Hello everyone! I currently reside in Asheville, North Carolina. I've been here for just over two years, and have struggled to make anything of my wine education (WSET L3, Intro CMS). I'm looking to move to a bigger market, somewhere with better resources and access to education, better wine programs, more established wine culture.
I figured obvious choices are Seattle, WA, Chicago, IL, and several in CA. If you're in one of those markets, I'd like to pick your brain and chat a bit. I will make it to those places this year to scope out the scene, but in the meantime, e-mail, video chat, Skype, and the like would be perfect.
For those in Seattle in particular, I will be there from tomorrow until Wednesday evening, and you will see me at the Symposium if you're attending.
If you'd like to link up, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!
Juan, feel free to reach out. I've worked in the trade in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, and Denver. Happy to answer any questions you have.
Thank you so much for the reply! I'm currently in Seattle, but will reach out as soon as I'm back home.
I made the move from Richmond, Virginia to Chicago almost 4 years ago now and would be completely open to any inquiries you have about transitioning.
I moved to Seattle about 3 years ago from FL. So far it is great to be so close to wines/wineries. You can drive to Oregon also if you have Seattle in mind you would not regret it.
Thank you, Kevin! I'll be reaching out soon
Little friendly bump and update - really starting to hone in on Chicago. It's starting to look like the move to make. If anyone's open to letting me pick their brain, please reach out!
Chicago's a great market. Happy to answer any questions you may have.
I love living in Napa. There are many opportunities in every aspect of the wine business and it's sunny. Napa Valley Wine Academy offers WSET Diploma and many tasting classes. SF is an hour's ferry ride from Vallejo, which isn't far from Napa, so you have access to a slew of trade tastings and events. I moved here from Portland just over a year ago and am very glad that I did.
Chicago is the best choice by far. The sommelier community is very inclusive and welcomes people with open arms. I was in MKE for 15 years and worked very closely the the sommelier community in CHI. I felt like I was a part of their community, sharing information, blind tasting and mentorship. I LOVE Seattle after living there for 10 years. This was pre SOMM movies so the community wasn't as established as some communities are now. SF, not so much.
How would you rate it through a cost of living lens?
I appreciate the input! The Chicago community has been incredibly forthcoming with help offered. I don't even live there and feel like it wouldn't be long before it felt like home!
Juan, since you mentioned Cost of Living, take a quick look at Vegas. Low cost of living, high wage potential, and so many great wine lists run by Advanced and Master Sommeliers, amongst whose ranks are some of the most gracious people I've ever met. Drawback: It's Vegas.
I did Seattle for a few years after leaving NC and GA. The community was top notch, but there's an oversaturation of somms (possibly because the community is so amazing) and earnings can be iffy compared to cost of living because of it. I'd recommend it because the city is magic and the relationships I forged there will last forever, but think I'd personally have ended up in Chicago or Vegas if I had to make that move over again.
Thank you so much for the input! I'll look into Vegas