If someone is tagged as “The Wine Professor”, I am having lunch with him – stat.
That is exactly what I managed to do, and by accident. Tony Verdoni and I are organizing a seminar at the NJ Wine and Food Festival in April focused around Tuscan wine, charcuterie, olive oil, and all things Italian. I know, because of google and being alive in this wine world I live in, that Tony and Vic Rallo have a show on the Create Channel called Eat Drink Italy. What I didn’t know was how long Tony has been “around”. Terrible way to put it, but, the guy has stories. Stories about the beginning; when wine and spirits laws in New Jersey “kind of” existed, regulation was “suggested”, and living in the grey area of life was what everyone did. Tony has a charisma, a swagger, and total direction on what happens next. I’m so into him right now.
This got me thinking – how do you find your wine voice? Your wine persona? In my opinion, information is key – when it comes to learning about wine, good information is sometimes scarce. Don’t believe everything you read, but read everything you can. Unfortunately, and understandably, opinions become fact. Opinions and emotions have nothing to do with the business of wine, but it is easy to see how they can seep in. Wine is flowery, mysterious, sexy – can’t that be part of the storytelling?
Yes and no. Get your facts straight. Fabrication and suggested thinking in wine gets me all burned up – it’s just not the truth! Know a few and just a few, informative nuggets; a Tuscan wine comes from Italy, Chianti is not a grape but rather a place, sulfites DO EXSIST IN MOST WINE YOU DRINK and that you likely do not have an allergy to them, and so on. Then create the picture in your head – find yourself on a hill in Napa sipping chardonnay, or captured in a Spanish Villa drinking Tempranillo. With a little education, your story will thrive and grow; you may find yourself living it!
And please, oh please, don’t snob around and become weird about this stuff. It’s just wine – we are not saving lives. When I speak at wine dinners, I love to tell stories about my nephew, old boyfriends, and personal affirmations that seem to connect. Everything I have done has led me to this place, and has a string attached to it. My network has become my reality – and why not feed in the wine knowledge. My own voice? It is you, now and the past, and what will be.
Are you joining me at the NJ Food and Wine Festival?http://www.crystalgolfresort.com/dine/wine-fest/
Check out my new buddy Tony Verdoni -love this guy.