GUEST BLOGGER: Dream Day in the Life of a Wine Ambassador: Ambar Maddox 

Dream Day in the Life of a Wine Ambassador: Ambar Maddox

Me in my hi-vis at grape harvest

Me in my hi-vis at grape harvest

I have to admit; I’ve been a bit of a chameleon when it comes to my working life. From fast food to fine dining, making coffees in the morning to mixing cocktails in the evening, events to restaurants to bars to hotels — that's not just in Australia either, my working life to date has taken me throughout Australia, France, Canada, Mexico and Ireland. And while it may sound like getting a permanent position in Sydney would require putting adventure on the back burner, that couldn’t be further from the truth...  

Picture this – It’s bright and early on a Monday morning and myself and a small group of newly hired Wine Ambassadors have just stepped off the plane in Adelaide. We’re here to learn about the Barossa Valley; heartland of South Australia’s premium wine production. Even though I’ve been warned of the heatwave the state has been experiencing, I’m excited to step foot in the region for the very first time. 

Exiting the airport, I’m daydreaming about the breakfast that I forgot to eat when a blast of hot, dry January air hits me in the face, accompanied by the already familiar ‘ping’ of my work email buzzing in my pocket. I have a quick read through my emails and while the usual suspects were still there in the form of trainings and inductions, I have to wonder if there’s been a mistake? Sprinkled in amongst our inductions are no less than seven wine tastings and six degustation occasions scheduled at various local restaurants and wineries in the region – and that was all before Friday midday. On further inspection, the schedule outlines the likes of a Food & Wine Philosophy class with internationally renowned local chef, Mark McNamara, followed by an exclusive wine tasting run by Ben Bryant, Chief Winemaker of the global icon, Jacob’s Creek. It’s only my second week on the job as a Wine Ambassador and I find myself constantly circling back to the same thought — is this real life? 

Another afternoon, another tasting... this time at a cooking class

Another afternoon, another tasting... this time at a cooking class

Fast forward six months and thankfully for my waistline, there are far less degustation's in my day-to-day work. There are, however, a lot of crazy fun things involved in my role as a Wine Ambassador, which is part of the reason why I love it so much.

For example, yesterday I started the day with our marketing team planning a launch event for a new product. We’re talking graffiti, warehouse parties, DJ sets – you name it. By noon I was representing Jacob’s Creek at a trade show – a slight change of pace from our rave conversations of the mid-morning.  There was wine everywhere and of course, I wouldn’t be a professional if I didn’t try some other well-known producers while I was there.  

Back to the office at three o'clock to host a wine and cheese pairing session for my fellow colleagues – food and wine seems to be a common theme here, doesn’t it? Part of my passion lies in teaching people something new when it comes to wine. Did you know blue cheese and sweet wine go together like two peas in a pod? Or that goat’s cheese and sauvignon blanc are a match made in heaven? I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.  

Finally, in the evening I hosted a 6 course wine dinner at one of our amazing new on-premise venues on the waterfront — needless to say, I didn’t eat dinner that day!

I'd be lying if I said my job was easy, but when you are meeting inspiring people on a daily basis who all share your passion for wine, it feels a lot less like work and a lot more like play. Being a Wine Ambassador for Jacob's Creek truly is a dream job.  

 

- Ambar Maddox