Updated: Feb 8
The burst of interest in the wine industry and rapid growth of wine consumption during the past year got Shira thinking of her first steps into the wine world, Naive clueless but very lucky
(Picture by Tal Leemor)
In Israel, being that we are a very young country, it’s rare to find someone who was born right into the wine life & wine industry.
Until the 80’s we had about 10 wineries all & all. Does Not give a lot of chance statistically to be a wine heir.
So if you’re not one of those lucky ones, and working in the wine industry it’s probably safe to say that at some point, you knew nothing about wine.
See, it’s just impossible to know anything about anything really unless you learn. In wine the learning factor is important, but more than that and especially important - you need someone to teach you.
You need to taste, to meet, to get to know the winemakers, the wineries, the land using all your senses.
You need to know importers and relive their stories or you don׳t stand a chance.
you can read all the books in the world, but to know wine you need to taste as much as possible and to treat your senses like mussels, in for a good booty bootcamp.
Now, I knew absolutely nothing about wine. I knew of it and drank it (the cheapest ones I found at the nearest Berlin supermarket to home). But then my dad saw sideways and the rest is history (read about it here if you didn’t yet).
I fell in love with wine & continued living my life. Came back to Israel, studied communication, worked in big shot offices and so on and so on,
But i was drinking a lot of wine.
Still, I knew nothing about it, I just knew i was obsessed.
When the day came that i decided to leave everything behind and devote myself to the wine world and open (naively) a wine tourism business i was very very lucky.
Somehow the universe was in my favor and on the same week starting a wine making course at Soreq winery wine making school, I became the editor of the Israelwines portal.
Tal Sunderlamd Cohen, the owner of this portal had faith in a young, achieving hungry (and thirsty) young woman. He opened all the doors for me & I will forever be grateful to him because he literally opened all the doors for me. Instead of being a young person knocking on winery doors begging to get to know them, I became a journalist and was invited to all those wineries & events.
I had to fake it till I made it cause it’s a thing with the wine world. It’s very scary to say “I don’t know”. At least for 28 year old Shira it was, But I had good people around me.
At one event I remember, It was the tasting of Judean Hills wineries. A nice Gentleman started talking to me, and engaged in a conversation. I offered him to taste this great wine I was drinking to which he answered : I am the owner & winemaker of this winery. I wanted to bury myself. It was hilarious, he was one of the most important people of the wine industry but I knew no one!
When I stupidly decided to join the ownership of a wine bar, I entered a different game.
Night life, on floor services, food & imported wine.
If until then i got to know only Israeli wineries - here i entered the Big World.
I eagerly inhaled all the information I could. I knew nothing about the restaurateur life (big mistake when deciding to open a wine bar) but never mind - I had guardian angels.
I remember one Importer - Uri Caftory. He sat down with me teaching me step by step how to build a wine menu, taught me about southern France, maps, tastes, grapes, pricing, you name it. All this Without making me at any point feel lesser than him.
He’s generosity, I will never forget it.
Eldad Levy, another importer taught me the wonders of Germany & Austria, taking me back to my childhood in Germany and introducing me with tastes I never knew before. He answered every stupid question i had so patiently and I wish i wasn't so proud back then, I would silence my ego and ask even more.
I remember that when I Knew nothing i got so many doors slammed in my face, but I had my bigger fair share of really kind hearted people along the way.
How important it is to give that back,
The wine industry in Israel today is exploding and the amount of people interested and eager to learn is unbelievable.
I always try to remember that like them I once was someone who knows nothing about wine, Heck. I still am someone who knows nothing about wine.
But one thing is for sure, i want to be on the door opening side, not the door slamming one. That’s what a fairy is all about and Iv'e got the perfect partner for the ride.
Yalla Let's drink to that - our door will always stay open and know there’s no question that shouldn’t be asked.
Since we always say that "wine is vibe", I chose one wine to go with
that "I don't know" vibe. Domaine Christophe Peyrus from the Pic st. Loup region in France, will make you feel like you knew nothing about french wine. It's like drinking olive oil yet it's a wine. What do I mean? You'll have to taste to understand. Order via Whatsapp from Lee, YOUR personal wine fairy, right here: https://wa.me/972547525123