When I was young, a wise co-worker once told me that your 20’s are a terrible time, and your 30’s are amazing by comparison. I’m sure she was trying to make me feel better because I had just been dumped, yet again.
Her reasoning was that your 20’s are a perpetual state of inner confusion; you’re still trying to figure out who you are, and what you want out of life. By the time you hit the big 3-0 you have the big things figured out.
That may not be true for all, but it definitely was true for me.
I attended college later in life, and at 28 I found myself at an academic crossroad. I couldn’t put it off any longer – I finally had to declare a major. I was studying science and math in hopes of going into medicine, and while I truly enjoyed the subject matter, a career in the health care field didn’t feel right.
Spring Break arrived quickly, and the next thing I knew I was visiting my best friend in France. Already a budding food and wine professional back home, she coordinated visits to nearby wine regions and tastings. It was there, in the barrel room at a family-owned winery in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, that I fell in love with wine. Once I returned to the states I read every wine book I could get my hands on, finished up my Philosophy degree, backpacked around Europe, and enrolled in culinary school.
The idea was to always work in wine, but I wanted to understand food and flavor better. After graduation, I fell down the rabbit hole and cooked for a while. Once I arrived in Dallas, I enrolled in wine school and transitioned back to the front of house restaurant life.
Now I’m a Sommelier, and I train our staff on food and beverage production. I don’t make the kind of money I could have in health care, but deep down I really don’t care. I’m passionate about food and wine, I love what I do, and can’t imagine working in any other field. I wouldn’t change a thing. I guess that’s the key to getting to know yourself as you age.
Last week in Oregon I had a wine-tasting experience that rivaled that pivotal time for me in France, and it was at Brooks Winery in Amity, Oregon. I have loved their wines for years, and visiting only helped to reinforce my adoration for them as individuals, and as a winery.
Our incredible host, Gerry with a G, sat down with us and poured a myriad of wines, told the heart-string pulling story of how the winery came to be (you can hear all about it in the film American Wine Story), and gave me detailed resource materials on Biodynamic Farming I plan to share with our team.
I may have also eaten some Pinot Noir grapes off of the vine. Man those puppies were sweet.