Pleased to meet you

October 2022
I’m Michelle and once upon a time I was the editor of a rather popular wine blog called “My Wine Education.” I was also writing for several magazines and online publications. My life eventually took a few twists and turns and writing fell by the wayside.

Currently I’m living near Bentonville, Arkansas, although I’m originally from Cincinnati, with stopovers in San Francisco and Atlanta. Back in 2011, I took - and passed - the Level 1 sommelier exam. Not everyone in my class passed, so after two days of learning through fear, I was pretty excited. I took that test for no reason other than to prove I could (imposter syndrome has always been an issue for me).

Now that I’m a bit settled, I’m returning to something I’ve missed, but I’m shaking it up a bit. I’ll review wine in this newsletter, but I’ll also review books. Sometimes, I’ll pair wine with books. There will be a lot of times when I talk about cocktails. Sometimes I will probably talk about my dachshund, because dachshund people cannot shut up about their weenie dogs.

Um, what kind of books?

I’m not even going to pretend to be pretentious here. I’m occasionally reading off the best seller lists. I read a lot of Neil Gaiman. I am hopelessly devoted to historical fiction, especially if it includes Paris, either World War, or the Resistance movement in Europe during WWII. Every now and then I will pick up a Neal Stephenson book, and Snowcrash haunts me. I still haven’t forgiven Stephen King for The Stand, which I read in college, and comes to mind every time I go through a tunnel. Traveling is one of my favorite things, and I will tell a lot of those stories as we go. If I know a certain trip is coming up, I often immerse myself in fiction books about that place. I read a lot of Tom Corcoran before I went to Key West. I discovered The Morgan Library in NYC because I was reading The Personal Librarian. Travel dictates my reading, but sometimes my reading dictates my travel. You will rarely find me reading non-fiction, because I read to escape. Although occasionally real life is stranger than fiction.

The Morgan Library, 11/2021 (photo by Michelle)

Why is there a dog?

My dachshund, Ringo, tends to have adventures, so occasionally you may hear about those, but I’ll try to keep them in context. He is also a pretty accomplished photo bomber, like this:

Ringo Starr Dachshund is an accomplished photo bomber. (photo by Michelle)

Do you rate the wine?

I believe wine rating should be easy. I don’t want to deal with numbers 1 -100 (well, no one ever uses 1-79). What do those numbers really mean to any of us? Back when I ran the blog, I had a rating scale based on smiley faces, ironically, based on the pain scale you see in hospitals.

After some experimentation, I decided to stick with it. It just works. You can learn more about it on the Rating Scale page.

Why subscribe?

I have paid tiers because there is always the hope that I can just retire and write about wine. #dreams

Although it does take a lot of work to pull this together - moreso on video days. There will always be a once-per-week post, on either Thursday or Friday, and occasional bonus posts. Videos and the archive beyond one month are available for paid subscribers only. And if you want to be a Founding Member, well, I’ll buy you a glass or two (or three) of wine when next we meet.

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Pairing books with wine and spirits


Normal person writing about books and wine from her perspective. Owned by a dachshund. Corporate/career coach, human resources and talent development professional. Find me on Instagram at @grapesandgatsby and @agirl.and.herdog.