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Local Businesswoman Turns Wine Passion into Profit

Jessica Bell took a roundabout way to marry her passion for wine with her career. Bell studied economics at Duke and worked as a successful investment banker in New York City before a “quarter-life” crisis led her to move to Spain to work at a winery.

Despite the years it took her to make her career revolve around wine, Bell quickly realized it was a "natural fit."

Credit mywineschool.com
Jessica Bell

"When wine is included, it's never a straight path, but I actually always loved food and wine," says Bell. "It was very integral to my upbringing...I'm also a very academic person, so you constantly are learning and it's a never ending journey to learn more about wine."

Bell now teaches, blogs and runs a wine school in Milwaukee, and is currently launching a new business venture makingdisposable wine glasses

While she does study wine and all its elements, she emphasizes that the measure of quality should be decided by the individual. 

"There's taste and preference, and then on the other end is quality. There are some rather objective ways you can measure quality," Bell explains. "So I always tell people drink what you like and enjoy it, but try everything because you never know what you're going to like."

Wine has taken Jessica Bell on many different winding paths - locally, nationally and globally. "I love languages, I love history, I love culture, I love going out to dinner," she says. "Wine takes everything I love and just puts it into one field."

Jessica Bell is the proprietor of My Wine School in Milwaukee and the start-up, Halo Vino, which this week completed a successful Kickstarter campaign. Her company will supply disposable wine glasses to Miller Park. 

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.