While I’ve been stuck in quarantine, my memories from traveling have been on my mind. I have the travel bug and let me tell you how heartbreaking it was to hear that my summer trips to Ontario and Italy this year were canceled. Nonetheless, I’m trying my best to keep myself busy at home and have virtual trips to curb my need to travel. When I first released this blog, a lot of my friends asked me “what inspired you to start blogging about wine?”. Well, my summer in Europe last year was when it started.
My trip to Europe was my first international solo trip and I had the absolute time of my life. I went to 4 places in France and took short detours to Switzerland and Spain. There were a lot of interesting experiences that came out it like staying in a hostel for the first time, diving into the waters of the French Riviera, seeing the grandest architecture ever, becoming a global citizen, and dodging pickpockets. Immersing myself in a new environment really allowed me to live in the moment and gave me the freedom I needed for exponential personal growth. Now, I’d travel anywhere by myself in a heartbeat.
When I was in Bordeaux, France, I discovered how interesting the wine and spirits industry was. I had already been in the wine and spirits industry but wasn't that intrigued till I went to France. I was in a Brand Management and Value Creation in Wine and Spirits class at the Kedge Business School to get credits for my Business degree. Jokingly, I chose to be there more for the sake of going on a trip than going to school, like everyone else on international exchange, but I actually learned a lot. My professor was so passionate in a French way which was quite entertaining to watch. Her enthusiasm and depth of knowledge in the industry mixed with her French passion just radiated on me. I guess things become cooler and more interesting when it comes from a foreign culture. I learned about appellations, terroirs, viticulture, branding strategies of appellations, and the global economy of the industry (I’ll be blogging about these topics in the coming weeks). So, that’s where my passion for the wine industry really spurred from.
During this class, I got to go to Cité du Vin, the biggest wine museum in the world. It was very interactive and immersive and had exhibits on the winemaking process, global wine hubs, and gastronomy. In the end, I got a view of Bordeaux from the highest point of the museum while having a glass of wine. From beginning to end, the experience at Cité du Vin was very intuitive and well-orchestrated.
Another place I visited was Saint-Émilion, a charming village made of limestone around 1 hour from Bordeaux. If you’ve watched classic 1970s medieval films like The Princess Bride, Saint-Émilion looks like the place to film those movies. There were a lot of vineyards surrounding the village and my class got a tour and wine tasting from 1 of the vineyards, Château Villemaurine. Afterward, we walked down the cobblestone streets while learning about the village's history and drank Lillet apéritifs, which is a sweet white wine in a cocktail style drink.
These are just a few of the moments in my Europe trip that really inspired me to start blogging about wine. I mean with all the wine tastings, I couldn't say no. While you’re in quarantine, I encourage you to start Googling things about the wine industry, do at-home wine tasting, and explore this area. I can assure you, there is so much to learn about wine, you won’t get bored. In a couple of days, I’ll have a blog about drinks that bring the European experience to your home, so stay tuned!