What made you decide to become a sommelier?
I grew up in Ft. Collins, CO with kids from New Belgium Brewing and drank a lot of craft beer, but it wasn’t until I was in school for hotel administration at Cornell that I started taking a serious interest in wine and its role in the hospitality industry. I was in my 20s and thinking of going to Costa Rica to work at a hostel. I was also taking a wine class and through that met Greg Harrington – at the time, the youngest person to ever receive the designation of Master Sommelier. He had just started Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla WA and had talked about his struggle after graduating and not knowing what he wanted to do exactly, but decided to keep exploring his interest in wine. Greg was in his early 30s starting a winery and I thought I want a career I can brag about. He was one of the main people who made me realize I could use my passion for wine as a career. So after graduating, I moved back to Colorado to pursue a sommelier certification from the International Wine Guild and get my foot in the door at a wine shop.