“I am most passionate about bringing my knowledge [of tasting] to consumers, “said an enthusiastic Orietta Gianjorio, a native Italian from Rome,...
Frank Mangio loves his job.
First of all, he describes his office as a "cozy wine bar," complete with overstuffed furniture, walls covered with photographs and several coolers housing more than one hundred bottles of wine. Not a bad place to come in to work five days a week.
Second, the work he does combines two of his favorite things: wine and writing.
Overall, Frank Mangio has successfully embodied Confucius's sage advice: "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life."
Today, Mangio is known as a wine and food columnist - particularly for his syndicated column, "Taste of Wine," which runs in multiple newspapers, magazines and on radio shows. A well-known and highly-respected face in the wine world, he also appears as a guest speaker at wine and food festivals, resorts and wineries.
The path that led Mangio to wine, however, is one that has spanned a lifetime and has led him to multiple different careers and unforgettable opportunities, or "peak experiences," as he calls them.
Mangio grew up in an Italian household in Pasadena that was very much "USA all the way." Typical of that era, his home life was very Americanized. "[My parents] did not want Italian spoken in the house or the culture to be exposed in any way...so we had no feeling about where we came from."
He began working at 16 as a (very successful) furniture repairman, a career he maintained throughout the remainder of high school before enlisting in the army two years later. Three years later, his enlistment with the army fulfilled, Mangio turned to his third career - radio.
"I'm always looking for opportunity, you see," he said. "I always counsel people that, you know, things come along and you have to really look at it in a sense of what it can do for you and pursue that vehemently so you become a part of those things that you really enjoy experiencing."
As a radio DJ, Mangio gained substantial success and several more doors opened for him - doors that allowed him unique and once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as meeting the Beatles and flying with the world-famous Blue Angels.
Mangio traded in one hat for another a couple more times, rounding out his resume as a jack of all trades until he took a vacation that would alter the direction of his path yet again. In an effort to learn more about his heritage, Mangio decided to take a three-month vacation in Tuscany. It was on this vacation that he learned about wine and taped into a previously unknown love and appreciation for it. Upon his return to the States, Mangio had what he calls an epiphany about wine, which launched his writing career that has lasted eight years now.
"The thing about wine is you really have to be thoughtful about it if you want wonderful wine that will go very well with whatever food you're cooking," Mangio explained. "Wine is like people, like families: They all have personalities, they all have different flavors...so it's an ongoing process to learn about wine and to be aware that there is a wine for everyone."
Today, "Taste of Wine" is printed in 10 newspapers and at least 21 websites that Mangio has detected.
Mangio may not know what lies in the future for him or which path he may follow next, but wherever life leads him next, he'll certainly be able to enjoy it with a good glass of wine.