I recently commenced my third career, a fact that is not particularly interesting, nor unusual, given that most of us end up doing so at least as many times by the time we get to my age (early late 40s; or is it late mid-40s?).
After practicing law for about 12 years, the last half of which were on my own as an ambulance chaser, I got out of the law business in order to write about wine. I managed to have a few articles published in some local (for me at the time, that meant Miami) rags when I was offered the position of executive editor at a national wine bimonthly called Wine News. The publishers were in search of someone for the tasting panel and an editor. I had managed to taste a lot of wine by then but had no editing experience. So, I was brought on and we sort of created my job description as we went along over the course of the next eight years or so.
In addition to tasting thousands of wines a year, I wrote news pieces, obits (something I particularly enjoyed, though I'm still not quite sure why), short articles, and eventually my own opinion column in each issue and various really long cover articles. My brain still hurts thinking about the process associated with getting a 7,000-word-plus article on Alsace or the Veneto together. Being one of your own editors has certain advantages, but also many disadvantages.
As interesting as having the chance to spend alone time with well- and not-so-well-known producers was, at some point it became clear to me that writing about wine seemed to be a far less-valuable part of the wine supply chain. I wanted out (my farewell to regular wine writing appeared in the magazine in March 2009 (http://www.thewinenews.com/mam09/comment.asp).
The year before I moved on, I took the first steps toward forming my own import and distribution company. After a very long licensing process concluded on April 15, 2009 (a date with some irony attached to it), Ice Bucket Selections, LLC was up and running. My goal was and remains to find small, family producers in well-regarded appellations in parts of the United States, France and Italy. So far, so good. I currently have eight "families" (some of whom are single-member families) scattered from the Columbia Gorge in Washington State to Napa and Sonoma counties, Chablis, Santenay in Burgundy, and Vouvray in the Loire Valley.
I was told by my handlers (my lovely wife and a very good friend of hers) that I have to blog and do Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ice-Bucket-Selections/175890493947?v=wall) in addition to my website (www.icebucketselections.com). The blog isn't about my portfolio, either directly or indirectly; that's what the website is for, after all. Instead, it gives me a platform to express views on wine, food and all sorts of other things that are, and often are not, related to this third career. And there you have it. I hope it's useful to someone.