Congratulations to Patrick Kelly, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar with highest honors!
I started my wine career kind of by accident. I took an intro wine class, knowing nothing about wine (like, I thought Burgundy was a colour…) to try and break into fine dining as a server. I fell in love with the endless possibilities of the wine world (apparently there’s so much more than just drinking red to keep you warm by the fire) and decided to take another class. I really hit it off with the prof, and she brought me on her team at the Toronto restaurant, Bacchanal. With her guidance, I started my journey to become certified through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Throughout the process, I built more and more contacts, eventually bringing me to my Assistant Sommelier position at Buca.
My work at Buca gave me the ‘oh crap! Italian wine is way more than Chianti and Barolo’ kind of feels, which led me to the Wine Scholar Guild, and more specifically, the Italian Wine Scholar course. With the comprehensive learning modules and wealth of knowledge the textbook had to offer, I was able to uncover a depth of learning about the Italian wine world like never before. This experience helped me elevate the work I was doing at Buca, not only in wine buying, but also confidence with guest relations. Cue Global Pandemic…..
Like most of us in the service industry, I found myself facing uncertainty about the future. So, what’s next? Of course, more studying. I’m currently taking my French Wine Scholar to continue my journey in this world we all love. Most importantly, this pause in the industry led me to start an Instagram wine blog focusing on making wine fun and accessible. No more wine suggestions that are out of reach for the average young person. Or anyone trying to make ends meet in a pandemic. Or food pairings that aren’t achievable by the home cook. Look, Chef Boyardee needs wine too! Follow me on Instagram @patcbkell and let’s explore wine with class, but also lots of sass.