Welcome to Vino Vagabonds!
We are Jeff Didra and Brittany Asseff; two wine and travel-seeking twenty-somethings who have made it our mission to swirl, sniff, sip and devour our way through as many wine regions in the world as we can.
In 2009 we left the desert sunsets of Tucson, Arizona for the bountiful vines of Napa Valley. We were fortunate to land amazing jobs working with wine in Napa, but after two years we discovered that the same yearning for knowledge and adventure that drew us to California, was pulling us yet again into the wider world of wine and travel.
With that, we decided to combine our love for wine and food with our desire for open-ended travel and embark on a self-proclaimed, world-wide ”Masters program in wine, food and cultures in the grape-growing world.” Why not right?!
Our goal is to travel as long as our glasses are half full and to make a living writing about, photographing and working directly in the wine industry. We want to learn how locals drink their wine, prepare their favorite meals and what role it all plays in their daily lives.
This blog is to document everything as we see, smell and taste it. We hope to encourage others to join us on this journey and discover each place through the wines, recipes and experiences in these pages.
Jeff is a self-proclaimed optimist. He tries to see the beauty in all things and positively affect everyone he meets. He is happiest when he is active outdoors, laughing with his friends, discovering new music for his iPod, meeting new people, cooking and of course, drinking a delicious glass of wine.
Jeff’s love affair with wine started while bartending in college. He was able to taste a 1976 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, and it quite literally changed his life. This was more than just grape juice, it was the earth and smell of Bordeaux; it was 1970′s France in a bottle.
Amazed at how a wine could instantly transport him to vineyards around the world where the grapes were grown, he earned his Sommelier Certification and proceeded to travel the world through each new glass he tried.
It wasn’t until after graduation, that he was able to take his passion abroad and travel to Europe with a backpack and wine key. All the new foods, wines, beers, faces and sights hooked him and he became a life-long traveler.
A few years later, he met Brittany, a travel junkie herself, and his passion for wine soon rubbed off on her. Through Vino Vagabonds, Jeff fulfills both his passions and hopes to share his excitement and knowledge of wine with anyone in need of a Wine Guy.
Taking her first trip to Mexico at the ripe-old age of 18, Brittany was hooked on travel (and the Spanish language) from the moment her feet hit the sandy beaches of Puerto Vallarta.
During college she studied Journalism and Spanish and traveled every opportunity she had. She spent holidays in the Cayman Islands, Italy, The British Virgin Islands and fully realized her travel bug after a full month in Puerto Rico.
It wasn’t until she met Jeff though, that she realized her passion for wine. He took her through the world bottle by bottle, and like traveling, it became a life-long passion. As she says, “travel and wine may as well be synonyms.”
Wherever she goes, she can be found running around a nearby park, lying in the sun with a glass of Sauv Blanc or bubbly or with her head buried in the latest Budget Traveler or period novel.