Meet Erica, Certified Sommelier

Erica | Certified Sommelier

Hello there, I’m Erica. Until I started working in the industry, the only thing I knew about wine was that there was white and red wine. And I didn’t think I liked either of them. At a fancy themed party in college, I tried my first sip (gulp) of wine. I had a hard time choking it down. Unfortunately, it did not taste like juice as I expected. About the time same, I started waiting tables at an upscale restaurant in town. It was the first restaurant I’d worked at that had a separate wine menu. And I barely understood a word of it. I learned the absolute basics during training. Over the next few weeks I hoped my customers wouldn’t ask me questions about the wine list.

Learning About Wine

As I settled into my new job, I slowly learned more and more about wine. I started by learning which varieties were white, which were red, and which were sparkling. Next, I memorized the most frequently ordered bottles on the menu. Then I learned a few words to describe each of those: dry, fruity, earthy, and heavy. These became part of my wine vocabulary. The kitchen staff taught me which wines paired best with which meals. And soon enough, my fear of the wine menu subsided. Sometimes on Saturday nights, the managers let us do a wine tasting with the remaining uncorked bottles.

Slowly, I learned to appreciate wine and discern which bottles I liked best. I also read gourmet food and wine books. Realizing how much I liked working in the restaurant industry, I switched my major to Hospitality Management. By the time I graduated, I could identify some of my favorites by taste. I could distinguish a buttery Chardonnay from a dry Sauvignon Blanc. Or a cherry noted Pinot Noir from a full bodied Malbec.

I continued working in fine dining post graduate. Eventually, I rose to a manager position at an Italian restaurant. I became close with the sommelier on staff. He became my mentor as well as my friend. I enjoyed listening to him talk about wine. Most nights after closing, he’d tell me about his favorite wines from around the world. He taught me about regional differences. And shared stories from his wine tasting trips to France, Italy, Chile Australia, and New Zealand. His passion was infectious.

Becoming a Certified Sommelier

Soon I began taking classes about analogy, viticulture, and food pairings. My first trip abroad was a two-week class touring through France. I learned about the different wine regions. It was on that trip that I committed myself to pursuing a career in wine. And a few months after returning, I became a Certified Sommelier.

I love working in the restaurant industry for several reasons. I get to connect with people for a living. And help them find the perfect pairing for an unforgettable meal. I’m also passionate about making wine appreciation an accessible interest to all people. I know many people are as intimidated by the wine list as I once was. But there’s no reason to be. My goal is to share my wine knowledge and experiences here!

Meet Erica, Certified Sommelier

Erica | Certified Sommelier

Hello there, I’m Erica. Until I started working in the industry, the only thing I knew about wine was that there was white and red wine. And I didn’t think I liked either of them. At a fancy themed party in college, I tried my first sip (gulp) of wine. I had a hard time choking it down. Unfortunately, it did not taste like juice as I expected. About the time same, I started waiting tables at an upscale restaurant in town. It was the first restaurant I’d worked at that had a separate wine menu. And I barely understood a word of it. I learned the absolute basics during training. Over the next few weeks I hoped my customers wouldn’t ask me questions about the wine list.

Learning About Wine

As I settled into my new job, I slowly learned more and more about wine. I started by learning which varieties were white, which were red, and which were sparkling. Next, I memorized the most frequently ordered bottles on the menu. Then I learned a few words to describe each of those: dry, fruity, earthy, and heavy. These became part of my wine vocabulary. The kitchen staff taught me which wines paired best with which meals. And soon enough, my fear of the wine menu subsided. Sometimes on Saturday nights, the managers let us do a wine tasting with the remaining uncorked bottles.

Slowly, I learned to appreciate wine and discern which bottles I liked best. I also read gourmet food and wine books. Realizing how much I liked working in the restaurant industry, I switched my major to Hospitality Management. By the time I graduated, I could identify some of my favorites by taste. I could distinguish a buttery Chardonnay from a dry Sauvignon Blanc. Or a cherry noted Pinot Noir from a full bodied Malbec.

I continued working in fine dining post graduate. Eventually, I rose to a manager position at an Italian restaurant. I became close with the sommelier on staff. He became my mentor as well as my friend. I enjoyed listening to him talk about wine. Most nights after closing, he’d tell me about his favorite wines from around the world. He taught me about regional differences. And shared stories from his wine tasting trips to France, Italy, Chile Australia, and New Zealand. His passion was infectious.

Becoming a Certified Sommelier

Soon I began taking classes about analogy, viticulture, and food pairings. My first trip abroad was a two-week class touring through France. I learned about the different wine regions. It was on that trip that I committed myself to pursuing a career in wine. And a few months after returning, I became a Certified Sommelier.

I love working in the restaurant industry for several reasons. I get to connect with people for a living. And help them find the perfect pairing for an unforgettable meal. I’m also passionate about making wine appreciation an accessible interest to all people. I know many people are as intimidated by the wine list as I once was. But there’s no reason to be. My goal is to share my wine knowledge and experiences here!

Erica, Certified Sommelier December 28, 2018