By Dan Carlinsky
At age 14, Preston Mohr (B.A. ’04) fell in love—not puppy love, as it turned out, but the real thing.
His older brother had studied French, so when it came his time to pick a foreign language in school, he chose French, too. “In the textbook, I saw pictures of people sitting in a café with a Perrier,” he recalls, “and thought it was just so sophisticated, so enticing.”
The attraction grew during his time at the University of Minnesota. He spent his junior year in Paris studying art history and got hooked on everything French. After he finished his degree the following year—he added a minor in French studies—Mohr went right back to Paris. He spent a year helping teach English in a high school, and when that assignment came to a close he knew he wanted to stay.
Mohr, 33, cobbled together jobs here and there: helping people move, working for a short-term apartment rental agency, even babysitting. Meanwhile, he was learning about food and wine and leading culinary classes and tours through local agencies. In 2013, he completed a two-year course and earned a diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, an international body that certifies educators in the field.
Earlier this year Mohr began offering day tours to the Champagne and Loire Valley wine regions—where his art history background comes in handy—through his own company, Paris by the Glass.
“I knew I wanted to do something in travel and education, to do something that would bring me pleasure, and let me share that pleasure. I followed my dream,” he says.
To learn more about Paris by the Glass, visit www.parisbytheglass.com.