Sometimes I like to sit back and reflect on my life, maybe even with a glass of wine in hand.
(And I’m painfully aware of how old the above statement makes me sound).
How did I become a sommelier?
Fate and Fortune
Every time I’m asked this question, I have to think it was just… luck.
I don’t think that I was anything special before my teens. Just another child being run through the system. Really, I had no friends, and was the target of bullying by some midget and his ugly gang.
I do have one fond memory from this time – my Year 5 teacher liked to give our class lateral thinking puzzles. I took great pleasure in trying to solve them, and even wrote some of my own and brought them to class. Maybe this was the origin for my aptitude for problem-solving.
Then came High School. I enjoyed mathematics and did well in tests at first, but for some reason I started to lose interest and could no longer keep up with the complexity after around Year 9 or 10. This was about the same time that I picked up a hobby: Close-Up Magic.
I liked knowing things that other people didn’t. I enjoyed amazing people with my skills. It was cool.
As I spent more time with magic, my studies suffered. In our Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams I barely scraped a score sufficient to apply for university.
I had enjoyed Economics in High School, so it seemed like a good idea at the time to study Economics at university. This turned out to be a mistake; one of the core units was Accounting, which was taught by an insufferable Malaysian lady with an indecipherable accent – a silly thing, but I was still young and immature. I failed Accounting twice; unable to pass this core unit, I would not be able to study Economics.
So I transfered to Arts. The most useless “discipline” a university could offer.
I suffered through their sermons and brainwashing, disguised as lectures and tutorials.
Eventually, mercifully, I graduated. To face a new hell: finding a job.
I was a door-to-door salesman. I’m not proud of it, but it happened. I quit after one month.
I was unemployed for six months.
Then I stumbled upon a job at this wine company…
- The Making Of A Sommelier – Part 1
- The Making Of A Sommelier – Part 2
- The Making Of A Sommelier – Part 3
- The Making Of A Sommelier – Part 4
- Hi, My Name Is Mark Law, And I’m A Certified Sommelier
- Going Back To School
- Here I Am!
How did I get here?
No one would think of teaching wine to primary schoolers. Yet without my Year 5 teacher, I may have never developed an aptitude for problem-solving.
Your high school career counselor would not recommended a path in wine. But without learning to perform magic in front of my peers, I may not have developed confidence in being in front of people.
If I didn’t hate that damned accounting lecturer so much, I might have passed and become an accountant.
I began in life knowing nothing about wine, “failed” at university and somehow landed here.
And I can say, with no ego, that I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out.