I’ve started a new business venture and when I’ve told a few of my friends I get a chuckle or two.

The chuckles don’t surprise me. You see, I’ve gotten into the wine business.

However, before you envision me looking like Dr. Frankenstein in a cellar stirring up this month’s latest concoction, let me clarify. I’m not making or physically selling the wine, but I’ve joined Wine Shop at Home as a consultant. Wine Shop at Home is a business that sells wine through its wineries in California, but hires consultants like me to facilitate wine tastings in a person’s home in order to share the love — and wine — and educate people about wine.

The reason for the chuckles from my friends is not because they are envisioning me as Dr. Frankenstein in a lab coat, working magic on grapes. No, it’s because most of them know my passion for wine.

I am the first to suggest outings to wineries and typically the first to hit the tasting bar at said wineries. I love wine — the fragrance, the color, the taste. I find it intriguing — all of the different ways someone can turn a grape into something as spectacular as this nectar that I love to consume. I typically veer towards the sweeter, fruitier wines, but other consultants have assured me that my tastes will expand.

Let me assure you that I imbibe only occasionally, usually keeping it to 1-2 glasses unless there is a special occasion. I am typically the first to feel the effects of the wine and my friends know it has hit when the giggles start and my cheeks turn rosy. Somewhere between the giggles and dessert I typically put my wine glass aside and declare I’ve had enough. That is, unless someone slips me what they term as a simple, harmless coffee liquor that I now call “Mad Cow” and all bets are off. Fortunately, that happens rarely.

So back to the wine. I became intrigued with the business last fall when a lady I was interviewing for a story mentioned she was attending a wine tasting party through this business. I researched the business and became even more fascinated. I’ve been to a many wine tastings in my time and a few in private homes. But to be a part of sharing the experience with others by teaching them about the wines and facilitating a tasting seemed like so much fun! I contacted the company and was in touch with another consultant in no time. I started delving into the different elements of the business, but then put things on hold as my grandmother had become very ill and I was spending a lot of time with her. She passed away the week of Thanksgiving, but not before I told her I might be getting into the wine business.

“Wine, oh my!” she said with a laugh. But Grandma Ellis never knew what we would be up to, so at the age of 86 it seemed that nothing shocked her.

I told my brother, who is a police officer, and got a big question mark on a text message and I could almost picture his eyebrows raising as his cop’s mind was mulling this over.

But again, let me clarify. You won’t find me walking down the street selling bottles of wine from the depths of a trench coat, or building a bar behind my desk at the Hiawatha World. Actually, I don’t physically sell it. Due to liquor laws, the wine is purchased online and delivered straight to a hostess or customer. I can’t give out free gifts of wine (darn!) or hand it over in exchange for money. Something like that would require me to have a liquor license.

So, all chuckles aside, I am excited about this new business adventure and can’t wait to share it with others. All of my information is on my Facebook page, so if you are my friend make sure to check your notifications, event invites and learn about my business! And remember, wine is social!

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