Episode #546 – The Many Routes to Becoming a Sommelier

She was the 5th woman to earn the title Master Sommelier and she has earned a lot more titles, honors and certifications than that in her extensive wine career. Catherine is the proprietor of Planet Grape, LLC, a wine consulting firm providing content, reviews, corporate & private tastings, restaurant wine program development, and speaking services. She created her alter-ego, Grape Goddess, to help bring wine down to earth for consumers as well as those entering the wine industry. She is one of a handful of female professional sabreurs in the world, opening a bottle of Champagne with a sword in a dazzling theatrical performance. Catherine was recently inducted into Les Dames d’Escoffier and is a Board Member of The American Institute of Wine & Food.

Her diverse wine background as a salesperson, sommelier, distributor, and supplier helped Catherine become the well-rounded and thorough expert she is today. She understands all facets of the wine business, and is a frequent speaker, event host, educator, and consultant for corporations, consumers and the wine trade. She is a highly sought after wine expert and spokesperson for the wine industry.

On today’s episode of Grape Encounters, Catherine tackles a couple of very important topics. First, for those who desire to become a certified wine expert, there are many routes that can be taken. Catherine helps listeners sort out the differences and offers expert advise on which direction to go.

Next on to today’s main subject. As the seasons change, so do our desires for different wines. In the same way that we change our wardrobe throughout the year, we also pay closer attention to wines that suit the season. David and Catherine take a deep dive into this subject and much more!

Episode #542 – (Wine) Cocktails Anyone? Cool Concoctions From the Wine Institute!

This is a time when we are all absolutely immersed in the holiday season. We have a little bit of it behind us and a whole lot more in front of us. This is probably the biggest time when it comes to wine and wine sales because everybody’s out buying wine for gifts. They’re buying wine for parties and family celebrations, but sometimes you just want to mix it up a little bit and when we say mix it up, that even includes mixing our fruit of the vine with something else. So, speaking of something else, one of David’s favorite guests who comes on from time to time, not nearly enough, is Nancy Light. She’s the VP at the Wine Institute, which is an incredibly powerful and effective organization–really an advocacy group–for the California wine industry, but they do so much good for wine all over the world. On this episode of Grape Encounters, Nancy joins us to lighten up things with wine cocktails. When David saw a new publication from the Wine Institute, he says he freaked out! “The minute I saw this, like I just freaked out. I was so crazy because it is so up my alley and anybody that’s been listening to Grape Encounters for any length of time knows that I love to tinker with wine. And there are a lot of people that think wine is sacred and you can’t mess with it and you just gotta drink it the way the winemaker made it and that’s it. But you guys come along with a wine cocktail ebook for the holidays.”