“The biggest lesson that I have learned is to never stop asking questions. The more inquisitive I've been, the stronger of a connection I've made with my guests, teammates, and suppliers. „
Frequent travel helps me create a healthy work/life balance. Leave your home base - even for just a weekend at least once per quarter. The change in perspective will revitalize you and make you more productive and happier when you get back. It's a piece of the puzzle that's too easy to forget.
Curiosity and humility are the keys to succeeding in this business. I seek out individuals who are asking intelligent questions and are grounded in reality.
The greatest skill needed to excel as a sommelier is listening. So many people forget that we're here to provide our guests a warm, positive, and unforgettable experience; how can we do that without genuinely listening to what they want?
Continually sharing the stories of the fantastic winemakers, farmers, craft distillers, and small brewers that we work with are pivotal in keeping our teams engaged and inspired.
There's no resting on one's laurels in this business. We are in a time and place right now where everyone is pushing to create and curate the best wine lists they can. It's wonderful to be part of a community that is dedicated to sharing their passions. The opportunity to act as a catalyst for creativity and integrity in our beverage programs keeps me focused and inspired.
Visiting the breweries, wineries, vineyards, and distilleries is the only way to truly learn about the different facets and the convergence of art, science, and nature that is involved in the beverage industry. The reality is that finding time to make those trips is tough. To keep up and learn about the new vintages, producers, and stay on top of up-and-coming regions, I rely on my wine reps and taste as much as my schedule allows.
I'm always ordering new releases of beverage and cocktail books and love picking up the latest issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine. It's so important to stay on top of the literature in this field.
Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.
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