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10 Tips to a Lasting Wine Industry Career

10 Tips to a Lasting Wine Industry Career

Rebecca Chapa | Chef's Blade

Believe me, I understand the desire to take the fast track, but when someone who want the fast track asks me for advice and then tell me that they are not willing to put in the time and effort to get there, I immediately lose respect. Ask any MW/MS (Master of Wine/Master Sommelier) and they will tell you that achieving success in the wine industry is not a short term proposition. It takes years, even a lifetime or generations. You are dealing with a product that is many years in the making. Patience in the wine industry is more than a virtue, it’s a necessity.

So here are my top 10 suggestions for becoming successful in the wine business (not to imply that I am a success by the way.):

10. Be OPEN to ideas. There is no one right way, no one credential or degree that can buy you a spot at the top of the business. There is no perfect job to launch your career. Don’t forget that it’s not the destination but your path that makes you an asset to the wine industry. I never did achieve the Master of Wine title but if I had not devoted so much time and energy to it, I would not have made it to where I am today. I would not trade those years for any initials after my name.

9. Be INQUISITIVE. Ask questions, get opinions, do research, find out as many possible explanations as possible and then search for the answers.

8. Be PROACTIVE. No one, not even the very best educators out there, will be able to teach you what you need to know to become an expert. You must always be learning, searching, and enriching yourself. This is not a static business but requires constant research. Take what resonates with you from each mentor and find your own truth by combining all these lessons.

7. Be SOCIAL. Your best possible asset is the network you create. Getting to know the major players can be helpful but do not discount your peers or those you would think are “behind you.” You never know where these people are going to pop up.

6. Be GENUINE. It’s all too obvious when someone is out there trying to gain momentum by stepping on the shoulders of others rather than taking the time to chart a course all their own.

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