Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Importance of a Thank You...

If there is one thing you can say about my resume it's that it is ecclectic. While wine has been the focus of my career the past few years, my record of employment can be interpreted as having little focus. Restaurant management, live-to-air cooking show, heliski sales rep, hotel front desk clerk, and English teacher are some of the jobs that appear over the past decade or so of full-time employment.  The education portion of the resume would also seem to have little to do with my current employment. Yes, I have a WSET diploma but that does not seem to follow from a bilingual BA in History with a minor in Middle Eastern studies, including a semester abroad in Cairo. While my linguistic abilities in French and Spanish are an asset in the world of wine, I can't say that Japanese and Arabic have much to do with wine production. Travel to 39 countries (that's more than 1 per year of my life) and calling 5 of them "home" at some point also indicates a wanderlust that prospective employers may regard as "antsy." If only there were some job out there that combined the best this olio of employment has to offer. If only.....

...Well, it turns out there is, and I am thrilled that you have read this far to learn about my new job. I have been offered the opportunity of a lifetime to teach WSET Levels 1 - 3  on a 6-month contract through Fine Vintage Ltd. ( in.....wait for it.....Qatar! As it turns out, a semester abroad in Cairo, a Diploma in Wine Studies, 3 years of teaching English in Japan (and having your own cooking show), travel to many wine regions, and an indominably quirky personality can come together when the moment is right. The thread of my life's experience has finally come together to sew the perfect position for me, and I am fully prepared to take on this amazing challenge.

I should mention how this all came about. First, Fine Vintage is the Vancouver-bases institute where I completed my Levels 2 & 3 studies back in 2006. About a year ago, I contacted the company offering my skills as an Educator, quoting a Japanese proverb passed on to my by my Kendo sensei: "Any horse can run a thousand miles, but only a select few can teach a horse to do so." Meaning, I may not have graduated top of my class, but I have the necessary skills to inspire and share my knowledge. Since early this year, I have volunteered to sit in on many sessions in order to learn from the best in the business, and it seems this dedication has paid off.

Best in the business indeed, as I should also point out that Fine Vintage Ltd. is the current Riedel Trohpy-holder as best WSET Education the world!!! Owned by one of Canada's four Masters of Wine, it is a humble honour to have been selected into this role. In fact, the Owner was my instructor at these Levels and upon receiving my application, remembered my quirky personality and determination to pursue a career in Wine Education. What more, he remembered a Thank You e-mail I sent after completing Level 2, highlighting how much I enjoyed the classes.

Which goes to show you; a little thank you can go a long, long way... 


  1. Well done, Dave! Congrats on the new position - sounds like the Middle East is calling you back again. Best of luck!

  2. Congrats Dave! Just make sure you keep blogging!

  3. Why am I not surprised?!!
    Congrats Dave!
    Michael, Kelowna

  4. Yay Canadian-Dave! Guess you won't be visiting us in little ole NZ anytime soon then. Congrats and keep us updated! We are living in Rotorua now for nearly 2 years... must be time for a move for us too then...or maybe a trip to Qatar! Kitty & Kobe.