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100-MILE BOOK CLUB: South Okanagan writer gives crushing perspective on wine industry

What’s a writer who loves good wine to do when moving to the Okanagan?

Write about wine, of course! A few years ago, Jeannette Montgomery started a personal blog about Okanagan wines, which quickly turned into several writing gigs in the Okanagan’s burgeoning wine industry.

Montgomery, who is based in Oliver,  is a contributor to magazines such as EAT, Wineries Refined and BC Wine Trails. She also pens newsletters and generates advertising copy for Okanagan wineries.

Montgomery brings a unique perspective to the wine industry: She doesn’t approach her work as a sommelier or certified wine professional, but as a writer in search of a story.  Montgomery explains that sharing the sensory experiences of wine — the taste and smell — is storytelling at its best.

“Relating wine to a situation resonates with me,” she explains. “Who you like to drink it with, where you’d like to be, if it’s sunny, or if you’re on the sofa in front of a fireplace.”

Montgomery has plenty of experience to draw on while formulating her stories, having previously been in the service industry at an Okanagan winery. It was a perfect place for a wine lover, and a great place for research. “Drinking is good writer cred. I try to ensure that I do my part.”

Even though wine has played a role in Montgomery’s writing career, she tackles many other subjects — working on everything from short stories to generating content for campaigns and websites.

“I write,” she says. “I drink wine. Sometimes, the two intersect.”

Montgomery sees writing about wine in her future but wouldn’t rule out other subjects becoming her focus. In fact, Montgomery is on the board of directors for the Penticton Art Gallery, and has recently opened an art gallery and small bookshop in Penticton. For more information visit Montgomery’s website: www.okanaganwriting.com.

A gift of vino

The holiday season can be a wonderful time to give wine.

Jeannette Montgomery, a local writer, suggests trying to make a personal connection.

“Maybe it’s something you’ve tasted together on a wine tour, or that reminds you of a time you were lost and found a great little restaurant.”

Heather Allen is a writer and reader living in Penticton.

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