GuildSomm Podcast (Blind Tasting)
In our latest blind tasting episode, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe speaks with two talented Canadian wine professionals, Barbara Philip and Élyse Lambert. They taste a red wine blind and discuss how they apply blind tasting in their work and why it’s okay to be wrong from time to time.

Barbara Philip is a Master of Wine and is currently a category manager for BC Liquor Stores, a role in which she is responsible for buying all sparkling, fortified, and European selections. She was the first Canadian woman to earn the title of MW, in 2007, and is based in Vancouver.

Élyse Lambert resides in Montreal and has been working in the restaurant industry for more than 25 years. She became Canada’s second woman Master Sommelier in 2015 and placed fifth in the Best Sommelier of the World competition in Argentina in 2016. She consults for The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, and other private and corporate clients.

Enjoy the show and leave us a review if you found it helpful in your own pursuits of being a better taster and beverage professional!

Direct download: GSI_Podcast_5_28_2024_Tasting_Phillip_Lambert.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 7:06am PDT

In our latest blind tasting episode, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe speaks with Braithe Tidwell and Sam Bortugno of Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. They talk about their experiences with blind tasting and how they employ blind tasting skills in their current roles.

Braithe Tidwell is the corporate beverage director for the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group in New Orleans. Braithe was the first full-time sommelier at Brennan's Restaurant after its 2015 reopening under new ownership, then became the wine director before transitioning to her current role with the broader restaurant group.

Sam Bortugno is the wine director for Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans. He is an Advanced Sommelier through the CMS-A and is currently working his way through the Master Sommelier examination process. Sam has spent 18 years in the restaurant industry, transitioning into wine and spirits after initially training as a chef.

After their tasting conversations, Braithe and Sam taste the same white wine together. Listen closely and guess along with them! We reveal the wine at the end of the episode.

Direct download: GSI_Podcast_4-23-2024_Tasting_Tidwell_Bortugno.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 5:05am PDT

In our latest blind tasting episode, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe speaks with Cokie Ponikvar and Omar Lima. They discuss the importance of blind tasting, the challenges they've faced in their tasting journeys, and how they apply blind tasting skills.

Cokie Ponikvar runs the wine education platform @cokiesworldofwine, which has 299,000 followers on Instagram. She began her wine career while studying at the University of Toronto and working as a sommelier at the Four Seasons Hotel. Today, her approachable wine videos have over 52 million views. Cokie is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas.

Omar Lima is a sommelier at Sushi Note Omakase in Beverly Hills. Previously, he worked at several other Los Angeles restaurants, including Augustine Wine Bar, the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, and Spago Beverly Hills. Omar is a Certified Sommelier through the CMS-A and a Certified Sake Advisor through the Sake School of America, and he has the WSET Level 2 Award in Wine.

After their tasting conversations, Cokie and Omar taste the same red wine. Listen closely and guess along with them! We reveal the wine at the end of the episode.

If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: GSI_Podcast_3-26-2024_Tasting_Ponikvar_Lima_V2.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

In our latest blind tasting episode, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe speaks with Marissa Kipp and MS Tyler Alden. They discuss their blind tasting journeys, the challenges they've faced while honing their tasting abilities, and the role of alcohol in blind tasting.

Marissa Kipp is a sommelier at the retail shop Cru & Domaine in Portland, Oregon. She also works as a consultant, with a focus on hospitality and beverage education. Marissa is an Advanced Sommelier and holds the WSET Diploma. Tyler Alden is the director of food and beverage at Barking Frog and Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Washington. He has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years and became a Master Sommelier in 2022. He is also a Certified Cicerone.

After their tasting conversations, Marissa and Tyler taste the same red wine. Listen closely and guess along with them! We reveal the wine at the end of the episode.

If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_Marissa_Kipp_and_Tyler_Alden.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 10:08am PDT

In our first blind tasting episode of 2024, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe speaks with Clara Klein and Jeremy Schwartz, lead sommeliers with the Frasca Hospitality Group in Colorado. They talk about the role of blind tasting in their work and studies, then tackle the complex topic of minerality in wine.

Clara is the lead sommelier at Denver’s Sunday Vinyl, which she helped open in 2019 after working at Frasca Food and Wine and Tavernetta. Prior to these roles with the Frasca Hospitality Group, Clara worked at The Little Nell in Aspen and Mourad in San Francisco. She has also worked harvest in Italy and California. Jeremy is part of the team at Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, where he has worked for 17 years. He transitioned to the wine industry from the medical field and worked most front-of-house positions at Frasca before stepping into the lead sommelier role. Jeremy is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas.

After their tasting conversations, Clara and Jeremy taste the same wine. Listen closely and guess along with them! We reveal the wine at the end of the episode.

If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_Clara_Klein_and_Jeremy_Schwartz.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 1:13pm PDT

In our new tasting episode, host Christopher Tanghe speaks with fellow Master Sommeliers Mark Guillaudeu and Chris Gaither. They discuss their tasting journeys; how they recognize texture and, in particular, phenolic bitterness in wine; and the ways they apply blind tasting skills in their current roles.

Mark Guillaudeu is a sommelier at the Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix. Previously, he worked at the two Michelin-starred Commis in Oakland. He won the Best Sommelier USA title in June 2022. In addition to achieving the Master Sommelier certification, Mark holds the WSET Diploma and is currently working through the MW program. Chris Gaither and his wife, Rebecca Fineman, also a Master Sommelier, own Ungrafted and GluGlu in San Francisco. Chris worked at Spruce, Restaurant Gary Danko, Michael Mina, and Octavia prior to opening his own restaurants. He is an adjunct instructor at the San Francisco Wine School.

After their tasting conversations, Mark and Chris taste the same white wine. Listen closely and guess along with them! We reveal the wine at the end of the episode.

If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_Mark_Guillaudeu_and_Chris_Gaither.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 5:30am PDT

We're back with a new tasting episode! This week, host and Master Sommelier Chris Tanghe discusses blind tasting practices with MS Steven McDonald and Rachael Liggett-Draper. They explore their tasting challenges, how they have calibrated acid and tannin calls, and the ways they apply blind tasting skills in their everyday work.

Steven McDonald is the executive wine director for the Pappas Bros Steakhouses in Houston and Dallas. He moved to Houston from New York City in 2011 to join the Pappas Bros team. Steven passed the Master Sommelier exam in 2018. Rachael Liggett-Draper has worked as a sommelier at The Little Nell in Aspen since 2021; previously, she worked at several restaurants and wine bars in Vail. Rachael is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas.

After their tasting conversations, Steven and Rachael taste the same red wine. Listen closely and guess along with them! We reveal the wine at the end of the episode.

Thanks for listening. If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review to support the show. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_Steven_McDonald_and_Rachael_Liggett-Draper.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 7:30am PDT

In our latest podcast, Seattle wine professionals Erin Lyman and James Lechner discuss blind tasting with host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe. They explore the value of blind tasting, their personal tasting challenges, and how they use blind tasting in their current positions.

Erin Lyman is the owner of the long-standing Seattle wine shop Champion Wine Cellars. She took over the business from its founder in 2017. Erin has completed WSET Level 3 and the French Wine Scholar program. James Lechner is the general manager of Domaine & Estates, a division of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. He is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas, and a board member for SommFoundation.

Listen along as Erin and James blind taste a red wine, and see if you can guess along with them. We’ll reveal the wine they’re tasting at the end of the episode.

Thanks for listening. If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review, as this helps us connect with and grow our community. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_Erin_Lyman_and_James_Lechner.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

In our latest podcast, Advanced Sommeliers Matthew Crawford and Cara De Lavallade discuss blind tasting with host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe. They discuss whether blind tasting is useful outside of the exam setting, how they use this skill in their jobs, and the greatest challenges in their tasting journeys.

Matthew Crawford is the director of operations for Rocket Farm Restaurants, based in Atlanta, Georgia. Matthew lives in Houston, Texas, where Rocket Farm operates another restaurant, called State of Grace. Cara De Lavallade is the sommelier at Posana Restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina. She previously held wine director positions at Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona, and Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Washington.

Listen in as Matthew and Cara blind taste the same red wine, and see if you can guess along with them. We’ll reveal the wine they’re tasting at the end of the episode.

Thanks for listening. If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review, as this helps us connect with and grow our community. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_Matthew_Crawford_and_Cara_De_Lavallade.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

In our latest blind tasting episode, host MS Christopher Tanghe speaks with New York City sommeliers Andrea Morris and Jonathan Eichholz. Andrea and Jonathan share their blind tasting challenges and strategies before tasting the same red wine.

Andrea Morris is the beverage director at Essential by Christophe. Before this role, she managed the beverage programs at Union Square Cafe, Intersect, and Nix. Jonathan Eichholz is currently an educator at GuildSomm, where he oversees the Wine Law Compendium, contributes to content, and teaches classes. Previously, he was a sommelier at The Modern.

Listen in as Andrea and Jonathan blind taste, and see if you can guess along with them. We'll reveal the wine they're tasting at the end of the episode.

Thanks for listening. If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review, as this helps us connect with and grow our community. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_Andrea_Morris_and_Jonathan_Eichholz.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 12:16pm PDT

Our blind tasting bonus episode is back! In this month's installment, GuildSomm Education Director MS Christopher Tanghe speaks with sommeliers Chuck Nix and Lindsay Thomas about how they approach blind tasting. Chuck is the sommelier and service manager at BRAVO! Italian Restaurant in Jackson, Mississippi. Lindsay is the director of wine and beverage at River Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas.

Listen in as Chuck and Lindsay blind taste the same wine, and see if you can guess along with them. We'll reveal the wine they're tasting at the end of the episode.

Direct download: Tasting_with_Chuck_Nix_and_Lindsay_Thomas.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

In our new tasting episode, GuildSomm Education Director MS Christopher Tanghe talks to Advanced Sommeliers Matthew Dulle and Alexandra Stang about their perspectives on blind tasting. Matt is based in Healdsburg, CA, where he is the director of sales for Rhys Vineyards and Aeris. Alexandra is the beverage director at Seattle’s iconic Cafe Juanita.

Listen in as Matt and Alexandra blind taste the same wine. See if you can guess along with them! We’ll reveal the wine they’re tasting at the end of the episode.

Thanks for listening! If you enjoy this podcast, please leave us a review, as this helps us connect with and grow our community. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_Alexandra_Stang_and_Matt_Dulle.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 4:30am PDT

In this month’s tasting episode, MS Chris Tanghe talks to Justyna Brewczyk and Michael Markarian about their approaches to blind tasting. Justyna is a Houston-based WSET Diploma graduate and a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She recently won the Ruinart Sommelier Challenge in Miami. Michael is the sommelier and beverage director for the H2 Collective restaurant group in Washington, DC, overseeing three French bistros. He is an Italian Wine Ambassador through the Vinitaly International Academy and an Advanced Sommelier.

Listen in as Justyna and Michael blind taste the same wine. See if you can guess along with them, and stay tuned until the end of the episode, when we reveal the wine they were tasting.

Thanks for listening! If you enjoy this podcast, please leave us a review, as this helps us connect with and grow our community. Cheers!

Direct download: Justyna__Michael_Blind_Tasting_Podcast_Spire_Collection_Intro.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 7:07am PDT

In this month's tasting episode, MS Chris Tanghe speaks with Alyssa Champagne and MS Jim Bube about their approaches to blind tasting. Alyssa is based in Boston and has worked in various capacities in restaurants and retail over the past decade. Jim is a Chicago-based Master Sommelier. He is the national wine director for the Hogsalt restaurant group as well as a board member and the treasurer of Second City Sommeliers.

After their conversations about tasting, listen in as Alyssa and Jim blind taste the same wine. See if you can guess the wine along with them! We will reveal what they were drinking in a future episode.

Thanks for listening. If you enjoy this podcast, please leave us a review, as this helps us connect with and grow our community. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_GuildSomm__Alyssa_Champagne_and_Jim_Bube.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 10:49am PDT

In this episode, GuildSomm board member Daniela Frison and Argentinean sommelier Paz Levinson return to provide a recap in English of their conversation on our first-ever Spanish-language episode last month. Listen in as Paz shares her blind tasting experiences and insights.

Thanks for listening! If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review, as this helps us connect with and grow our community. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_GuildSomm__Paz_Levinson_English.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 12:30pm PDT

In our first-ever podcast in Spanish, GuildSomm board member Daniela Frison and Argentinean sommelier Paz Levinson discuss all things blind tasting. Dani is the founder of Le Vin Nécessaire, a wine consulting business. Paz is the head executive sommelier for Groupe PIC, which has restaurants in France, Switzerland, and the UK.

Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a review, as this helps us connect with and grow our community. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_GuildSomm_in_Spanish__Daniela_Frison__Paz_Levinson.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

In this month's tasting episode, MS Chris Tanghe sits down with Ray Sholes of Michael's Genuine in Miami. Ray shares his approach to blind tasting and how he applies it to his buying habits for the restaurant's list. Then, GuildSomm Executive Director Jenny Hemmer speaks with GuildSomm alum Kelli White to hear her perspective on the blind tasting skillset. Kelli is the director of education for Meadowood in Napa Valley and the author of "Napa Valley, Then & Now," a magnificent tome on all things Napa.
 
Following each conversation, you'll hear Ray and Kelli blind taste the same wine. Listen closely and see if you can guess the wine along with them!
 
Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a review, as this helps us connect with and grow our community. Cheers!
Direct download: Tasting_with_GuildSomm__Ray_Sholes__Kelli_White.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 2:43pm PDT

In this month's tasting episode, MS Chris Tanghe sits down with Mia Van de Water to discuss her approach to blind tasting, why it’s an important skill to hone as a beverage professional, and how she overcame her own "blind" spots. Mia is the head of beverage operations for COTE Korean Steakhouse and became a Master Sommelier in 2018.
 
Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a review, as this helps us connect to and grow the community. Cheers!

Direct download: Blind_Tasting_with_Mia_Van_de_Water_MS.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

In this episode of the Tasting with GuildSomm series, longtime member Ryan Robinson speaks with Emily Nixon about the development of his blind tasting methods, how to find mentors and study groups, and how be became the first Idaho resident to pass the CMS Advanced Exam. Ryan also leads a blind tasting of one wine; can you discern the grape, region, and vintage based on Ryan's description?

We hope you enjoy this new series. Leave us a comment and review wherever you get your podcasts. Cheers!

Direct download: Tasting_with_GuildSomm__Blind_Wine_with_Ryan_Robinson.mp3
Category:Blind Tasting -- posted at: 2:12pm PDT