Friday, August 30, 2013

Wine Down Wednesday

By Jen  | August 30, 2013
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

Wine Down Wednesday …. sounds great, doesn't it?   I thought so too when I first came across this Meet Up during the Fall of 2012. Advertised as a “dynamic networking and professional development group,” it is definitely that and more.  What really caught my eye was, of course, the wine tastings!  I’m definitely not big at networking and find myself out of my comfort zone when attending events alone –  but sometimes you need to break out of that comfort zone – and just take a chance.  And wine always helps in those situations!  So, by now you are probably asking yourself, ‘What is Wine Down Wednesday, exactly?’ This meet up group visits local wine bars around the Triangle and couples a wine tasting with two motivational speakers who present their experiences and leadership skills as well as a featured non-profit.  After attending a few events at the end of 2012, I found myself with some scheduling conflicts and have just now started attending again and can honestly say, I walk out of there feeling inspired … inspired to work on those “ideas” we have to supplement our lives, whether to increase our incomes or quite honestly, just to increase our lives!

I attended the last Wine Down Wednesday this past week at a new wine boutique, Vino Amoari, with around 30 or so other members!  As usual, I arrived a little early and found everyone still setting up for the evening. I eventually found my spot at the bar anxiously awaiting the first speaker as I joined in on some conversations with other attendees.  The wine manager, Karleigh, was a fantastic host as was the wine distributor and shop owner, who were also there. 

The wine tasting consisted of 5 wines for $6 served throughout the event and included a Baby Prosecco, Hunter's Chardonnay, an Albarino, Secreto de Viu Manent 2007 Syrah (good enough to even buy a bottle on the way out the door) and a Treasure Hunter Bordeaux Blend out of Napa Valley. These were all paired with cheese, meat, hummus and strawberries soaked in Prosecco!  And if that was not enough, the speakers were amazing and inspirational, as always!

The first speaker, Dr. Barnsley Brown, author of “Get Out of Debt and Get On With Your Life,” spoke on the Three Secrets to Financial Fitness and Power!  This was not quite what I was expecting as I was thinking this would be more a talk of how to manage your money. Dr. Brown took a totally different approach to prosperity by asking us what our highest values were … what is important to “YOU” and what drains “YOU!” Ironically, although I put family, career and volunteerism as my top three highest values, my number one was really my cat, Oreo!  Although I did not take advantage of purchasing an autographed copy of her book, I’m wishing I had!

Next, Lisa Bamford from Doing Good Network (DGN), the charity sponsor for night, introduced Fred Fletcher as he spoke about his life, the organization, and the work they do to raise funds for nonprofit organizations that are in need of funding.  Fred also announced Bands 4 Good Challenge 2013 which is a virtual music video competition that will provide exposure to unsigned, aspiring musicians along with the opportunity to raise funds for nonprofit military support organizations.  For more information, go to 

After a short break, Megan and Barton Cutter took the “stage” (if you will) to talk about how to transform your personal vision into lasting results. The Cutters are the authors of Ink in the Wheels: Stories to Make Love Roll, a memoir about their journey as an inter-ability couple. What I took away from this presentation was have a vision, live your life to its fullest potential, never give up and accept who you are.

Following the presenters, the networking continued and I met some great people and made some great contacts. Ironically, however, I was asked at least three times why, if I work for a corporation, do I attend such events?  Interesting. Well, I can honestly say that I attend, other than for my love of wine, to learn from others, be inspired by others, hope to take our ideas and gain the confidence and inspiration to make our dreams come true. It is not always about money. I have to keep telling myself that since our inspiration and passion revolve around starting a non-profit.  And if nothing else, I made some contacts for our Wine and Beer club.