The Wine Speak journey really started when Amanda Wittstrom Higgins asked if I would come to Paso Robles to teach some classes for the wine tasting room attendants & the servers of restaurants from their area. I was really quite taken that she & her team were searching for ways to move the wine community of her area forward. Education is certainly a good call…..especially their wish to bring “outside” talent in to shed light from a different perspective. That would prove to be the underlying driving core of Wine Speak–come to share & learn, thus fostering camaraderie & collaboration. Thank you all who came to share & learn!
I was really moved looking at the attendees faces during this seminar. One could readily see a community of professionals wanting to learn. I was just looking to say things that would make each think…& then hopefully “imagine the possibilities”.
DAY THREE-Panel Two “So you want to be a professional”
Originally, this panel was entitled “so you want to be a somm?” Back in the 1980’s Fred Dame worked hard to bring the Master Sommelier exam to America. (It was previously only given in England, AND in my opinion, Fred was the only person I knew who could make this happen. We as a wine community truly owe him so much thanks for all he did & still does). Today, because of the great influence the Court Of Master Sommeliers has on setting standards on wine service, there has been a whole new generation striving for the MS pin, with generations also lining up behind. The purpose of this panel was to ask 3 iconic, long time sommeliers to share their insights, wisdom & experiences which would hopefully remind us what the true “craft” of being a sommelier is & inspire all, moving forward.
–Fred Dame MS–former long time Chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers
–Nunzio Alioto MS–former long time Chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers
–Mark Shishido–Wine Director of Alan Wong’s Restaurant in Hawaii & Hawaii Restaurant Association “Hall of Fame” recipient
Thanks guys for coming to share.
Up until 10 months ago, I was traveling interisland here in Hawaii, at least 2 times a week. Add to that the mainland jaunts I would also take during the calendar year & that added to the growing number of miles on an airplane. I always prefer to fly on Hawaiian Airlines. The flight attendants truly make me feel welcome, appreciated AND cared for. So, when my event partner Amanda asked the principals responsible for the service to come share what they do hospitality wise & how they teach this, I was thrilled, as I have experienced the results of their hard work countless of times. How they execute hospitality is remarkable & special & hopefully, the professionals of the Paso Robles/Atascadero area would benefit from their story.
–Alisa Onishi, Director of Brand Management, Hawaiian Airlines
These two ladies absolutely killed it! They created ambiance, incredible content & an A+ presentation that, judging by the crowd’s reaction, inspired & moved all who attended, including me! I was so thankful for the experience. Thank you ladies.