retire” from the 8 to 5 corporate environment. I hope to devote all of my time to writing, experiencing and drinking wine. Perhaps a dream job will present itself?
So, that’s where I am at. I hope this post finds you happy and healthy and sipping something delightful and I hope 2018 is full of health and happiness for you.
Cheers to a Happy New Year!