What We Do
We are Sommeliers and professionals who are dedicated to the wine trade and all those who support it. Our goal is to explore expanding dimensions of the wine world to evolve concepts in wine sales and education. Our philosophy centers around a cultural aesthetic where wine gently glitters from the background and becomes part of a complete social experience—a journey of wine awareness.
Recognize that each bottle is a potentially unbelievable experience. Not for the liquid within, but for the possibilities dwelling within each of us. Our capacity to share social experiences is at the core of what wine truly promises.
We specialize in identifying developing concepts in wine, including up and coming wineries, developing regions and new social trends. We work with our clients to acquire and educate about these wines via personalized service with a traditional approach. Taste it, share it, live it!
Who We Are
Wine was always at the family dinner table, especially the extended family. Even when I left home after college, wine was on someone else’s table and although I drank it and wonderful times were had, there was yet to be that wine “epiphany” everyone describes. So I went about my life: technical writer, pastry chef, caterer, wedding cake company chef and owner and I loved it all!
It was a last-minute reservation at The Herbfarm in Woodinville, Washington that did it for me. We sat at a communal table, spoke and laughed with folks from all over the country, listened to a classical guitarist, but that was nothing compared to a huge curtain pulled back to reveal…(technically I think we signed a waiver swearing we’d keep those secrets to ourselves) but I can tell you the 1910 Madeira at the end of the evening was mind-blowing. The highlight for me was the professionalism and ease that each and every staff member elicited. I wanted that confidence, that knowledge, that sense of complete trust of each member’s ability at any given time during the evening. The wine was part of the entire experience, but it fit so seamlessly it never stood out, but floated from course to course—a tightly choreographed play where guest was center stage.
That was 2005, so just two years later I sold the cake business and enrolled into the first Court of Master Sommeliers Education Program in the US. Now a Certified Sommelier, I’m on the long and winding path toward Master of Wine. And that’s when I met GUY who was a fellow employee at a local wine retail shop where I was hired as “lowly floor employee.” There I had the opportunity to connect labels with actual winemakers and experience my first communal tasting glass experience with the other shop employees. During my time in the business, I’ve met the craziest and most sincere people I’ve ever known and I’m lucky to have called them colleagues and friends.
And now a new path begins—simultaneously frightening and liberating, where I spend most days nurturing our clientele on the East Coast.
Some time ago I stepped out of the relative comfort of white-collar existence and dared to ask the question, “What if I gave up everything in the pursuit of something meaningful? And more importantly, what could that be?”
Not long after I sensed a life change was due, I found myself on a trip to San Francisco and onward through wine country. It was on this journey I found myself laid low on the corner of Washington and Lincoln Streets, just after departing the Calistoga Roastery outside the town of Napa. The flu may have been the byproduct of running through the streets of San Francisco on a rainy New Year’s Evening the night before. But I believe it was also an intervention of providence that would reveal a new path.
Through two nights of alternating between shivering and sweating, the spirit of the vines enveloped me. As I walked from the Eagle & Rose Inn my refuge from this strange affliction, a seed was planted in my mind. It was a simple and casual thought, not the life-altering gong one might expect from an idea that would change my life. The thought was simply, “I wonder what working in the wine business would be like?”
I’ve spent the last decade of my life pursuing that question by unrolling my passion for wine and all that lies beneath it from culture, to history from science to socializing. Since entering the wine business I’ve worked as a retail floor grunt, wine buyer, retail manager, wine storage coordinator, and Sommelier. The adventure has been worth every minute. For me this is a business with heart, one that enables me to cultivate a life that I truly love.
GUY leads the West Coast of PROTOCOL wine studio and authentically embodies our philosophy of true wine culture.