Hi, I’m Nikki! Welcome to Palm & Vine – a blog dedicated to igniting your passion for life through exploring my most cherished aspects of being alive – food, wine, and travel! Thank you so much for being here. Really, thank you!
Whether you’re here in search of guidance into the world of wine, a mouthwatering recipe for a food and wine pairing, or inspiration for your upcoming wine travels, I hope my blog helps you create unforgettable experiences and memories. Because in my opinion, there is nothing more meaningful than savoring the moment over an incredible meal and a bottle of wine with the ones you love. Life is short and meant to be enjoyed! I hope I can help you do just that.
A bit About Palm & Vine
I started Palm & Vine when I begin my journey into the world of wine in January 2018. I’m on a mission to help wine lovers have fun exploring the world of wine and cultivate food and wine memories that will last a lifetime. I aim for Palm & Vine to be an approachable and engaging international food and wine resource connecting wine lovers around the world and inspiring wine education through experience.
With just a year and a half in the wine industry under my belt, I’ve never felt more aligned than when I’m out in the vineyards or pouring someone a taste of my favorite bottle. Palm & Vine is all about sharing my adventures from coast to vineyard worldwide and the meals and experiences along the way that make the journey that much sweeter.
Here are a few things I know to be true and values that serve as the basis for Palm & Vine. In no particular order:
- Life is meant to be enjoyed.
- Wine and food taste best when savored with the ones you love.
- Wine is a window to the world.
- Wine is for everyone.
- Food and wine have the ability to unite people from around the world.
- There is nothing a glass of good wine and a delicious meal can’t fix.
- Life is an adventure and should be lived with passion accordingly.
- You can make good money doing what you love and have fun doing so.
- Follow your passions and purpose will find you.
- Dream big, have fun, and go for it! Life is too short to drink bad wine and play it safe.
I chose to name my blog Palm & Vine to encompass both where my wine journey began and all of the food and wine adventures to come. Palm refers to California, of course, and Vine alludes to my gratifying, endless journey to learn more about this fascinating international beverage. If by sharing my experiences, knowledge, and passions here, you are inspired to try an unfamiliar wine, travel to a place you never thought you’d go, or cook a delicious meal for someone you love, then for me, Palm & Vine will have been a huge success.
A Bit About Me
I grew up in Southern California and no matter where I end up in this beautiful world, I will always be a California girl at heart. My three favorite places to be are at the beach, in a vineyard, or in the kitchen! My passion for cooking goes back as far as I can remember. I was raised in quite a food-oriented family, we’re Greeks after all! Some of my fondest memories involve picking tomatoes and figs in the garden with my Papouli, roasting a lamb outside for Greek Easter with the whole family, and helping my mom in the kitchen as early as I can remember.
As I grew up, my love for cooking and passion for feeding others grew with me. Once I started traveling internationally in my early twenties, I discovered how food helps people cross cultural boundaries. I realized my love for cooking stems from food’s ability to bring people together, like that time I cooked Sardinian gnocchetti with my Italian boyfriend’s mom who speaks zero English.
Wine came into my life in a big way in my late twenties when my parents decided to purchase a home in Paso Robles, California – a growing wine region in the golden state. The wine industry sparked a new interest in my life as I took increasingly frequent trips to Paso year after year. Though I had interesting jobs in public relations and event planning throughout my twenties, I was missing that all-important passion piece in my career. And whether at work or in life, I’m an all-in or nothing type of girl. So, I began considering moving to Paso to pursue a career in wine. Then in 2017, a life changing trip to the Southern Rhône Valley turned out to be just the inspiration I needed to take the leap.
In January 2018, I packed up everything and moved from San Diego to Paso Robles to work in the tasting room at my favorite winery in the region. By summer I had obtained my WSET Level 2 certification with distinction and by harvest I was spending my days knee-deep in grapes as a vintage cellar hand with the wine production team.
And guessed what, I LOVED each and every minute. As if finding my passion and learning a ton along the way wasn’t enough, I also happened to fall in love in the process. The Italian intern who flew all the way from Sardinia to work a California vintage turned out to be the perfect person for me. Just goes to show that when you follow your heart, you are bound for great things.
After a rewarding year in Paso Robles, the Italian and I headed down under to work the 2019 Australian vintage at a massive winery in McLaren Vale, South Australia. Following a few months of challenging cellar work, we took off to have some fun exploring wine regions in both South Australia and Victoria. I’ve always believed the best way to learn about wine or a specific wine region is to experience it for yourself. I can honestly say, I learned SO much about Australian wine through my travels that I likely wouldn’t have otherwise.
Now, with two vintages under my belt and a whole lot of life lessons learned, I’m dreaming even bigger! I’m headed to Sardinia for the rest of 2019 to be with my Italian and explore the Sardinian wine world. We’re dreaming up a winery of our own one day and, dare I say, a wine imports business in the near future! Perhaps some Sardinian summer wine tours? My wine life is unfolding now and I’m more excited for the future than ever before. You’ll have to stay tuned to find out what’s next!
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Though, as previously mentioned, I am an avid believer of learning through experience, I decided to get a little wine certification with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. I obtained my WSET Level 2 with distinction, so I officially know a thing or two about wine! I have my heart set on WSET Level 3 next and even the WSET Diploma eventually. I would also love to do an Italian wine specialization certification. Any recommendations?
I adore meeting new people and long to connect with wine lovers around the world. Please don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m always looking for new wine recommendations and would love to know if you’ve enjoyed a recipe or wine suggestion you found here. You can find me on Instagram or any of my other social media accounts linked at the top right corner of this page.
Businesses, I’d love to work with you! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for business inquiries, including, but not limited to:
- Hosted wine tastings, wine dinners, and events
- Event planning services for wineries or wine brands
- Freelance writing, editorial, and guest blogging opportunities
- Brand ambassadorship, wine region or tourism board partnerships
- Conferences, press trips, and retreats – I’d love to share the experience with my readers!
- Giveaways and wine reviews