Shortly after I began my career at Talley Vineyards, I realized there was a huge disparity between my job and how others envision my job. When I tell someone, “I work in the wine industry”, they tend to hear only wine and not work. There is a romanticized perception that my days are made up of leisurely wine tastings, pleasant strolls through the vineyard and the occasional barefooted stomping of some grapes. Because my days really don’t look like that - because I actually work really hard at a job that can be as complicated, frustrating and demanding as any other - I sometimes feel resentful when others don’t see that. But now that I am home from the cruise, things have changed. Since I was recently on the receiving end of the all time greatest workplace perk, I have put all resentment aside and admit this industry is a pretty fantastic one to work in.
So, let me tell you a bit about the cruise. I was invited to join the Talley family, as well as a handful of our customers, aboard the Crystal Serenity as it cruised from Istanbul, Turkey to Civitavecchia, Italy. It is a tremendous understatement to say that this was the trip of a lifetime. Every morning I woke up in a new and exciting port, always a place I had never before visited, and had the day to explore another remarkable location. As a novice to international travel, I was in awe of the ancient sites we visited. Is it too simplistic to say that places like Ephesus and Pompeii amazed me because they were really, really old? Other highlights of our time in port included learning about the breathtaking architecture in Istanbul, swimming in the warm, clear waters of Greece, and visiting the Vatican City. Lowlights? Hmmm… I guess there weren’t any. Our time onboard the ship actually managed to be as enjoyable as our port visits. First of all, I loved meeting and getting to know other travelers, especially the Talley Vineyards customers, some that I had a prior phone or email relationship with. In addition, the quality of the accommodations, the caliber of service and the delicious food - there was so, so much food - all added to the experience. I continue to marvel at my good fortune to have had such an opportunity.
If my experience leaves you feeling that you “missed the boat” (sorry, I couldn’t help it) by not joining us on this cruise, don’t despair. Talley Vineyards will be back onboard the Crystal Serenity June 21-28, 2015. Next summer’s cruise will be from Venice, Italy to Monte Carlo, Monaco and we will be joined by our friends at Ancient Peaks and Qupe wineries. I am certain that it will be another incredible adventure. If you are interested in being a part of it I encourage you to contact Millennium Travel to learn more or book accommodations. In the meantime, I will be back in my office at Talley Vineyards working hard, but also quietly trying to figure out the best way to get myself back on that ship next year. Bon voyage!
It’s July and I’m so happy that we are in the first week of this lovely summer month. The way I’m celebrating this first week of July is, of course, with food and drink. To start the month I poured myself a glass of our Albarino from my Talley growler and whipped up a Talley Farms harvest box inspired pasta using up a lot of my remaining veggies. It was the perfect pairing to start the month and will hopefully inspire my beloved San Francisco Giants to get over their “June Swoon” and start winning some games. On Tuesday, a group of us from Talley went to a local restaurant, Rooster Creek Tavern, to watch the USA-Belgium soccer game. It was great to experience the “Collective Joy” and watch the game with a group of people all rooting for the same outcome. Team USA didn’t pull off the upset, but my co-workers and I had a fun time and I enjoyed a tasty sea bass taco salad and a Figueroa Mountain Red Lager.
To continue my week, my family went to a SLO Blues baseball game. If you are ever visiting San Luis Obispo in July, make it a point to go to a Blues game. The Blues are our local semi-pro team made up of Division I college baseball players. This is one of the best family outings in our area with tickets only $6 each (young kids are free) and you can sit in stadium seating or bring your own lawn chairs and watch quality baseball. There is also great food with the Rib Line cooking up the classic central coast meal of Tri-tip sandwich, beans and garlic bread or you can do what I do and eat their award winning chili. It’s so good with either a glass of local red wine or some ice cold beer. If the Blues hit a home run, beer and wine is 1/2 off for the next inning!
It’s my dad’s birthday today and although I won’t be with him to celebrate I’ve already set aside a bottle of 1997 Rosemary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir to eat with the grilled salmon salad we’ll be having for dinner tonight. This is one of my favorite meals and here is a link to the recipe. I often drink this with one of our chardonnays but my dad is more of a red wine guy so that’s why I chose the Pinot. The big finish of the week will be spending time with some out-of-town friends. The plan is to head to the beach for some kayaking and paddle boarding, a little hiking, and of course a Fourth of July BBQ where I’ll be serving up some Bishop’s Peak 2011 Petite Sirah with Apple, Goat Cheese stuffed Turkey burgers. Their visit will finish up on Sunday enjoying Tunes at Talley with the band Proxima Parada and food truck Gusto on the Go. I’m so fortunate I work at a place that I want to hang out at on my day off. I’ll bring some lawn chairs, some wine glasses from home, lots of sunscreen and will enjoy sharing a bottle of wine and food with my long time friends.
I clearly can always find a reason to celebrate and encourage you all to fill your weeks with fun times, great friends, good food and always tasty Talley wine!