Teaching Wine and Living the Dream

Please pardon the somewhat cheesy title of this post, but I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that I accomplished something last night that takes me further down the road of my dream wine career. At SoMar, we are holding a series of five classes under the banner “Wine 101,” and I taught the second class in the series on Italian wine. Overall… I think it went well!
I had been preparing for weeks for class, but in recent days I had really ramped up my efforts, and my nervousness increased correspondingly. Since I started working at SoMar and taking wine classes myself, I’ve claimed that teaching others about wine is something I would love to do. But now that I finally had the opportunity – and while I was TRULY grateful for the opportunity, which I don’t think I would have had elsewhere – I was also terrified that this dream of mine would erupt spectacularly in flames as it turned out that I was a rotten teacher. This is a bit embarrassing, but I actually spontaneously started crying before I went to work yesterday, and it wasn’t until then that I realized how much teaching this class meant to me. I think I can honestly say that nothing I had done earlier in my career meant as much to me in terms of personal fulfillment.
Knowledge-wise, I think I was pretty well prepared. But the practical experience of teaching is completely different from talking to myself in my living room. I was very lucky to have amazing students/customers, who were enthusiastic and engaged. I ended up having a lot of fun!!
I definitely realized that, of course, I have a LOT to learn about teaching. For instance, when throwing around acronyms like DOCG and trying to explain the difference between Vino Nobile de Montepulciano and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, I can’t just assume that people are going to follow along at my pace – the map in front of them is not enough! Fortunately, I have an excellent role model for a boss. He gave me great advice, and although I didn’t get to pay much attention when he taught the first class, I will definitely be more attentive when we switch and he teaches the next class! He is excellent at engaging the students and throwing in funny anecdotes, as well as moving along at an appropriate pace. I don’t think he gives himself enough credit!
I now have another month to prepare for my next class – on Australia and New Zealand. I have to admit, as much as I love the idiosyncracies of Italy, I am looking forward to teaching a class entirely in my native language! 🙂 I still have a long way to go, but I really do feel like I’m living the dream.

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One Response

  1. Congratulations, Christina! This sounds great!

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