Hi, I’m Nikki! Welcome to Palm & Vine – a blog dedicated to igniting a passion for life and a sense of adventure in others 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 a mouthwatering recipe, a mind-blowing food and wine pairing, or guidance into the world of wine, I hope my blog helps you create unforgettable experiences and memories. Because in my opinion, there is nothing more meaningful than savoring the moment in a beautiful place over an incredible meal and a bottle of wine with the ones you love.
So, in case you’re curious, here’s a bit about me. My love for food began at a very young age as I was raised in a very food-oriented family. We’re Greeks after all! Some of my earliest memories involve food – 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, so did my passion for cooking and feeding others. Once I started traveling internationally in my early twenties, I discovered how food and cooking help 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. My parents decided to purchase a home in Paso Robles, California – a growing wine region in the golden state. Each year I took increasingly frequent trips to Paso as the wine industry sparked a new interest in my life. While working in public relations and event planning, 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. 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.
Following 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. After 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 I’m dreaming even bigger and I can’t wait to share what’s up next! You’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
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What does Palm & Vine Mean
Palm & Vine was inspired by my exploration into food and wine, which first originated in my California kitchen, then took me to wine country, and eventually abroad. The name encompasses my past, present, and future.
Palm represents my California roots to which I owe my love for the beach, California burritos, cooking with the freshest ingredients, and the use of the word dude in my everyday vocabulary. Plus so much more I can’t even begin to cover here, but just know I will always be a California girl at heart.
Vine alludes to my passion for wine and my gratifying journey to always learn more about this fascinating beverage. 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. So, 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.
WSET Level 2 with Distinction
Hey look! I officially know a thing or two about wine! I plan to continue my wine studies to help grow Palm & Vine and further my career, but for now I’m happy with WSET Level 2 and continuing my education through experience.
Hit Me Up!
For inquiries, collaborations, hosted tastings, or just to say hi, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org