What subject do you teach?
I teach the Wine Studies course, which covers viticulture, viniculture, wine service, wine and food pairing, and the major wine-producing regions of the world.
How does it help prepare students for success in the food and beverage world?
In-class tastings help develop the palates and pairing skills needed by hospitality professionals. Many of our graduates choose to be sommeliers, food and beverage managers, journalists, consultants, or business owners with the skills they learned in Wine Studies.
What makes the CIA and its students stand out?
Our facilities and faculty are simply the best in the world. Motivated students have ample support from our faculty and the Learning Strategies Center to achieve their goals.
How has serving on the faculty helped you develop personally and professionally?
The college has supported my growth through education and travel. I have learned a lot from my colleagues, guest speakers, and students. More than 18,000 students have studied wine with me, and I am always keen to learn about other cultures from our international students, as well as from the experiences of our American students.
What’s the next big thing in food?
I think the next big thing is heightened awareness that healthy food and healthy wines are imperative for a healthy lifestyle.
What activities do you pursue outside of the classroom?
I play fingerstyle guitar, swim, read, and meditate. I think it is important to balance our lives in the hospitality business with spiritual practice, exercise, and creative outlets.
BS, State University of New York, Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY. Advanced Certificate, Court of Master Sommeliers. CEGEP, Dawson College, Montreal, Canada. Diploma, New York Hotel Management School, NYC.
Wine Journalist, Hudson Valley Connoisseur. Editorial Contributor, Santé, Associated Press, National Culinary Review. Adjunct Professor, New School University, NYC. Chef-Sommelier, Breakers Hotel, Palm Beach, FL. Maître d'Hôtel, Don Cesar, St. Petersburg, FL. Head Sommelier, Colony Beach Resort, Long Boat Key, FL; Arnauds, New Orleans, LA. Wine Judge, National Restaurant Association, and international food and wine competitions.
Wine & Spirits magazine Best Books of 2010 for Exploring Wine, 2010. Beverage Book of the Year, James Beard Foundation; and George Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year, both for WineWise, 2009. Distinguished Service Award, Italian Trade Commission, 2009. Inductee, Confraria do Vinho do Porto, 2007. Special Achievement Award, European Wine Council, 2007. Diploma of Honor, Corporation des Vignerons de Champagne, 1998.
WineWise. Exploring Wine.
Sommelier Society of America, East Coast Chapter.