Meet the Somms

What is a Somm?

To put it plainly, a Sommelier is a highly trained wine professional. No one becomes a Somm without having a devout passion for it– a passion that has undoubtedly been quieted since Hospitality slipped into its coma via Covid quarantine.

Sommeliers are energy. They study intensely, taste critically, serve elegantly, and steward experiences. Sometimes they drink wine from the comfort of their couch, sometimes from the shower, in mugs, in thermoses, and out of steins. It is a gently loving profession.

There is no shortage of talented Sommeliers and wine professionals in Austin. Browse some of the leaders that make up our wine community:


Likes long walks around the living room and dreams of returning to Priorat, Spain to drink more wine. In her quarantine time she maintains the Stay At Home Somm project and creates for The Austin Spirit.

Classes by J.R.:

Wine 101: All the Basics


Is the founder and force behind the Austin-based Wonder Women of Wine Conference. She hosts private & public education classes through her company, Vintel. In lieu of tip donations, she is also accepting trips to Austria to continue her wine education.

Classes by Rania:

Let’s Talk Structure

Photo Credit: Olive & West Photography


Recently relocated to Austin from the Gulf Coast of Florida, where he was the wine and beverage director for The District Steakhouse. His spirit wines hail from the Rhone Valley, France, but he never passes on a true Champagne.

Classes by Lucas:

Black Professionals of Wine

Wines of the Southern Hemisphere


Passionately explores topics of molecular gastronomy when he’s not studying intensely for a number of demanding wine & cocktail certifications. Dhruv’s perfect pairing: Spicy Chicken Tikka Masala and Off-Dry Mosel Riesling.

Classes by Dhruv:

Black Professionals of Wine

Sweet Wines, Learn to Love ‘Em!


Is on track to complete her Certified Sommelier exam this year and specializes in all things small-farm. She hopes to one day visit the remote mountain scenery of the Jura, France for their perfect cheeses and uniquely delicious wines.

Classes by Paige:

Reimagining Rosé


Was brought up in the Austin wine scene and specializes in biodynamics, farming, and the history of wine. South Africa has long been on her bucket list of wine regions to visit, and you are almost always sure to find bottles of A.A. Badenhorst close within her reach.

Classes by Lindsay:

Wine 101: All the Basics


Has been embodying the spirit of Clarksville for as long as he’s known Austin. A true hospitalitarian, he believes in humility in service and sommeliers as a singular community. You can find him quarantined with a Palo Cortado Sherry and Idiazabel Cheese– a pairing match made in heaven.

Classes by Tony:

Sparkling Wine Styles


Is a native Texan, born and raised in El Paso. Today she offers wine consulting services across Austin, and specializes in the natural glug. Her dream wine destination lies off the coast of Portugal in the picturesque Azores Islands.

Classes by Ashley:

All About Natural Wines


Formerly of Loca d’Oro, Annie is no stranger to Italian ways: good food and greater wine. Co-Founder of Wine Served Up and a manager for the Wonder Women of Wine Conference, she believes bubbles belong in every context of life.

Classes by Annie:

Native Italian Grapes


Is a Jill of many trades, namely through holding a level 2 certification in wine and spirits awarded by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, & serving on the marketing committee for Texas Hill Country Wineries Association. She’s wild about the last Amaro tasting she was in before Covid prevented the opening of Chase’s Place, her co-owned business in Fredericksburg.

Classes by Tara:

Vermouth, Amari and Wine-Based Spirits


When Covid hit Austin’s hospitality industry the hardest, Mandi hit back. This Summer she founded Austin Shift Meal to help combat food scarcity for service industry members. Her non-profit collaborated with local restaurants and vendors to keep our community fed. We’ve made available a copy of Mandi’s class on Sake with a suggested donation to Austin Shift Meal!

Please email for further details.


Is our resident Whiskey Wizard and a champion for the rapidly evolving Texas spirits scene. Stay tuned for his upcoming class in November on Texas Whiskies!


Raised on a Texas vineyard, Daniela fostered a love of viticulture that later bloomed into a full-fledged wine career. Because of her love of administering wine education, she founded Vintrigue, a company that offers wine classes, training and events. Her class on Wine and Wellness is currently still available on our website with a donation to the Vintrigue Scholarship Fund.

Please email for further details.