I grew up in a house committed to home cooked meals. My dad loved to cook and relied on a regular rotation of thirty or so favorites to keep lively and interesting foods on our dinner table. My mom loved to bake. She marked every family occasion with a cake, muffins, scones or pies, frequently hand made and decorated with meticulous detail.
In college, I reverted to a poor student diet but used my culinary skill as a tool in my dating repertoire. I loved to invite girls over and then impress them with a well grilled fish steak or baked pasta. Did it work? Sometimes. But it allowed me to express myself and fueled my desire to become an even better cook.
As my wife and I started our life together, food took center stage. We both loved to cook and our small first home quickly filled with the aromas of new recipes that we found and shared with each other. Around that time, we discovered wine and thanks to the efforts of our neighborhood wine shop, Mondo Vino (http://mondovino.net), we were soon exploring the world one bottle at a time.
Through Mondo Vino, I met the founders of a wine distribution company as they were just starting up. They offered me a job and I worked for almost three years in the industry. I travelled to wine growing regions around the world. I met people at every level of the production, distribution and sales chains. I talked about wine every day, educating sales reps, restaurant servers and retail employees. My appreciation for wine rose exponentially.
Wine is a daily event for me and is an essential component to my cooking. There are few things that I enjoy more than cooking for friends and family, pairing the meal with a wine that complements the cuisine perfectly and appreciating the combination around a communal table.