The thrill of meeting in person someone you’ve admired from afar is very, very special. And so it was for me. Feeling like a star struck teenager, I sat at the kitchen counter in the home of Andrea Robinson, amidst the glorious vineyards in Napa Valley, sharing my aspirations and taking in her words of wisdom as she bustled about putting together a meal for dinner guests later that evening. I was ever so grateful to her for giving me that precious hour.
I came away with even greater admiration for my Wine Guru for reasons that had little to do with wine – a subject that she undoubtedly excels at. I was completely taken by her modest & unassuming manner, her patience with a novice in the world of wine and her willingness – even eagerness – to mentor & encourage a rank newcomer. Most of all, I was impressed with her unwavering passion for what she does. It is as fresh and intense as it was ten years ago, when I first became a fan watching her TV appearances.
It can be said that for every professional that loves his or her work, there are times when it does seem like ….well …..“work”. There is an element of the routine in every profession that can seem pedestrian and less exciting. Not so for Andrea. She seems to love every minute of her tryst with wine, in all its intricate nuances and dimensions, constantly seeking new and innovative ways to continue on the journey. That was to me a re-affirmation of a long held belief that successful people have a consistent, intense, almost dogged, commitment to their chosen fields.
Meeting her family was another privilege for me that day. “Great Mom” is one more adjective that can describe Andrea. Those humble, polite and engaged kids would make any mother proud. And if this sounds like an essay from the “Andrea Robinson” fan club, so be it.
I took away a lot more than advice on my budding ambitions in the world of wine from that meeting. And I am so much the richer for it.