"My journey began as a wine enthusiast. Tasting some unforgettable wines from Burgundy forever changed my wine world and inspired me to make the transition into a second career from software engineer to wine professional. I devoted myself to studying different wine regions and grape varieties and became a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers.
I set a goal for my new career: creating a comfortable, enjoyable, and accessible environment for my customers to experience and learn about wine. As a wine buyer, sommelier, teacher and consultant, I strive to find undiscovered gems for my customers. I look for wines that are first and foremost delicious, are unique in the marketplace, feature a quality level that far exceeds their price point, and have an intriguing story behind them. I also run tasting events and teach classes that introduce my customers and students to wine regions, small producers and pairing suggestions.
I am presently in the process of launching my own company, the Curious Wine Drinker, an online forum with the mission of helping individuals discover their dream wines. On my website, I provide publicly accessible educational materials, keep a blog and post wine reviews. I also offer consulting services for restaurant and retail wine selection.
My certifications include: Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Certified Specialist of Wines with the Society of Wine Educators (currently pursuing the Certified Wine Educator, too) and California Wine Appellation Specialist.
Although the CMS and SWE programs covered a wide breadth of knowledge, the FWS program gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion for French wines. It provided me with a deeper understanding of the historical, sociological and geological factors that have contributed to the development of French wines. I learned about the early civilizations that first produced wine in each region, how events such as war or changes of nationality impact the community around the wine, the geological history of the soils, the soil and climate conditions in which certain grapes thrive and the relationship of wine to local cuisine. Through my studies with the FWS program, I felt as if I had taken a tour of France over thousands of years.
Because the wines of Champagne and Burgundy have a special place in my heart, I am eager to explore those regions in greater depth through Master Level programs with the Wine Scholar Guild. I would also like to complement my experience with an exploration of Spanish wines through the Spanish Wine Scholar program.
I am additionally interested in programs with the Wine Spirit and Education Trust. I believe that I will come out of both institutions with a diverse range of experiences and knowledge.
Taking the FWS program has enabled me to further pursue my dream of turning my passion for wine into my calling. I am eager to share my newfound knowledge with other wine lovers.
The FWS program helped me to recognize the plethora of factors behind every glass of wine. I now look at wine and all its complexities through a more sophisticated lens. Future studies through Master Level programs with the Wine Scholar Guild will facilitate me in furthering my knowledge and experience at a regional level. I will continue to develop the tools I need to become a specialist in old world wines.
My experiences with the FWS program have also allowed me to better teach, advise and serve my customers and students. I am inspired to create new, in-depth curricula for my classes and as I continue with Master Level programs within the Wine Scholar Guild, I hope to expand from teaching consumers to also developing classes for wine students and industry professionals."