Recycle: Best Wine Job in the World or April Fools at Murphy-Goode?

How does $10k a month, free rent, free wine, and a chance to tackle your dream job in the wine industry sound? Too good to be true?

April Fools?!?!

Twelve years ago, Queensland Australia pitched a contest to hire someone for “The Best Job In the World.” Dozens of friends encouraged me to go for it, so I did– and I really thought I had a chance. Along the way, I joined social media platforms, wrote blog posts, checked out competitors’ videos, fine-tuned my script, and honed my application video with help from family and friends including a professional videographer, Imre Juhasz, who filmed and together we edited it and recorded the sound track.

Read the script and watch the video on art Predator .

Here’s what I thought about my odds of being selected as one of the 50 finalists.

Millions of hopefuls applied. Well maybe not millions but thousands more than they’d expected– nearly 35k!! The job went to Ben Southall,  an adventurous, athletic young man, who was recently interviewed about his experience here.

Sonoma winery Murphy-Goode decided to get in on the free publicity train, asking, “Who wants to live in Wine Country as the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent?”

Again, I had dozens of friends SURE I was the best person for the job. And when Imre agreed to help me adapt my Best Job in the World video for Murphy-Goode, I figured nothing ventured nothing gained. What were the chances the Murphy-Goode people saw and remembered my Island Job video among 30k?  I blogged about the competition (see links below), and we redid the video.

Here’s my video for the 2009 incarnation of the Murphy-Goode promotion:

In the process of participating in the Murphy-Goode “job search”, I again connected with lots of great people including Paul Mabray who was with VinTank at the time. Lots of folks I’d met at the 2008 Wine Blogging Conference were applying too I found out as I checked out competitors’ videos.

Again, the contest was swamped: nearly 2,000 eager applicants emerged, and some 900 videos submitted and posted. But according to winemaker David Ready in a June 5, 2009 article in the LA Times,

the main weakness among the applicants so far was their inability to show a passion for wine or for life in the bucolic Alexander Valley, not their mastery of the Web as a marketing tool.

Competitors advised by VinTank did well when the Top 10 were named; too bad the videos are down now. Amidst a great deal of controversy including announcing the Final 50 early– (VinTank had 7 of the 8 they were advising get that far),  and then getting the spit bucket tossed on the via social media, Hardy Wallace won with this video:

Hardy Wallace made good, secured the job, and went on to start his own wine label, Dirty and Rowdy.

While I wasn’t a finalist for Murphy-Goode, I was for a trip to Chile which required a video. This one is pretty fun and might be more along the lines of the type Murphy-Goode is looking for after seeing the success of Hardy’s video:


Fast forward to today. For some reason, the Murphy-Good people think that the best response to the pandemic unemployment crisis is to recycle their Best Job in the world campaign just in time for April Fools and Earth Month.

While you can find a few application videos online published on people’s personal video channels, Murphy-Goode hasn’t started posting the videos.

So as today is April Fools AND the first day of Earth Month, I figure I might as well recycle my video application, because once again, dozens of my friends are convinced that I am the best person for this job. What do I have to lose?

I think I’ll name this version: Put a Poet to Work at Murphy-Goode.

Check out the script — in stanzas even!

While I agree that I’d be great at it, and I’d LOVE to live in Healdsburg especially if my kid chooses to go to nearby Sonoma State where he’s been accepted, I just don’t see the powers that be selecting me this time either– even though I have 12 more years experience in wine, wine writing, and the wine industry AND I meet the criteria as someone who:

  •   Takes life one sip at a time
  •   Will allow an employer to pay the rent in the idyllic town of Healdsburg
    –love Healdsburg as I wrote here
  •   Desires to make a positive impact in each interaction
    –absolutely! learned this teaching as well as leading
  •   Didn’t choose wine; wine chose me
    — I was working at Peet’s when the owners of Ridge insisted I come work for them
  •   Answers, “yes, please” when someone asks “red or white”
    –or rose, orange or sparkling please!
  •   Preferred Swiss Army knife is a wine key
    — the wine key on the knife gets the most use for sure
  •   Believes Yoga in the vineyard > Yoga in a studio
    –and I can even teach it there!

I’m also ready to take on these POTENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  •   Pivot career/life to create an adventure of a lifetime in the wine industry
    –perfect timing as my kid is graduating HS and has bee accepted to Sonoma State
  •   Acquire strong knowledge of vineyards, winery operations, and wine in general
    –I love pruning and picking
  •   Shadow winemaker Dave Ready Jr. and the winemaking team during harvest and assist in winery operations
    –since January 2019 I’ve been shadowing Bruce Freeman at Clos de Amis (links to the monthly series here)
  •   Learn the growing and dynamic world of E-commerce
    –sure be handy!
  •   Work with teams to drive awareness and build demand for Murphy-Goode Winery
    –no problem!
  •   Willingness and excitement to learn about various aspects of the wine industry
    –especially sustainability
  •   Explore the many beautiful features of Sonoma Wine Country
    –so scenic! love the big trees! so conveniently located!
  •   Develop strong working relationships across functions of the winery
  •   Network and build relationships with employees, trade and consumers of Murphy-Goode
  •   Provide hospitality to trade and consumers by contributing to a positive winery experience
    –I started in wine in the Ridge tasting room in the mid-80s!
  •   Effectively promote Murphy-Goode wines through various channels and events
    –do my best
  •   Other duties and responsibilities as assigned
    –you name it I can do it

and I meet THE FINE PRINT:

  •   Job applicants must be 21 years of age or older, a legal resident of the 50 US/ D.C., and/or authorized to work in the U.S.
  •   Video applications may be uploaded here in which applicant describes their dream role.
  •   Applications must be received by June 30, 2021.
  •   Applicants will be evaluated on role value, creativity and design, applicable experience and skill set.
  •   Applicants are eligible to earn a year-long position, housing and thirty cases of wine.
  •   By submitting an application, agree to our Privacy Policy at, the program terms and conditions, and automatically grant Jackson Family Wines, Inc. dba Murphy-Goode an irrevocable, transferable, perpetual, non-exclusive, fully paid up, worldwide license to use, copy, perform, reproduce, display, edit, modify and distribute any submitted material, including but not limited to use of your appearance, voice or name, and to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such submitted material, and to grant and authorize sub- licensees of the foregoing, without further compensation to you.
  •   Able to repetitively lift a minimum of 50 lbs.
  •   This position is overtime-exempt, and requires the availability to work flexible hours and weekends, when necessary.
  •   Jackson Family Wines, Inc., Santa Rosa, California, is an equal opportunity employer.
  •   For complete terms and conditions, visit

Stay tuned (subscribe!) for an update where I’ll share my video as well as a few others from this year’s contest.

May the mostest goodest Murphy-Goode candidate win a really Goode Job! 


For more pandemic April Fools shenanigans check out Art Predator.

Want to know more about me? My kid helped me do this one last summer:


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