An International Life, Not Abroad: Wine and Culture

This is the second post in a series about living an internationally focused life when you are NOT “abroad”. I realize the definition of words like “abroad” and “home” can be a bit tricky and differ for everyone. Also the idea that this is a “series” is also problematic, as the more I think about it, the more I realize that almost of all of the writing on this blog deal with the struggle in finding a balance between a life abroad and a life at home. But I digress…

One way that I attempt to lead a global life is through food and drink. I love food. And drink. I even wrote my Master’s thesis on the connections between particular cultural values and norms and that culture’s food and mealtime rituals. This also explains my obsession with all things Anthony Bourdain.


I went to a free wine tasting last Saturday afternoon at a local wine bar/shop/cafe in Ocean City, Maryland. Now I am no sommelier, but I enjoy tasting wines from around the world, figuring out the notes, and even guessing the grape varietal. Even more so when those wines have food pairings that go along with them. There was a woman who was also at the wine tasting and we struck up a conversation over visiting vineyards in Europe. I spent some time in the Bordeaux region of France, and she used to lead groups of high school students on trips to Spain before she retired and spoke about La Rioja (my fave!). It doesn’t happen often in the area I currently live, so when I meet someone with international experience of this sort IRL (in real life versus on twitter), I get so flabbergasted!

Needless to say we spoke so much about intercultural exchange, Spanish food and wine, travel, languages, my previous work bringing international students to the US, and my plans to move to Uruguay in the fall after my wedding. We spoke for quite a while, even after the wine tasting was over. Wine really did bring about a great discussion on culture right here in my home town.

And even though I realized that I don’t have to travel far to have an “international” afternoon, I am still so excited to visit Uruguayan vineyards and wineries. Who knows who I may meet and where that conversation will lead as we taste wines in the hills north of Montevideo?


This post is linked to the My Global Life Link-Up at Check it out for some great reads by other globally-minded peeps!


One thought on “An International Life, Not Abroad: Wine and Culture

  1. Sarah, thanks for the post! I so enjoy tasting wine from different regions, and I was thrilled to get to visit a winery in Rioja. I’m taken back to that beautiful, cool place and its gorgeous scents with a glass of Spanish wine. Travel at the table!

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