Ever since I left the corporate world and my day job, I have gotten into the habit of asking myself the question “why do I do what I do?” on a regular basis.  The reason I finally started working for myself was, after all, that I felt I needed a bigger purpose for working and living, that was also aligned with my values and interests.

The other day I came to ponder if wine really was all that meaningful and if I was wasting my time sharing my experiences of this drink I so love. After all, I’m not saving mother Earth or helping feed starving children around the world.  How and who does it help, if any?

We are often asked what makes us happy, and my answer is always food and wine (besides animals of course).  Ever since I was a child, I remember always looking forward to coming home from school to see what my mom, an avid home cook, had made that day.  There was always something cooking, whether it was homemade jam, pate, cakes or breads.  Years (and I mean years!) later, I eventually decided to go to culinary school and become a chef, and when I decided to go vegan my mission became to show people that you can still eat deliciously even if you give up meat, fish, dairy and eggs.

While it’s easy to see a purpose in teaching people how to cook healthy, nutritious and tasty plant-based meals, where does wine fit in, exactly?

Wine to me represents a philosophy, a way of life and a vessel for uniting people. 

In a world that often times seems so hurried, disconnected and lost, wine becomes a reason to slow down. To remember what life is about. To appreciate the small, wondrous things that makes us feel grateful. To pay attention to your senses.  To learn about other cultures, lifestyles and be inspired to listen to, and to tell stories.  In just a sip I can be transported back to the rolling hills of Tuscany, to the markets in Beaune or to a seaside taverna in Greece.  I can taste the love, hard work and dreams of the winemaker who risked everything to put this wine out.  There is no other beverage that does this for me.

Wine should be a personal experience.  Yet there are so many opinionated people out there, and wine snobs are everywhere. Telling you what you should smell, taste, act and drink based on the latest and the greatest.  Don’t pay any mind to them.  If a wine brings out a special feeling in you, the wine has done its job.

Wine inspires me to create. Particularly in the kitchen.  It pleases me to no end to see the smiles on people’s faces when they taste my food.  I feel like I’m contributing to someone’s day, and when I pull out a special bottle of wine to pair my meals with, there is no place I’d rather be than just right then and there. 

Through food and wine I have gained many new friends and learned so much about others and myself.  I continue to want to learn and absorb new information each and every day.   My curious nature matches perfectly with the world of wine, because you can quite literally not ever know all there is to know about this mysterious beverage.  It’s constantly evolving, and as you go through life and gain new experiences, your impressions of wine will change and continue to enrich your senses. Doesn’t that sound just magical?

I often think it’s a lost art to just fall in love with something just because it gives you an unexplained sense of gratitude.  To have no hidden agenda, but to want to experience what it feels like to really enjoy life.  No deadlines, no budgets to be met or people to please. Just you and the wine.  

So what does wine have to do with it? Everything. Finding meaning behind living.  Sharing your joys and pleasures with others and inspiring them to go search for what makes them love and laugh too.  Wine can do that. Wine brings people together, and when enjoyed the way it’s meant to be enjoyed – without pretense, with people you love and with food that makes you happy… well is this question even a question anymore?

If you’re interested in learning more how you can enhance your dining experience by pairing wines with plant-based dishes, you can download my free guide HERE.