I founded Twin Cities Wine Education in 1998, while working at Surdyk's in Minneapolis as a wine consultant. During my day to day job, I noticed a lack of clear and consistent wine information being delivered to the public, and started to offer my wine education services in a number of ways.
Twin Cities Wine Education exists to provide "wine education without intimidation" and has proved to be one of my most successful side businesses to date. There are four main forms of education I provide:
1) Public wine classes. This is what I'm best known for. Classes from 'Ultimate Intro to Wine' all the way to 'Vertical examination of the Cote d'Nuits in Burgundy 1988-2008' and everything in-between. Most classes are for between 10-30 students (though some go up to 50+ attendees) who discover them through my email newsletter or website.
2) Private in-home and in-office tastings. More and more people are organizing themed events, and having a wine expert in the room to guide a topic with some education and entertainment is a great way to have a great time. These are always great times, and the private tasting business continues to grow.
3) Staff training for restaurants and wine retailers. I've conducted several major training 'academies' for major restaurant groups and retailers (including a major contract with SuperValu for selecting wines, developing point of sale, and writing staff training manuals for a multi-unit organically-focused grocery store concept in the eastern United States). These are often multi-day affairs (to keep people sharp during the wine tasting) and have proven to be of great worth the restaurants and retailers that hire me.
4) University of Minnesota wine education and appreciation courses. Since 2001 I've been an adjunct professor at the U of M, teaching a regular progression of wine education programs for the extension and Learning Life program. These are often the first classes to sell out every quarter, and my student reviews carry the highest rating in the whole program.
Year founded: 1998