Bianca Veratti DipWSET writes, ‘I am responsible for the Communication Department of Zahil Importadora, one of the main wine importers in Brazil, since 2011. I’m also part of the technical team responsible for the wine selection for the importer’s portfolio. Besides that I teach WSET courses at Eno Cultura (winner WSET Educator of the Year 2017) and attend to wine tastings and fairs, as well as travel around the wine regions if the world.’ Her (unedited) entry in our seminal wine competition follows.
There is a common belief that we all have an inner vocation that will make us happier than any money in the world. It took me more than thirty years to realize that this is true and that, even though wine has been my favourite sip since forever, it was more than that, it was my vocation to work with it.
The first moment that has led me into this world was when a boyfriend broke up with me without any particular reason and, as a ‘revenge’, I decided to give up the Italian classes I was taking for the last five years and in which we were both enrolled and invested in a wine course for beginners in Brazilian Wine Association (ABS). It was my first understanding about grape varieties, wine regions, production and tasting and, as any novice in the subject, I thought I knew all about wine. I had particular pleasure in buying a bottle Friday night in the supermarket on my way home to savour it during dinner – it was the best moment of the week!
As weird as it may seems, it was when I changed career from hotel management to work in the marketing and events department of a private bank that the vocation came to me. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I was not the person for the finance environment. The constant travelling, the suffocating pressure for profit or to overwhelm the client with the next perfect event led me to the limit of anxiety and it was in a particular night when I urgently replaced a colleague at a wine dinner that the wine fire triggered in me.
It was settled for the twenty most important clients of the bank and the tasting conductor was the major wine specialist in Brazil. The ‘enoteca’ was specially closed for the occasion with a sole table for all attendants. Of course I was not included in that setting but the maître gently set up a small table in the shadow but close enough so I could hear the explanations and taste both the wines and the dishes. As the night progressed each wine became more spectacular as I listened to the producer’s history or how it has been made and each dish more distinct as I learned how the wine had flattered it. It was my first wine dinner and I was hooked. Every new wine dinner was an opportunity to enlarge that experience and finally I realized that this was the world I wanted to be part of.
I decided to become professional and enrolled into the WSET courses as well as took the Associazionte Italiana Sommelier degree in 2011, the same year I started to work in the same wine importer I am until today. My restlessness for knowledge has led me to become the first Brazilian woman to achieve the WSET Diploma in Brazil an honour I cannot explain only share through teaching WSET courses for other wine lovers as myself.
My vocation has been fulfilled and I can say that I am as happy as anyone can be. Most of all, I’m pleased with every glass of wine I can share with honesty and passion, learning its qualities, its history and how it can make people closer to each other.