Shiraz & Shenanigans is about to take a pretty awesome turn

Dear loyal readers (okay so there’s probably few enough of you that I could just have easily listed you but where’s the fun in that?)

The whole girl-who-did-a-wine-course-and-is-now-obsessed-and-trying-to-learn-everything-about-it-while-forcing-her-knowledge-on-everyone thing is about to get way more serious.

I’ll start from the start

The photo that changed everything

One night in June I had arrived at the gym early (I should add, this never happens) and thought I’d look around Instagram for some wine accounts to follow. That’s when I came across the Instagram with this photo.

“I never dread going to work on a Monday. Today I tasted wines from China, Argentina, and USA!”

Benjamin – whoever you are – you’ve got my attention.

“Applications for wine ambassador roles at Pernod Ricard close THIS FRIDAY.”

You are legitimately looking at a board room table with built-in spittoons.

Of course it sounded amazing – my dream job! But it seemed too far-fetched for a Warragul girl like me, and besides, applications closed in 4 days; everyone else had had months to get theirs together.

Half way though the class I came to my senses. Who cares if I’m a small-town girl? Who cares that I didn’t grow up on some fancy vineyard? Wine is my passion and who knows what you can achieve with some drive? So I left the class half way through to get started.

The video

It was a Monday. The application was a 3 minute video due Friday… and I work full time. Monday night I wrote a script and sent it to my sister, she called on Tuesday and asked if I wanted her honest opinion; “it’s boring,” she said “doesn’t show your personality or what makes you stand out.”


So back to the drawing board. I’m normally good at coming up with fun ideas, I did a lot of awesome 21st speeches so I thought back through those but nothing seemed applicable. I’m not sure this target audience would react quite as well to props like condoms and a gag.

But then I remembered my friend Hannah’s speech at mine. She knows I’m a digital media junkie and used a fake Facebook page to highlight funny things about my life.

Yes, both Hugh Jackman and Luke Hudge attended my 21st.

This was all I needed to get the ball rolling. I taught myself to use prezi in a couple of hours and found screen recording software. By the time it was done, I was only getting a couple of hours sleep each night.

Here’s the finished product.

Have you ever walked into a bottle shop to ask if you can film yourself talking in the middle of their busy Richmond store?


But while it was bloody hard work, I actually ended up with a video I’m really proud of.

Thanks Tom for filming me through the night, Hannah for your creative idea and Kirby for your brutal honesty!

The rest of the process

After submitting the video, I was called out of the blue one day and had a 45 minute interview on the spot. Although pretty nerve racking, I knew I’d done ok after I quoted something I read in their annual report months before.


From there, I had a interview where I did group tasks, networking, a presentation, a wine tasting, and a round table discussion. After this, it was another interview; tests in personality, maths, logical reasoning and English; then an interview with people in Canada (much of this on Skype.)

The job

Six months later, I’m extremely happy to report that from the round, I was chosen as one of two Graduate Wine Ambassadors for Pernod Ricard. We will join three current grads for training in wine, comms, marketing and sales in the Barossa, New Zealand, Sydney, Spain and California. i.e. We’ll be travelling the world drinking wine (such a cool sentence to write).

Then after 5 months, I’ll be sent to Montreal (French Canada) to work as a wine ambassador for 2 years.

Pernod Ricard’s portfolio is made up of leading premium wine brands from all over the world, including: Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Argentina and the USA. In Australia, you’ll probably best know them for their Jacob’s Creek.

My role will be promoting and educating others about this portfolio. Day-to-day tasks appear to be extremely varied, so while hard to outline now stay tuned because I’ll blog about the whole experience.

How I’m feeling

I had a discussion with some friends recently about our generation and social media envy. How we show a pretty perfect picture of our lives online and neglect to mention the not-so-perfect.

So in the interest of transparency, I’ll add that while super excited, I’m pretty nervous.

I’m leaving behind my friends, my family, the 7 little human beings who I live for, and a five year relationship with the most amazing man in the world.

I guess while I’m here I’ll address the elephant in the room… it feels odd summing up weeks of discussions, tears and the prospect of an uncertain future in one sentence but here it is:

Tom and I won’t do long distance. We hope to stay friends and keep in close contact, then hopefully our stars will align so he can come join me in Canada one day.

So, while it will really have me beyond my comfort limits… It’s going to be an absolutely insane experience. I’ll be able to absorb myself in what I’m passionate about, and meet some awesome new people.

Thanks for those who have genuinely supported me in my passion for wine instead of ridiculing it. It’s given me the confidence to chase this dream.

I hope you continue to follow Shiraz & Shenanigans as I start this crazy new chapter!






2 Comments Add yours

  1. Bindi says:

    Good luck my darling God Child. I hope you enjoy your time travelling the world doing what you love. You have worked so hard for this and I truely believe that you will make every success for this new life adventure. Best wishes Melanie May. I love you and can’t wait to hear how it is all going. Xo

  2. Jan says:

    While I am so sad that you are going to be living away from me, I am also very excited for you Melanie. You worked hard for this amazing opportunity. Just stay safe and come home at the end of this adventure. Looks like Canada here I come! Xxxx

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