Grew up in NOLA in a family that loved food and wine. Grandfather gave me wine from a brandy snifter starting sometime around the age of 3. Undergrad at LSU (developing a devotion to Saturday nights in Death Valley) then CIA with a stint at Wine Spectator in between. Left for France as a cook and came back as a wine guy trading knives and burns for corkscrews and stemware. First job back in US was a sommelier in DC then got a job selling wine for a distributor. I moved up to managing a sales team before transporting my family up to New York to manage the sales team for a small importer/distributor. Fate knocked on my door and here I am leading this fabulous group of avid wine geeks and rabid sales dogs.
My incredible wife has been with me through all of it since LSU. We have 3 awesome kids together plus 8 chickens & a pit bull to keep us all in line.
Where have you lived?
NOLA, Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, Hyde Park, NY, Montepellier, Beaune, DC and now CT though says mostly in the cabin of Delta jet.
1990 Ford Mustang GT convertible
How did you start in the wine business?
My grandfather collected wine and gave me a passion for it at an early age. A chef I worked for while an undergrad developed that passion and I followed it. After cooking at a 3 star in France I decided to give wine a try as a career.
Best concerts of your life
Cowboy Mouth the night before Thanksgiving 1997 at The Hangar. Epic. Lalapolooza #3 followed closely by #2. RATM on the main stage being the difference.
After tasting wine all day I want to drink a…
More often than not it’s an IPA. Stone and Lagunitas, preferred. Blanc des Blancs Champagnes are known to make an appearance as well.
After staring at a computer all day I want to drink a…
Negroni. Helps me see straight again.
What puts the biggest smiles on your face?
Hugs & kisses from the kids and my wife when I get back from long work trips.
Fantastic wine experience
Spent 3 months touring wineries in California, France and Italy thanks to the Kopf scholarship.
Last bottle of wine of wine you ever want to drink
While on the wine route I love to…
Find the quiet, local places to eat.
Favorite vacation spot
Mountains and powder in winter, big waves and beaches in the summer.
Perfectly ripe L’Ami du Chambertin
Great food & wine pairing
Nancy Oakes made me a braised short rib sandwich on a dinner roll to go with a glass of 1982 Cheval Blanc at an event we did after main courses were served. Spectacular.
If you won the lottery…
Pay for 2 daughter’s weddings and 3 college educations.