My World in Wine

Wine Rochester Minnesota

My World in Wine

About eight years ago, my cousin’s husband reached out to me and asked if I would like to get into selling wine. I couldn’t tell if he was joking. Because at the time, I was selling print advertising for a yellow page directory door to door. Not exactly my dream job. Oh, and I sucked at it. The daily hustle and grind in a dying industry did little to boost my morale. Honestly, when I heard that I could get into the wine business, I jumped at the chance.  

Selling wine was everything that anyone in their early 20’s could appreciate. I was not only able but encouraged to sample wine during the day. Did I just hit the jackpot? When I got home…. I was able to enjoy those open bottles of wine even further. I was so awestruck by the idea that I WAS SELLING WINE! I was the adult milk man and I was great at it. After two years of selling the sweet nectar of fermented grapes, I drove up to the Minneapolis headquarters expecting an award or at least acknowledgment for the successful year I had. Instead, I was let go. This crushed me, absolutely crushed me. No grape pun intended. You may ask… How does a 24-25 year old bounce back? I”ll tell you – he moves to the cities with his girlfriend and accepts a job with another wine distributor. 

Wine Rochester Minnesota
Wine barrels at Inglenook Estates, located in California.

After moving to Minneapolis, I learned a lot of things about myself. Namely; you aren’t as patient as you preach, you actually miss your mother and YOU DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WINE. Damn. Upon this realization, I worked on 2 of the 3. The company that had previously let me go, reached out and offered me a great job. Not only did they want me back, they wanted to pay me to learn about wine, I would get to work with the top stores in the metro and I would get to work with the awesome people I missed. I wasn’t going to pass this up.  

Wine Rochester Minnesota
Sommelier designation from a course I took in Minneapolis.

Learning about wine was one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given. And I learned a lot about myself at the same time. I obviously didn’t stay in that industry, but I did pass the level 2 Wine Spirits Education Trust and the level 1 Courts of Sommelier. It felt good to learn about something I enjoyed so much.  

I may have nothing to do with the wine industry anymore, but I probably know more about wine, regions, varietals and producers now, more than ever. 

And for all the red wine lovers out there, here are three of my personal favorites all for around $20 a bottle:

  • Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet
  • Roth Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Francis Coppola Claret
Drew Fleming Owner and President of R. Fleming Construction