No one is born knowing about wine, you have to learn. Even wine experts had to start somewhere! We asked these wine professionals what the best piece of advice they received when they were new to the industry – their answers may surprise you.

William Rohlfing


Assistant General Manager and Beverage Director at Sorellina

“There aren’t a whole lot of truly high-end beverage positions available, and you should pursue wine as a passion, not as an end–wine is joy, and proof that God loves us, not the only thing in your life. It’s one thing to pursue wine as a profession; it’s another entirely to turn it into your entire life. Don’t obsess. Enjoy it.”

Christopher Prewett


Certified Sommelier and Fine Wine Sales Manager at The Jug Shop

“Never wash your glassware after using it the night you use it. Oh, and learn by doing – in this case: drinking.”

Lorenzo Ruggeri


Editor of Gambero Rosso Wine Travel Food

“Drinking and tasting are not synonyms.”

Marybeth Bentwood

(@WinesofChile @marybethwine)

Executive Director of Wines of Chile

“Commit to spit. Silly but fundamental in the beginning as a wine professional to abandon any pretenses one has about spitting. It’s the only way you can really learn to taste.”

Leah Hammer


Director of Cellar Acquisitions at Vinfolio

“Keep learning. Start from scratch every year! And remember Churchill’s remark: “I am easily satisfied with the best”.”