Wait! Before you get too into this article, you might want to check it out as it appears in our June Issue of Food & Drink Digital. If you like reading our website, you'll love flipping through our colorful, video-filled, interactive e-reader!
Every great entrepreneurial endeavor starts with a spark of an idea and a longing for something better. Marie Fox was seized by the spirit of entrepreneurship while perusing astrology sites on the web at her office job, daydreaming about a career that would incorporate her true interests.
“Astrology and wine have a lot in common,” says Fox, a certified astrologer who also developed a passion for wine while studying abroad in New Zealand. “Astrology is based on when you’re born and where you’re born, and wine has a different flavor depending on the vintage and where it’s from.”
With that, Fox decided to quit her job and spend the next year learning everything she could about the wine industry, and from there 12 Signs Wine was born.
Tell her what month you were born in and Fox can choose the perfect wine for you.
“I think of chardonnay as more light and vibrant and fruity,” says Fox of the Alexander Valley vintage she chose to represent Aquarius, Libra, and Gemini. “It can be lots of different flavors – oaky and creamy, or more stone fruit with bright acid – so it’s flexible, like an air sign. Whereas earth signs are more grounded, so Capricorn, Virgo and Taurus are a cabernet sauvignon. Firm tannins, very rich velvety texture: you can taste the earth.”
For the quiet and sensitive water signs, Fox recommends a subtle and complex Santa Maria Valley pinot noir, crafted from delicate grapes that require extra care to cultivate. On the other hand, fire signs require a bold touch that could only come from a zinfandel. “It’s a very big, bold, fruity, spicy wine,” says Fox of the old-vine Lodi zinfandel she chose to complete her line. “You either love it or you hate it, and that’s how it is with fire signs.”
Starting a business with no prior experience in the field was no easy feat. Licensing issues took time, and Fox sampled over 70 underwhelming wines before finding a partner who allowed her to have a hand in the actual blending process, a key element that finally yielded her the results she was searching for.“There’s always something to overcome when you’re running your own business,” she notes. “But that’s kind of what I like about being an entrepreneur.”
At times, Fox started second-guessing her venture altogether, but the year of perseverance is about to pay off. As late May gives way to June under Gemini – Fox’s own birth sign – the bottling process will be complete and 12 Signs Wine will be ready to unveil to the world.
There’s still a lot of work to do from here: Fox is planning a trip down the coast from the bottler back to San Diego, marketing the wine to shops along the way. If it’s a hit, she hopes to expand the brand to include wines from around the world, one day pairing a different wine with each individual sign. Fox even has plans for the QR Codes cleverly placed on the wines’ labels, with ever changing media content ranging from pairing recipes to daily horoscopes.
But that will all come with time. 12 Signs Wine is off to an impressive start, and with a story to tell, it has the potential to go far. “A lot of people start the opposite way,” says Fox. “They have the wine and not the concept. I started with the concept, and then found the perfect wine.” It’s almost like it was meant to be.