7/17 TexSom Events Manager Donaji Lira
Donaji Lira @TexSom
Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Don't forget that EVERY tweet during this chat should include the #SommChat hashtag in order for everyone to see it!
Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: As we ask our Qs, you can ask Donaji your Q’s as well! She'll do her best to answer all Q’s in the order they come #SommChat
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat Hi everyone, I'm so happy to be here today! Thank you for the opportunity!
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat, that' EASY! And my favorite part of this gig! They're great to work with!
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat for the 2nd year in a row we had more volunteer applications that we could accommodate, a great problem to have! Great volunteers from at least over 25 states!
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat, The most difficult part of the job is there are not enough hours in the day! The most rewarding is in addition to being part of a wonderful program helping so many industry professionals and meeting the fantastic people from around the globe!
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat we are fortunate to be able to feature many special wines that are special to us from around the world for our seminars and from our sponsors. We have such a great team that breakage is actually very minimal.
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat this will be my 8th TEXSOM! I started in 2012 when I decided I wanted to move back to Big D and it just so happened 2 certain Master Sommeliers @drewhendricksms and @winejames, I had met through my Austin wine industry days were looking for someone! Lucky me!!
TexSom @TexSom: @SommChat I have learned so much about tasting and wines with exposure to wines from around the world that I did not have before. Also studying for my @WSETglobal level 2 and blind tasting with @winejames has been incredibly helpful!
Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm was told that you are now starting the #WSET study program - is this true and if so why did you start this path and what do you hope to get from it Donaji @TEXSOM
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat yes I have completed @WSETglobal level 2 and will take exam soon. I have received a better understanding of tasting and the different grape varieties and regions/how they all differ, etc... Still so much to learn and can't wait for Level 3!
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat That's a great question, with only 3 of us there is a lot to do and we do it all! We are all the "accounting department" the "Marketing department", etc... It's busy and sometimes seems like not enough hours in the day but always fun! Stop by the office some time!
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat For me it is so special to meet winemakers and reps from overseas that submit wines to @texsomiwa and see sponsors. Sometimes we even hand deliver medals. The love the personal touch! I highly recommend #Somms go and experience the different countries represented.
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat $4 Margarita night at a local Mexican Restaurant! lol! Seriously though, I attend wine dinners, wine tastings to stay connected to the local community and support the industry. I also love time with my dog Rocky and my family.
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat great question! Patience! Everyone there is supporting us and our mission, graciousness is key. The days are long but the energy is great, that helps keep my cool! And our volunteers, what a team!! We're blessed.
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat yes! When anyone (sponsors, volunteers, attendees) stop me to say thank you for all you do, it means a lot! Walking into the #TEXSOM onsite office with a negroni to say hi is always a treat...@grapesandgrains !
Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm how many windows and documents do you have open on your computer right now - heard your screen is huge and always on overload Donaji @TEXSOM (had to insert some humor!)
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat, I love it! 6 documents, 5 windows, 2 phones, 2 cups of coffee on the desk and a hard boiled egg. Thanks for asking!
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat Yes very different. There are so many more moving parts to @TEXSOM conf, nearly 200 sponsors to manage, organize the different venues such as lunches, tasting breaks, seminars. The similarity would be they both center around education and global wines.
Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Donaji, having been able to taste so many Wines @TEXSOM Do you have any good advice for people who are unsure what #wines to taste if they are new to the #wine world? #SommChat
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat definitely start by revisiting wines/grape varieties you THINK you don't like. Different varieties from different parts of the world will make a differrence. Experience wines you do not have easy access to as well.
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat Well, I start with a cocktail, Vesper anyone? Then decide what's for dinner and wine. And of course if you are with @winejames well... there's your answer, he picks! I hardly ever cook at home, not anything to merit a wine pairing decision.
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat I went to Italy last November #Franciacorta #ChiantiClassico would love to Loire Valley, Burgundy, Bordeaux, @DrinkGreekWine @Wines_fromSpain @PasoRoblesWine Lake County, @WashingtonWines @oregonwine So many wines so little time!
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat I have always thought @MasterSommUS being more service/restaurant focused. Having just started the @WSETglobal journey I hope to complete level 3 for sure then I'll go from there!
Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm when you #travel how do you decide where you will go to eat and to drink #wine? Do you have a process? Do you see if there is anyone in your @TEXSOM Community Donaji?
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat wine knowledge is very important in this role, particularly with the large number of sponsors I am communicating with regarding the wines they will feature. You definitely want to have an idea of what you are dealing with (regions, variety, etc...)
TexSom @TexSom: #SommChat we accept 25 candidates from surrounding states to compete. They will complete a blind tasting exercise, theory and service as well.
Amie Hendrickson @amiewinegirl: Awesome interview and questions!
Shelly Wilfong @srwilfong: Great hearing from Donaji! Can’t wait for @TEXSOM next month!