We all have an Instagram account. Chances are you either check it too much, or you have absolutely no idea how everyone is so addicted to it and how it can actually work in your favour.

My Instagram is exactly what it should be – a reflection of me. It’s a combination of my life, my work and the things that I love. For some it is simply business, and for others it may seem like another platform for self-indulgence. But for many of us, consciously or not, it is much more than that.

With the right attitude, a good Instagram session can also provide you with some pretty good perspective. These are 5 life lessons I learned while scrolling through Instagram feeds!

Knowledge is Power

Education is the process of discovering something we were previously unaware of. The more we learn, the more we know – I’m sure it’s not an unfamiliar process. I’m also positive I am not the only one that has come across something I was previously unaware of, simply by scrolling through my Instagram feed.

Discovering a new clothing boutique or coffee shop in your area, or that someone you know has a new significant other may not seem overly important in the scheme of things. However, it is a great reminder that knowledge can be gained in so many ways, and there are endless ways to fuel your curiostiy and learn more about the people, places and businesses that you follow. Pay attention to those around you and what they are telling you. You never know what you might learn or what connection it might spark.

In both Instagram and the real world – greater knowledge will always lead to greater options.

Creating Inspiration Is Awesome

When you post a quote or image that is #relevant, and your followers think so too… That’s a win!

Many people on Instagram, whether you know them or not, are going through the same stages of life as you. It’s undoubtedly a part of why you are drawn to follow each other and connect with such a powerful community.

The feeling you get when someone comments that your post made their day, made them laugh, inspired them? It’s awesome. It reminds you that giving feels great and that sharing what you are passionate about is important.

Seek and You Shall Find

I am sure I’m not the only one to notice that when you are in need of a bit of advice, a push in the right direction, some inspiration or simply to be reminded that you are not alone… Instagram has some. The newsfeed has a magical ability to produce the quote you need or the image you desire, at exactly the right point in time. This could well be that we naturally follow people in similar situations to us, or people that we look to for inspiration – but either way, it is a pleasant reminder that if you care about it enough, something will show you the way and it will always work out in the end.

Get out there and put your effort into whatever it is you care about, and the answers will come to you. Knock, and it will be opened for you. Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find.

Play to Your Strengths

Something that is so important to remember when indulging in a scrolling session is that Instagram feeds are not a true depiction of life – they are highlight reels.

No one is going to willingly post photos of the times their life isn’t super amazing and fun and successful. Why would you? Those times are for you to reflect, build on, or just have a break. Don’t lose sight of what’s important to you, and when things are amazing and fun and successful, don’t be afraid to share!

In life and in Instagram, you’ve got to play the game to a certain extent. Make that highlight reel your own. Play to your strengths and you can’t lose, there are no wrong answers!

Comparison is Counterproductive

Particularly for the ladies out there, scrolling through your Instagram feed is often an endless stream of beautiful women. People modelling clothes, in tropical destinations in a swimsuit, fitness models, hugely successful business women – on Instagram these days, it’s almost inevitable.

You have two choices. You can scroll through enviously and wish you looked like them- had their lives, their bodies, their fans. Or, you can admire their lives and their success and their beauty, at no expense of your own. Someone else’s success or beauty is not the absence of your own.

Don’t compare your life – appreciate everything you are and everything you have. The only person you need to compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday, and if you focus on building on that, it will always be productive.

Kate Dinning is a PR Consultant – a professional story teller – with a keen interest in Personal Branding, and the changing landscape of Social and Digital Media. She is a lover of good coffee and good conversation, and one of those people that just refers to everything as an ‘adventure’. Follow her adventures here: @katedinning

Heading to a wine tasting and don’t quite know what you’re doing?

Don’t worry, winemaker Julie Montgomery – who is behind Avon Brae wines, and whose Avon Brae Eden Valley Chardonnay 2016 was named White Wine of the Year last year by Cellarmasters – shares her top tips for how you can taste like an expert and get the most of your winetasting experience.

Don’t drink coffee or smoke before a tasting

To properly appreciate a wine, your palate should be as ‘clear’ as possible. So don’t drink coffee, smoke or brush your teeth at least two hours before a wine tasting. If you need to cleanse your palate, have a piece of bread or a cracker.

Avoid wearing lipstick and perfume

We all love a nice lippy, but did you know that the oils in lipstick and lip balm can really impact the taste of the wine?  Also, avoid wearing perfume and hairspray to a tasting, as the strong scents can interfere when you try to smell the wine. 80 percent of what you taste in wine is what you smell (this is why when you have a blocked nose, you can barely taste any flavours), so this is indeed a very important rule to remember.

Shortlist your favourites

Find out what wines will be served at the tasting, and shortlist the ones you want to try. Take into consideration the wine varieties you tend to like, but also use this as an opportunity to try something different. For casual tasting, stick to no more than say 20 wines to sample in one day, as your palette can get fatigued.

Try the whites first & use sparkling as a palette cleanser

Try the white wines first, as this will keep your palette clean. Once you start tasting the reds, don’t go back to the whites. However, if you do end up tasting a mix of red and white varietals, use sparkling wine as a palette cleanser or a bit of bread and cheese.

Look, smell, swirl and smell again

Once you have the wine in your glass, look at it. Notice the colour, clarity and viscosity as these things tell you a number of things about the wine you are about to smell and taste. Smell it – don’t swirl it around immediately, as doing so opens all the aromas and can hide the different characters.

After your first smell, swirl the wine in the glass and smell again. As mentioned above, smell is important when it comes to wine, as you are preparing your brain for the wine you are about to taste. Our sense of smell has a profound effect on the way our brain processes flavour. When smelling a wine, try to associate the aromas with things you are reminded of, such as fruits, flowers, herbs and spices.


Taste the wine by swirling it around in your mouth for five to ten seconds. This will warm up the wine and cover your taste buds. If you can aerate the wine by sucking a small amount of air as you take it into your mouth, this will allow more flavor intensity for the full experience,

Take note of the finish

After you’ve tasted the wine, take a moment to notice the finish. How long does the flavour last, what is the lasting taste? Does it appeal to you?

Ask the winemaker

At many festivals and wine-tasting events the winemaker will be there, so take the chance to ask them questions about their wine. For instance, what temperature the wine is best served, what food goes best with it, if you should cellar it and if so, for how long and what will happen to the flavour if you do so.

Tasting should be fun

Remember that tasting wine is one of life’s pleasures and it should be fun. Tasting is subjective and each taster is different. Don’t overthink the process, otherwise you may forget to enjoy the experience.

Mini vino vocab

The top five words to know ahead of a winetasting.

Acid = Acidity gives wine its tart and sour taste.

Mouthfeel = This is used to describe the body and texture of the wine, for example: silky, smooth, velvety and rough.

Balance = A wine is balanced when all the different components are working in harmony. The key components that should be in balance are alcohol, acidity, tannin, sweetness and fruit.

Finish = The lasting impression of a wine and the taste that stays on the palate after it has been swallowed. The length of the finish is the final indicator of the wine’s quality.

Dryness – A dry wine is simply a wine that has no residual sugar, meaning it isn’t sweet

You can meet Julie and eleven other Australian female winemakers (and taste their wines, of course) on International Women’s Day this year!

To celebrate Australia’s female winemakers, Cellarmasters is hosting Meet the Makers: Women in Wine on International Women’s Day on March 8. The event is an opportunity for wine lovers to meet some of the country’s best female winemakers and taste their wines.

Where: View By Sydney, Pier 2, 13 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay

Date: Thursday March 8

Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Tickets: $39 * (includes a glass of sparkling on arrival, cheese and canapes, and tastings of over 40 different wines. *Plus booking fee.)