To Reach the Port of Heaven

To Reach the Port of Heaven

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the Port of Heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but sail we must, and not drift, nor lie anchor.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

The Right Timing

The Right Timing

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do”


A friend of mine recently noted that I seem to be in all the right places at all the right times. While I do find myself getting my foot in the door at a few correct moments, I attribute that luck to my persistence and hard work.

Before I came to Walla Walla I was working for a nation-wide wine retailer. I liked my job, but I hoped that I could make a better connection with the industry than fighting for America’s superstore.

I formulated plans to leave, and began searching for the right place to go. I landed a job interview for an Event Coordinator position at a winery in California’s San Joaquin Valley. While my hopes were high, my qualifications were unsatisfactory. I did not get the job, and I found myself back at square one. (more…)

13 Days in Walla Walla

On August 14th, my wife and I set out for the West Coast. Driving separate vehicles, we took with us everything we could stuff in and between our boxes, and headed west. Our destination: Walla Walla, Washington.

Awaiting us was a one week booking at a Motel 6, and the promise of an opportunity for me to work as a harvest intern at a local, premium winery. Jordan, while being very hirable and sporting a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, would be arriving unemployed.

For those of you unfamiliar with the business, a harvest intern is the lowest rung on a winery’s ladder. The job is full of long, stressful hours, surrounded by plenty of machines and chemicals that could seriously injure or even kill you. Your job is to show up whenever the cellar master calls and follow his instructions from the moment you arrive until the moment he says “go home.” There is no 9am-5pm. Hours are unpredictable, and you are unemployed when the roughly three month season is over. (more…)

Tastings: The Rhône

Tastings: The Rhône

At the moment I am involved in the WSET level 3 program. Throughout the program, there are recommended tastings in which the student is given a list of wine styles, and is expected to taste and interpret each of those styles. While there is nothing guaranteeing that a student will taste all of these wines, I cannot stress enough how vital tasting practice is. Learning about wine by simply reading; would be as if you were attending an art history class where you were only given explanations of paintings and styles used, but you were never able to actually see the image. Wine is art, and to truly understand it, you must taste it. (more…)

Studying Wine: Creating Quizzes for AVAs

So I’ve been spending some time lately studying for an upcoming test. For this test I need to learn just under 40 American Viticultural Areas in addition to wineries and important people influential to those regions. That is a lot of data so I needed to find a few ways to organize the information into an easily understood and cost-effective delivery system to study from.

I have begun working on creating small quizzes for myself with each of these AVAs. The one below is mostly just re-arranged material from my study guide; organized in a way where I can reinforce knowledge without (more…)