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Me with wine producer Jim Caldwell (or “F-ing Jim Caldwell for those who understand him) at Caldwell Winery in Napa Valley.

I developed an interest in wine around 2005 when I drank a glass and was astonished at the distinct flavors I could smell and taste.  I wish I remembered the name of that wine!  It stuck with me for a long time.  I became more active purchasing and drinking wines, but never fully gained an appreciation for them.  Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV would be my next push into the world of wine.  Gary’s excitement and exuberance enhanced my curiosity even further.  Again, I would buy some bottles here and there, but “drank” them and didn’t really “taste” them.  As many of you may know, I hold the position of Chief Operating Officer at a large CPA and consulting firm which requires me to attend numerous events and dinners.  I decided to join a wine club to build up my inventory.  I began taking some tasting notes, but never had the education to appreciate some of the nuances in wine.  Like many wine lovers, I watched the movie Somm on the recommendation of a co-worker.  That was it.  That is what pushed me over the edge.  I wanted to be like those (crazy) guys and girls who studied and studied for a nearly impossible exam and learned everything and anything about wine along the way.  The journey to me is always better than the end result.  Going through the Court of Master Sommeliers program was not going to be the answer for me.  I tried law school back in the early 2000’s and was way in over my head at that time in my life.  This program would throw me into the same chaotic life.  After exploring other programs, I chose to attend the Wine & Spirt Education Trust Level 1 program in Chicago.  It was fantastic – plain and simple.  They educated me on the basics while giving me the confidence to understand wine lists, aromas and flavors.  I passed my Level 1 exam and immediately signed up for Level 2.  While more intense, Level 2 was even more enjoyable.  I passed the exam with distinction.  I have taken a few other classes along the way and will continue to attend tastings and events.  I may further educate myself as well.  Now I’m applying what I’ve learned and have decided to share it with others through my CorkAndSocial website.  I hope you find the content to be interesting.  Please enjoy!