I was asked to share a few secrets, so I did.
The saying “it takes a lot of great beer to make great wine” should be amended for a writer to: “it takes a lot of great coffee and tea to write a good story on beer and wine.” Booze and writing share a very small window of compatibility; I’ve found quality caffeine makes a better companion to prose.
Last week in Vancouver, I addressed the British Columbia Association of Travel Writers as the keynote speaker at their 2014 symposium on The Taste of Travel: Describing and Photographing Food and Wine.
The full-day affair was held at the River Rock Casino (no, I didn’t sneak into the gaming area and bet it all on black, although I fantasize about doing that one day). The symposium featured a photo seminar by pro Craig Minielly and a beer, wine, and spirits tasting panel, along with my speech on how the heck I drink, shoot, and eat my way around the globe without being fat, broke, and lonely. I didn’t have great insights for the latter three (hotel gym!?), but could address the former trio of topics.
I spoke for 52 minutes, touching on the evolution of my wine and travel writing career: why I exchanged a soul-crushing job in the legal profession for one in the also thankless, and much less lucrative industry of writing. The answer? I get to uncover and share what I find most fascinating in life: how culture is reflected through the lens of drink, and through the few lenses I’ve acquired for my Canon 70D. I also gave practical tips on what has helped me such as blogging, improving my photography, and networking.
Since jumping into the world of wine journalism, I’ve expanded my beverage repertoire to include coffee, tea, and beer — they share fascinating similarities, and I’ve found that in general, a culture that respects one, will respect them all.
Dip into the video of my speech for a few minutes or the full 52; perhaps you’ll glean a few insights or relate to my experiences. If you’ve got a story or suggestion to share, please comment — your ideas can only help propel me along my endless journey to touch every corner of our beverage loving planet.