Wow, I cannot believe it was 8 years ago that this wine blog started. It started out of a passion for the wine world and intrigue of the digital world. It’s this passion and intrigue that is still so alive in me and I feel so lucky it is. Actually, I feel spoilt. I have a hobby that I absolutely love and because of this hobby, it has led me to a career that makes me so happy.
Before I tell you a bit more about me, I want to take this opportunity to say a massive thanks to YOU! One of the biggest perks of this wine blog is connecting and meeting so many fellow wine lovers.
From 2010-2012 I am pretty sure it was only my Mum reading the blog (thank you Mum, love you to bits!) and now nearly 15,000 people pop by for a read every month. Not to mention all the fab wine-ing chatter through my social media channels. And of course, my lovely Mr Spittoon who proofreads all my posts.
So as part of my celebrations today I wanted to share with you 8 things about me so you can get to know a bit more about me and the blog.
Oh, and it’s also mandatory to sip on a glass of wine while you’re reading this. So go grab one now.
1. It all started in a dry-emirate
I remember standing in our kitchen in Sharjah (a dry emirate in the United Arab Emirates) with Mr Spittoon trying to think of a name for this blog I wanted to start. Yep, you read that right, during part of our time in the UAE we, in fact, lived in a dry area of the country! Sharjah is right beside Dubai (aka the Sin City of the Middle East) however it is governed by different laws, including no alcohol anywhere in the emirate.
It’s kind of like how Jack Daniels home county of Moore is a dry county, so you actually can’t buy the whiskey at stores or restaurants within the county!
2. No I don’t want to blog full-time
I get asked this all the time. ‘So you must want the blog to be your main income’? The answer is no. I love blogging and fluffing around on social media chatting about all things wine, but I like it as a part-time gig. Perhaps if I didn’t love my day-job as much as I do, then it might be a different story. However, I am very happy for the blog to be a hobby.
I still laugh when people think the blog is all I do. Surprisingly only a year or so ago half of Mr Spittoon’s family thought this was the case until I informed them I have a fulltime paid job.
So what do I do by day? Well after working in online marketing roles, I branched out in March this year to start my own SEO and Google Ads consultancy called Grand Cru Digital. Naturally, the business name had to have a bit of a wine twist to it. I absolutely love helping small businesses grow their online presence and wouldn’t change anything for the world.
3. My most memorable bottle of wine
This one’s easy. A bottle of Louis Roederer 2002 Cristal Rose Champagne. Mr Spittoon bought me it for my birthday one year. I held onto it for about a couple of years before popping the cork when we were about to fly out to our wedding in Vanuatu. It was the perfect occasion to pop it. I didn’t even write a tasting note as I was so caught up in the moment of deliciousness and love.
To this day, it’s still the most amazing bottle of wine I’ve ever consumed.
4. I am shy!
I am actually a really shy person. Over the years I have come out of my shell a bit more, however, I am completely happy to be a total homebody and have little human interaction. I am particularly shy when going to cellar doors or wine events and saying who I am and what I do. If it naturally comes out in a conversation then that’s cool. However, I don’t walk into cellar doors and say I’m the Travelling Corkscrew.
I am not into huge amounts of self-promotion or attention. Which sounds kind of funny when I do what I do, but hey! A bit of liquid courage seems to help certain situations too ;)
5. I get a lot of free wine
Yes, I do get a lot of wine samples sent to me. And yes my opinions on these wines are always my own and are my honest opinion. I have a rule, instead of writing something bad about a wine or winery, I won’t write anything at all. This blog isn’t about bringing other people down or affecting someone’s livelihood. It’s about sharing my adventures through the world of wine.
After all, wine is alcohol and it’s fun, and that’s my approach to the subject.
I have a pretty diverse palate and I love trying new wines, so I am pretty lucky to be sent amazing wines to try. Whenever I post about wines I have been sent, I always make sure I disclose this, typically with #sample.
Sometimes I get Mr Spittoon to write the tasting notes as he has a great palate and it’s nice to have a fresh perspective on the blog.
6. It’s a real thing!
Yep, Mr Spittoon, in fact, made me a real life ‘Travelling Corkscrew’ which we took on our travels around Europe. Whilst, not the easiest corkscrew to use, it’s a cute little mascot for the blog.
7. I am wine-educated
Around the same time I started the blog while working in Dubai, my company at the time put me through the WSET level 2 and 3 courses. These ‘Wine & Spirits Education Trust’ courses are probably the most well-known wine accreditation you can get. They are the stepping-stones for the WSET Diploma that leads onto becoming a Master of Wine.
A number of people have asked if I’ll take my wine education further. At this point in time, I am happy with what I have done. The WSET Diploma requires a lot of attention and work, which I simply can’t fit in with running my own business.
I have also completed the edX free online wine course which I found pretty fun.
8. Do you want to see my ID?
I have been asked for ID twice when buying alcohol this year. And I know a lot of people judge me by the way I look, which I am hoping is because I look younger than I actually am. At the time of writing this post, I am in fact 32.5 years old. Yep, I am in my thirties and I have been lucky enough to see and experience so many wonderful wines and places over the years.
If I do look younger than my age, then I definitely owe that to wine. I am pretty sure it’s got some kind of anti-ageing properties in it. That sounds about right don’t you think?
So that’s a little bit more about me, the blog and now I am off to the shop to buy a bottle of Champagne!