I'm Good Wine Gal. I blog about "good wine" and how to find it! Today’s post offers a glimpse into the life a one of our passionate wine lovers, Melanie Ganshorn. Melanie has attended almost every Thursday evening wine session with Mark Shipway that has been offered to date. She usually brings an interesting bottle of wine, has prepared a tasty food pairing and has a story to tell. Her stories inspire us to travel to the Marche, search for bottles of Austrian Chardonnay and even make us laugh with her relatable humor. She’s a local hero in her own right, as a health care professional navigating the pandemic. As January is appreciation month here at Good Wine Gal, we would like to thank Melanie for showing up every week and sharing her wine life with us.
Would you share with us what you do for a living?
I have been a surgical nurse in operating rooms for 20 years. I have dedicated many of those years to heart surgery care for infants and children, and currently hold a leadership role as an educator in my department. I love the operating room because of the detail and teamwork it demands. It is wonderful to know as a nurse, you have impact along the restorative spectrum of wellness and health for a patient and their family.
How did you fall in love with wine?
The same drive of attention to detail that attracts me to surgery, also fuels another interest, learning about food and wine. What started as a love of cooking has evolved into avid reading of cookbooks, travelling to food centric cities and adventures in many wine regions globally. The reality was I could never learn enough at wine tasting events, so I signed up and completed three levels of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) wine courses. Most recently, I poured wine at the Vancouver International Wine Fest. I also created Petit Chateau, as a vehicle to express my love of food and wine. My vision for Petit Chateau is a foundation to connect with others through the sharing of my food and wine knowledge and experiences.
How did you hear about Good Wine Gal?
Early in 2020, The World Health Organization (WHO) declared this year as The Year of the Nurse. How fantastic for nurses globally to have recognition! What seems like days later, the WHO then declares an unprecedented global pandemic. As a health care worker, I was coming straight home from work exhausted and worried I would bring covid19 through the door. I have memories of making simple food after work as the shelves in the stores were bare from panic shoppers. The list of my pandemic concerns was ever growing, as the city came to a stop. It was some of the most uncertain work I have faced, and the things previously enjoyed as stress relief, faded away or were closed to control transmission. Anything I thought I would be doing to push my ideas for Petit Chateau forward was placed on hold.
It was one of those early evenings at home that I noticed a post from Barb Wild, The Good Wine Gal, about virtual wine education sessions with Mark Shipway. I signed up for all of them. This became transformative. It gave me focus, and was a distraction from the all-consuming healthcare work in the face of the pandemic. The Thursday wine sessions became something of a fixture - I would plan for it. Groceries would be picked up on the way home to cook a meal that would pair with my wine choice for class. The recommended wines expanded my palate significantly. The sessions, while virtual, truly lead us with colorful, beautiful images of iconic landmarks and vineyards around the globe. Many months later, I still make time for these sessions via Good Wine Gal’s platform, as they are a wonderful source of ongoing learning and community.
Thank you for sharing a window to your life during the pandemic and thank you for being a wine lover.