Friday, January 8, 2010

Traveling through the Wine and Spirits

After many years as a (magazine, web and book) tennis writer, I found myself without full time work in that field in 2008.  I was lucky enough that I had the experience and opportunity to continue my work as a writer, but I needed an additional niche to fill my schedule (not to mention my pocketbook).  I stumbled upon the obvious one purely by accident.

Let me begin with the beginning. I have been a writer for as long as I can remember, working for magazines even while I was a “kid” in school.  One of the things I did to push my career forward was to join the staff of the C.W. Post Pioneer.   It was a wonderful experience to be on the newspaper staff then (where I worked my way to Managing Editor), but it led to an even more exciting opportunity now.

In January of 2008, there was a reunion at C.W. Post of past editors of the newspaper and magazines.  I hadn’t seen anyone in years so I thought it might be fun.  It was by chance that I met former fellow Pioneer editor Frank Coleman, who was living in the D.C. area and just happened to be in New York that weekend.  Frank is now the Sr. Vice President of Marketing for Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).  He overhead me mention to someone that I was a freelance writer at a crossroads of looking for an additional writing subject to focus on. It just happened that he was for another journalist to go on an upcoming trip to Cognac, France.

When I obtained an assignment and agreed to go on the trip, I was focused on the travel – something that was always a part of my life.  My love of travel was born before I was as my father believed vacations were a necessity in life. In the early days, it was just car trips, but it later grew into adventures that led to the Caribbean, Europe and even Israel.  I would continue to travel as much as I could over the years. As a tennis writer there was always a tournament somewhere to go to and I did my best to build trips around them.

The interest in wine was another one of mine. It was on a tennis trip to Croatia that I stayed with a family who had their own vineyard.  I found it fascinating to take the tour through the grapes just outside the door of where I was staying.   I remember photographing it endlessly and thinking about all the places that were starting their own small vineyards.

I always loved visiting Napa and the wineries in my longtime Long Island home. I remember the smells as I strolled the Bacardi factory and the aromas at Busch Gardens.  It had never occurred to me that I could combine my love of travel with a desire to learn more about spirits -- until that college reunion.  There I was offered the opportunity to go to Cognac and learn about the drink and the town at the same time.   Even then I didn't imagine that I would step off that high speed train into a new career.

It took just a week of watching, drinking and photographing to know I found my new niche was as a Wine and Spirits Traveler.  I've been the Wine And Spirits Travel Examiner for six months now.  I've found myself writing for additional publications (Travels Golflink, Trails & EHow for Matador ) with more assignments added recently (GoNomad, GirlsGetaway, Gadling).  It seemed only appropriate that I have my own place for the personal experience of my recent travel and the many trips to come. So, welcome to Wine And Spirits Travel!

1 comment:

  1. It's great to see you launch your own blog. I'm looking forward to tasting and traveling vicariously through your writing. And it will help me better appreciate the wine and spirits I encounter here in NYC.