This interview shines the spotlight on an ex-pat in Lyon. Caroline Conner is a thriving wine expert who overcame a troubled past and was literally saved by her passion for blind wine tasting, at which she excelled, That, in turn, led to her alcoholism. Find out how she beat that demon and how she now loves her life.
Expat and Wine Expert In Lyon France: Caroline Conner
Loving and making her ex-pat life in France work beautifully.
I knew l was going to have a good time with Caroline, even before the actual interview. Instinctively looking at her picture signaled to me that she had a story to tell, and l could tell she was enjoying her life. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
Being a wine lover, I loved learning tidbits about wine. Caroline grew up in California but alternated between there and London, so she had a very privileged upbringing. She went to college at London’s Oxford college after moving permanently there at 16. She also went to culinary school at London’s prestigious Le Cordon Bleu and got her Wine and Spirits Education Test (WSET) diploma in 2012.
After graduation, she did a variety of unsatisfying jobs, eventually, moving back to California. Being a re-pat did not work out for various reasons, and once again she found herself back in Europe and eventually started her own wine tasting business.
Being in Lyon, one of France’s most famous wine regions allows her the luxury of discovering local wines. The fact that the region is also a top gastronomy destination means pairing wine with delectable cheeses and entrees.
I would have that smile too getting to eat and drink in Lyon!
Some of the highlights of the expat and wine expert in Lyon podcast include:
Growing up in Menlo Park and troublesome childhood.
Moving to live in London with her dad after her parents broke up.
Discovering blind wine tasting at Oxford, and loving it.
Her various jobs after graduation.
Moving back to California and realizing the U.S. was no longer for her.
Her Ayahuasca experience and how it helped with her dependence on alcohol.
Returning to Europe and falling instantly in love with Lyon.
Virtual wine tasting and believing that wine knowledge should be accessible to all.
Her wine tasting business for small groups that are intentionally intimate, and new wine course.
Finding love in Lyon.
Taking advantage of the knowledge of your local wine store to find great wines.
Her YouTube channel where she shares knowledge of wine in layman’s terms.
Listen to the podcast here:
Our conversation was fun and light-hearted. She enjoys her life in France (what’s not to love?) and sees herself doing this for a very long time. I find myself heading to her channel now when l want information on wine (how long to keep it, what is tannin? etc. ).
Our gym is finally officially open to everyone. You are required to wear masks in the locker rooms. The aerobic classes are now 45 minutes instead of an hour. I’m not sure why that is. No mask required (l don’t think) but I’m not sure what difference 15 minutes make as far as contagion. Nonetheless, we plan on going back in August because a lot of people will go to their family house and the city will be quiet, so for sure fewer people at the gym. I am being ultra-cautious.
The restaurants are definitely getting fuller as days go by, the ones that reopened anyway. A lot of shuttered doors, both in the neighborhood and in the center sadly. The tourists from other parts of Europe are flowing in, and most are not bothering with masks, unfortunately. I don’t think it’s going to work out well for us. As it is, several other regions have joined Andalusia in requiring masks for all, now even at the beach (I can only imagine the tan lines :-) ).
Tagliatelle with mushroom sauce on our latest restaurant outing. Family-owned place. Delicious!
The drunk louts are causing major problems in places like Marbella and Palma de Mallorca, not observing social distancing. The bars have been shut down again, and they threaten to shut everything down everywhere if it keeps happening. Most Spanish people definitely do not want tourists right now according to the latest poll.
The government has this Back to Spain campaign which signifies to tourists that it’s okay to come back and carry on as before, fighting in the streets, drinking excessively, passing out, etc. It seems the powers that be want it both ways (tourist euros without the troubles) as if only responsible adults will come for holiday. I will be hiding out a bit longer l think. I am not in the best health to be taking chances :-). Too hot to be traipsing around anyway.
I have given up on trying to make sense of what is happening in the U.S. The numbers keep going up, and yet a lot of people are still fighting the experts. The sucky part is them putting others at risk. It would make me feel so powerless and angry. You do your best, and then some twit can screw up your life just like that. I’m glad l am not there right now, and l feel for my family and friends. If more companies go the way of Walmart and refuse to serve the non-mask wearing people, the behavior will change for sure l think.
My latest video on YouTube: ( I would appreciate your subscribing to the channel :-) )
How goes it for you? Are you enjoying the summer? Any travel plans in the near future?
Kemkem Casinelli is a licensed pharmacist and published author of fiction, self-help Ebook and guide to settling in Malta. She is a freelance writer. Currently based in Spain with her husband and 2 adorable beagles. Their frequent travels and foodie experiences are focused on cultural immersion and discovery which is documented on the blog to inspire. Find her travel gear suggestions here. https://nextbiteoflife.com/recommendations/best-travel-gear/