My Mom & Dad went to Italy two years in a row when I was 12 & 13. That led to a bottle of wine on the dinner table every night. In high school, I was blessed with a mythology teacher who dated a friend of my Mom. This friend was French… and of course, she could really cook! One night a group of high schoolers were over at the teacher’s house. His gal friend made a multi-course extravaganza, and the teacher went to his wine-cellar to gather up a wine to go with each course. This was the beginning of our “Wine & Food Society.” Each of five very young adults would con their moms into making a food course. Our host (the mythology teacher) would gather the appropriate viticultural partners for those courses and off we would go. We met monthly. The following summer, I spent six weeks (through the same mythology teacher) in France, Italy, and Spain on a trip sponsored by the American Institute of Foreign Study. Without knowing it, I was an in-training sommelier, and getting my career started as an enthusiastically contagious communicating wine evangelist.