I am a dual nationality (American and Canadian) immigrant to Canada. Although I was born in Illinois, I grew up in Alabama and that’s “home” to me (or at least it used to be). When I was in the US Navy on the USS California, we were homeported in Alameda on the San Francisco bay. This gave me the opportunity to visit Napa Valley and started my interest in wine.
After completing my naval service, I started work with a small engineering company and was sent to Toronto “for 3 months”. Four years later, I returned to the USA where I worked in South Carolina, Georgia, and Ohio. Then, in 1997, I was asked to return to Toronto and, although initially reluctant, I came back to Canada for 3 more years. In 2000, I returned to the US to complete a software upgrade and a contract job in Arizona. The company office that I was working out of was closed and I returned to our Toronto office in 2001. I met my wife, Rose, in 2003 in Toronto and we were married in 2009 (the single best decision of my life!). I became a Canadian citizen in 2015 and our current plans are to retire to the Niagara Peninsula (we’re still in negotiations regarding exactly where).
Rose and I love to visit the Niagara wine region and this rekindled my interest in wine and resulted in my completion of the WSET Level 3. I also completed the Canadian Wine Scholar program in October 2017. I don’t think that I’ll be taking the WSET Level 4 (the diploma program) at my age, but I hope to take the Ontario Brave New Wines class from IWEG to add to my CWS knowledge and I may take the French and Italian Wine Scholar programs at some point. I do NOT consider myself a wine expert, I have taken these classes for my own benefit and it’s amazing just how much I have learned and how it has added to my enjoyment of wine. But I still remember the bottom line that I was told in Napa back in the 1980’s: “If you like a wine, it’s a good wine for you. If you don’t like it, it’s not a good wine for you, no matter what the experts say.”
P.S. Rose, Lily (our daughter), Yang (Rose’s sister) and I went to the Champagne and Burgundy regions of France in June, 2018, and I HIGHLY recommend visiting, especially Champagne. I probably learned more in Burgundy but the time in Champagne will be remembered with awe for the rest of my life. Our tour guide was Master of Wine James Lawther and the trip was amazing! We took our tour through (shameless plug…) www.finevintageltd.com and can say without a doubt that it was worth it and possibly worth returning. After all, we haven’t been to Bordeaux!