Roadie of the Week: Austin (Wine Internship)

Austin is originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana (USA), and is with us for four months participating in a wine internship here in Buenos Aires! Hear what he has to say about his rewarding and unforgettable experience with Road2Argentina!

Roadie of the Week Wine Internship

Roadie Austin: Because he broke a glass at his internship, he now wants to learn Tango!

Where do you intern in Buenos Aires (what does the organization do): I intern for a wine tasting company called Anuva Wines. The company was started in 2007 and provides tastings in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The tastings consist of five wines paired with five food platters.

Describe a typical day in your wine internship: Assisting in the wine tastings takes up a good portion of my day, depending on if we do two (instead of one) tastings and how many people come in each group. Beforehand, I’ll help set the tables and polish glasses and then help our cook prepare the appetizers for each wine as it’s announced during the tasting. And of course, there’re always the plates and glasses to clean afterwards.
Apart from the tastings, I run Anuva’s social media content as well as write a weekly blog on wine news around the world. My official position is called the “marketing and photography” intern, but I’ve really come to enjoy working in the kitchen as well.

The most interesting thing you’ve done as an intern: I’d say my proudest accomplishment so far has been making a video showcasing the empanadas that Anuva pairs with one of their Malbecs during tastings. It doesn’t sound like much, but Anuva originally didn’t have much video content on their site, so I was happy to be able to contribute and get them more attention via social media.

The greatest challenge you’ve faced in Argentina: I think the biggest challenge for me was adjusting to the Argentine accent. When I arrived in Buenos Aires, my host parents took me to an afternoon get-together with their extended family. When we all gathered around the dining room table and started talking, I could barely make out what anyone was saying. I was like, “Did I forget how to speak Spanish?” My host dad later told me that Argentina’s Spanish sometimes sounds like a completely different language. Fortunately, I’ve been able to catch on to the accent.

The most valuable thing you’ve learned: The most valuable thing I’ve learned here came in the form of advice from my host mom. Because my work hours are fairly late (1-9 p.m.), I’d use the mornings to sleep in late. But one day my host mom sat me down and told me I had to stop wasting my time and get out and explore the city. Take the subway or bus and do something new every morning before work. Buenos Aires is an incredible city. Immerse yourself in it!

Your favorite memory in Argentina: That’s a tough one. I’d say the day I arrived in Buenos Aires. I had been waiting for this trip since early spring and now it was finally here. I’ll never forget the car ride from the airport to my host family’s house. I couldn’t stop peering out of the backseat window to see Buenos Aires and all of its different neighborhoods. When I got to the house, I had a 30-minute conversation with my host mom, which was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had in Spanish. My arrival felt like the first day of college in a lot of ways. Everything was so new.

The best moment in your housing: Shortly after my arrival, my host family received two more American students who barely knew any Spanish. It was a little awkward at first because, while my host parents knew English, they obviously preferred to speak in Spanish. But there was one night where we all bonded at the dinner table. We finished our meal quickly but went on to spend a good while talking. At one point my host father told us a funny story that we couldn’t stop laughing about. I think that was the night when we finally clicked as a family, regardless of the difference in our Spanish speaking abilities.

Your goal before leaving: My original goal was to not break a wine glass during my time at Anuva. Unfortunately, I broke that promise the day after I made it. But I really want to learn the tango. I’m a horrible dancer, but I feel a little more confident after getting my feet wet when Road took us for a lesson. The tango first came on my radar when I saw a photo of Barack Obama dancing to it during his time in BA this past Spring. I was like, “I should probably learn this.”

One fun fact about Buenos Aires (and you): I’ve rediscovered my love for kiwis in Buenos Aires. Malbec, empanadas, and dulce de leche are all great, but they’re not the healthiest options around. There was one morning where I had a kiwi for breakfast and thought, “Why did I ever stop eating these?” Fortunately for me, there is a super market on the way home from work where I stop by a couple times a week. Kiwis are always at the top of my list. When it comes to working the fruit into the rest of my “diet”, it’s not an even balance. I mean, let’s face it, Argentine food is amazing. But kiwis keep me honest.

Advice to future Roadies: Two words: carpe diem. I used to hate hearing that phrase being tossed around, but I’ve lived by it here day in and day out. With your homestay, free time, and internship/classes, you have so many different ways to immerse yourself in the Buenos Aires culture. Being abroad is one of the most exciting times of your life. At the end of your trip, you want to look back and say that you took advantage of your surroundings and seized the day. My host mom would likely agree.

Why chose Road2Argentina: Road2Argentina provides a bit of everything for your experience abroad. The thing I also like about Road is that the program gives you freedom to explore. I’ve heard of study abroad programs that hold students on a tight lease, which I think is a real shame. For students to grow abroad, they need to be given a fair amount of independence, and I think that’s something Road does really well..

Here is some of the content Austin has produced for Anuva. The first link is the empanadas video, and the final two links are blogs he did about Argentina’s food culture and weekly wine news.

1. https://vimeo.com/181964355
2. http://www.anuvawines.com/tasting-argentina/want-to-learn-about-argentina-eat/
3. http://www.anuvawines.com/tasting-argentina/weekly-wine-news-12th-18th-september/


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