My blog has evolved quite a bit since I started it in October 2015 while travelling and tasting my way through Portugal. Below you can read the original “About Bottled Bliss”. The premise is still the same: my life experiences through wine, growing through wine and writing about inspiring people I’ve met because of wine. But I don’t always have the luxury to get to know all the people behind the labels so my focus has shifted slightly but still staying true to what I want from this blog. The excerpts from two of my blog posts summarize this evolution.
“Wine, studying wine, travelling through wine reawakened in me a desire for truly living and giving. The reason I started this blog was to capture all those moments, all those thoughts, feelings and emotions. The world of wine cannot just be an alcoholic beverage of ratings and reviews. As Marta says, “o vinho é uma coisa viva” (wine is a living thing) so I tell it how I feel it, with colours and sounds, with people and places, with stories and myths.” (From Wine and the art of living: Casal Figueira)
“Although I may not always go this route, I prefer sustainable practices. I like organic agriculture. I have a soft spot for biodynamic and more and more I’m intrigued and excited by these ‘natural’ wines. What’s more, I like knowing where my wine is coming from and who is making it. These are luxuries, I recognize that, and bordering on Portlandia hipster but I am part of a generation (and a culture) that lost a connection to the people, the places and an artisanal way of production. Wine as an experience is a connection to nature and to each other and I want wine that makes sense in every way.” (From Humus Organic Wines: Going Back to the Basics)
I am a newcomer in both the wine world and Portugal. About a year ago I realized that my passion and my future was in wine. And coincidentally, this revelation also came while visiting Portugal. I have come to Portugal to learn more about wine in a country where there are over 300 native grape varieties. Occasionally I take travel for granted, as if it was the most natural thing to just decide from one day to the next that I’d really like to see what life is like on Mars and immediately proceed to make the necessarily arrangements to go live on Mars for a while. I’m sure for some people it seems absurd, crazy and overwhelming to embark on the type of trip that I’ve set out for myself. But for me, it was something that I needed to do. The world of wine has captivated me and so has Portugal. It does not seem to be a coincidence that my discovery of both came at the same time and ignited a curiosity and desire to explore these two worlds. So after completing the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 3 Advanced in Wine and Spirit, I decided to reward myself with my own wine immersion program in Portugal… with the hopes that…well, I’ll let you figure that out for yourself.
The fascinating thing about wine, for me, is not really the fermented grape juice in the bottle (although it kind of is). Nor is it the labels, the luxurious chateaux in France, the extravagant events, the ratings and reviews by countless wine experts. For me, it’s the stories of the men and women who felt the same curiosity and desire to explore this world as I did. It is the hobbyist-turned-expert, the-lawyer-turned winemaker, the engineer-turned-sommelier and the traveller-turned-viticulturist. It is the wine mavericks, those creators and artists that found inspiration in wine and form part of this world. It is these individuals and their stories that make wine so compelling. It is also nature herself and the many lessons we must learn from the natural process of growing grapes and making wine that capture more than just an alcoholic beverage. Call me philosophical if you like, but after studying wines, experiencing life on a vineyard and drinking a whole lot of wine, I see the wine world as more than just an industry. I see stories; fascinating, inspiring, beautiful human stories.
With that being said, if you are looking at this blog solely as a wine blog, with my reviews and ratings, food pairing suggestions, or advice on wine travel and the like then I am afraid you will be sorely disappointed. While I may add some of my own wine reviews and recommendations, my intention is to write about life. It is my reflections on my life journey intertwined with wine, and also the incredible lessons I’ve learned from the individuals I have come across in my short time entering this world. This is my wine philosophy. So if you are curious about more than just wine, then I invite you to read on my good friend.