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Q. Where are you currently working and in what capacity? 

A.  I am currently the Manhattan On-Premise Manager for VINTUS wines, a national importer.  Prior to joining VINTUS, I spent 8 years as a sommelier with Balthazar, the Mandarin Oriental New York, and Charlie Palmer Group

Q.  What brought you to the wine industry?

A.  Wine is the beverage that most reflects its origins.  The regions geography, culture, cuisine, people all come in to play when producing a bottle of wine.  It’s that sense of place which can transfer you to the specific region the wine was made, that makes it so alluring to many people. 

Q.  What is the best piece of advice you have received that you would like to share?

A. I am lucky to have had many good mentors in this industry but I think the best piece of advice was from Annie Turso, Wine Director at the Mandarin Oriental.  Early in my career she said “it’s just red or white, make sure to have fun.”  It was a very simple piece of advice but one that made me realize what we do as Sommeliers is fun and we’re very fortunate.  It kept me humble and made me a better hospitality professional. 

Q.  What are you tasting?

A.  I am always excited about Champagne.  I think it can be one of the most versatile pairings with food.  I recently tried Paul Dethune Blanc de Noirs NV and was blown away by the quality for the price.  Another exciting wine for me lately is Silvaner from Franken in Germany.  Delicious!

Q.  What inspires you?

A.  I would have to say my daughter, McKinley.  I want to be the best example possible for her.

Q.  What’s your guilty pleasure?

A.  Too many to list, but pizza and Champagne is probably at the top.