Tag Archives: friends

The Importance of Company

When it comes to wine, this is one of my favorite philosophies:

The Importance of Company

from Wine-A-Day Calendar – 2005


“Ask any pro how he or she learned so much about wine, and the answer will probably be by tasting a lot. When it comes to acquiring wine knowledge, there’s no substitute for tasting extensively. It’s the thousand-tennis-balls theory: The more balls you hit, the more you improve your swing; the more wines you taste, the more wines you’ll know. But there is a little proviso in here that wine pros often forget to mention. To learn about wine quickly and effectively (and to have the most fun in the process), it helps to have company. That’s because a partner will detect flavors in a wine that you didn’t; a partner will like wines you don’t; and so on. A partner, in other words, causes you to expand your thinking and, as a result, your knowledge. A group works well, too. In fact, as wine education goes, group wine tastings are not only a blast, but the cost of learning is shared if everyone pitches in for the wines. Moral of the story: Round up some like-minded friends and watch your wine knowledge expand exponentially.”

This is how I learned about wine! When I first started doing Wine Tastings, a bunch of us got together on a weekly basis and took a Wine Spectator Class online. We’d read the lesson during the week and take turns getting the wines to sample during our meeting. It was so much fun!

But you don’t have to pay for a Wine Spectator Class to do this. You can host your own in-home Wine Tasting. I provide the wine and glasses. You provide the cheese, crackers, dark chocolate and friends. It’s just one way to learn about the Importance of Company.

Name one way you’ve found tasting wine in groups helpful!

The Journey to Finding Success and Friendship (Guest Post)


Today’s Guest Post is by my friend Penny in Iowa. It’s only appropriate that it’s on Wine Wednesday. We met all because of wine…

Carrie and I “work together” as independent wine consultants for The Traveling Vineyard.  Our President, who prefers to be called our “Chief Grape Stomper and Head Cheerleader”, describes the 5 F’s of our business – Fun, Friendships, Fulfillment, Flexibility, and Financial Reward.  One of my favorite things about our business is the friendships you make along the way.  I count Carrie as one of my favorite people on the planet…and I met her because of this “gig”.

I remember hearing about Carrie.  She was the “go to gal” when you needed support or advice.  The one who provided information freely, who trained anyone wanting guidance, who followed all the rules, who had the right language to use, the one willing to give of her time to help someone else.  Always.  The Heart of the Company.

In the early days, Carrie and I grew our teams and our customer bases, and checked in with each other for support and encouragement.  We earned trips together, traveling to Puerto Vallarta, Tuscany, and the Napa Valley.  Over time and a mutual passion for wine, we got to know each other on a more personal level and shared in each other’s accomplishments, as well as the day-to-day frustrations…whether they were business objectives, fitness goals, or even recipes!

Through all of this, I’ve learned that it’s impossible to put a value on the personal friendships gained through a direct selling business.  Financial Reward is nice, but many of the accomplishments leading to those rewards is possible (or at least more probable) through support and encouragement by those who understand the business and each other.  Carrie and I share ideas, brainstorm solutions, hold each other accountable, and are “big fans” of each other.  How often do you find that kind of friendship at a corporate job?  In a lifetime?

Penny (left) with Joanne, Carrie and Debbie - forever friends all because of wine...

Penny Fitzgerald is a Director and Independent Wine Consultant with The Traveling Vineyard.  To learn more about Penny, visit www.myttv.com/winechick; or find her on facebook at www.facebook.com/TTVWineChick.

Guest Post Week!


It’s Guest Post Week here at Season It Already!


Wineaux – a wine lover that uses a glass

The Wineaux definition above was printed on a cute t-shirt my in-laws gave me as a gift. 🙂 How appropriate!

The reason why I mention this is that something happened unintentionally. I asked three people in my life to be guest bloggers this week. After I started thinking about how I would introduce them, I realized that the reason I knew them was that we all have done in-home Wine Tastings as part of The Traveling Vineyard! Without even knowing it, I made a connection… We were all fellow Wineaux.

My biggest fear is not doing these great friends of mine justice in introducing them, but here goes! These are the people you’ll be meeting this week:

Jared and I met at a team gathering for The Traveling Vineyard, not too long after I first joined. Since then, he’s kind of become the older brother that I never had. (Okay, he’s not that much older, but my younger brother is 6 feet, 4 inches tall, so I can’t exactly call Jared my bigger brother.) Jared took some extensive courses and got his Wine Professional Certification a few years back. Our love of wine and dining out in the Twin Cities are just two things we have in common!

Jared - fellow Wineaux

I believe Penny and I first met at a Leadership Conference for The Traveling Vineyard in Florida. Although she was in Iowa, we became great friends. We worked for and earned Team Leader status right around the same time. And although it was such a great accomplishment, we wished that someone had come and thrown confetti like we just won a new car. That’s how giddy we felt. Over the years, we’ve been able to earn trips and travel together. She is one friend that will listen until the cows come home… {She is in Iowa, ya know…}. 😉 And while she can be dead honest and tell it like it is, fellow consultants still call her “Positive Penny” for a reason.

Positive (and pretty damn fun) Penny - a fellow Wineaux

Although she was a consultant on different team in Minnesota, our paths crossed enough that Stacy and I became fast friends. It seemed that we had so much to talk about right from the start. And while we didn’t really have a whole lot in common at the time {now that I give it some thought}, we think so much alike. It’s *almost* scary. Stacy and I can sit and talk for hours. When she lived nearby and worked from home, she’d let me ship my tasting sets to her address so she could sign for them. I’d come over to pick them up and we would talk for hours. It was the perfect excuse to get together and see each other. {And it was often over wine, of course.}

Stacy (a fellow Wineaux) and family - adorable, no?!

These are just three people that I have come to know and love through The Traveling Vineyard. That was one thing I didn’t expect nor was I looking for when I stared doing Wine Tastings. Rarely does someone go into a direct sales party-plan business looking for more friends. But that’s been the most rewarding part. I can’t imagine my life without these people now. It kind of makes me teary-eyed!

Oh, and if you are lucky, you just might see a guest post from Rob this week, too…We will see!

In any case, if you haven’t read my mantra anywhere quite yet, I just need to sum my guest posts up with it:

“Over a bottle of wine, many a friend is made…” (Unknown)