“By Sandra Zunino
The subject of wine is complex. Or is it? Sommelier Laurie Forster in Easton, has made a career out of unraveling some of the mysteries of wine… and life.
In the 90s, Laurie worked as a high-powered software executive. Entertaining prospective clients in some of the finest restaurants of the world meant she needed to competently read a wine list and make recommendations. “”I grew up in the 80s with wine in the fridge in the box,”” she laughs, “but I noticed people could have an attitude about it, it was so complicated.”
Intimidation by pronunciations and snobbery from waiters encompassed Laurie to immerse herself in the subject attending wine dinners and several classes. At one class, Laurie met Chef Michael Forster, who was conducting a food and wine pairing lecture. Now paired for life, Michael and Laurie were married in 2002. “Once we started dating, everything was about food and wine,” she says. “We got engaged on a wine tour in Australia.”
Prior to the nuptials, the Baltimore-based couple relocated to New York, living blocks from the World Trade Center business district. Witnessing the September 11 tragedy firsthand, Laurie had an epiphany. “I remember thinking that all of us on this street walking for our lives were equal,” she recalls. “We were all in this together.”
Wanting to make every day count, the incident became the catalyst for Laurie to reinvent her career. She had been studying to be a life coach while simultaneously broadening her wine knowledge. Those passions along with her sophisticated sales ability and love of people triggered her to combine her talents.
Today, Laurie Forster, a.k.a. The Wine Coach not only educates people about wine, but also uses that connection to build on deeper issues, blending her professional sommelier training with life coach experience. “”We always joke that we can solve the world’s problems over a bottle of wine,”” she says.
Conducting wine classes and informative wine tastings at restaurants and events throughout the area, Laurie also holds corporate team building seminars. She starts with lessons and tips about wine, and crosses over to life lessons. “”It’s wine therapy,” she says. “I equate a balanced life to a balanced wine – acid versus fruit, etc.””
In Laurie’s, book “”The Sipping Point”” she concisely bestows valuable wine information in an approachable manner, delivering tips from opening wine bottles, to reading wine labels, even handling and storing wine. “It’s all the practical essentials of wine, in plain English with a sense of humor,” she says.
“I love the study of wine, but many people just want to know what they need to know so they can enjoy it,” she adds. “My vision was to create the ‘Cliff Notes’ of wine.”
Laurie also hosts a weekly WBAL radio show entitle “”Something to Wine About”” and is a frequent guest on radio spotlights helping demystify wine for listeners. She says she has a great idea for a television show and is currently working on a book with her husband containing recipes and wine pairing advice. In October, she plans her first wine tour in France.
Laurie’s inspiring story of success can be found in the pages of “Women on Fire” by Debbie Phillips. For more information, to purchase “The Sipping Point”, listen to excerpts from Laurie’s radio show or watch her U-Tube wine segments, visit www.thewinecoach.com.