Ray Fister

Ray Fister is not an amateur. Ray has over 40 years experience as an audio engineer and got into the podcast game before it was cool, trendy and barely a sensation. There’s something about that kind of wisdom.

That’s what I remember most about my interview with Ray.

His advice is like that of an old friend. It’s not cutesy, but a reality check that slaps you in the face.

I had such a great time talking to Ray. In fact, he gave me over an hour of his time, so there is about 20 to 30 minutes that didn’t make the final cut. But that said, I had to take Ray’s advice and be ruthless as an editor.

Ray’s interview is one I continued to revisit, and I hope you do the same.

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Elizabeth Schneider

Elizabeth Schneider is a hero of mine and likely yours too! Despite my never-ending quest to become a “wine expert,” I started out as a normal person who loved wine.

If you happen to fall in that camp, then you probably already know about Elizabeth’s hit podcast, the aptly named, Wine for Normal People.

Elizabeth is a champion of making wine easy to understand and accessible to everyone. While there’s dozens of episodes I love, my all-time favorite is her episode on Champagne. It’s a great example of what she does best: provide listeners with great insight into the region so they can have the comfort and knowledge to explore it. After all, we should all be drinking more Champagne.

Let’s turn it over to Elizabeth and learn how she started in wine and developed her podcast.

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Wanda Mann

Wanda Mann is the embodiment of all things wine should be: fun, happy, engaging, laid back, conversational and loved by my Mom. I have to laugh as I say that last one, but it’s a fun little story.

As you might expect, my Mom was a huge fan of the Road to Wine Expert Summit. Having not heard of Wanda prior to her interview, she said that Wanda was someone she wanted to have a glass with because she her personality and enthusiasm was so infectious.

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James Cluer

If you listened to my episode of the podcast, you have a general idea of how I came to meet James Cluer. James is a Master of Wine and the founder of Fine Vintage, which served as the Approved Program Provider for my WSET Level 1 class.

WSET Level 1 served as a huge boost to my confidence in the early days of my wine career. While James wasn’t the instructor, his team members made for a great day that would prove pivotal in my wine career. It was this early experience that would lead me to take WSET 2 and WSET 3.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with James, and I was floored when he made the remarks that opened this episode. If a Master of Wine knows a fraction of a percentage, what chance do “regular folk” have?

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Wine Education

We tackle wine education in this episode. If you’re new to the Road to Wine Expert, this is going to be a little bit different. Instead of hearing from one individual, we are going to hear clips from several interviews.

Our guests have diverse backgrounds have a number of different certifications. Together, we combine their thoughts and feelings to answer some of the questions surrounding wine education and certification.

Featured in this episode are Elizabeth Schneider, Richard Hemming, Wanda Mann, Richard Betts and Hillary Zio.

Brian McCann

This episode is going to a little different. First, let me introduce myself. I am Talia Goodman, the Road to Wine Expert podcast manager. I work alongside Brian McCann to deliver you fresh wine content each week. For this episode, I got to flip the script and ask Brian questions about his journey to becoming the wine expert he is.

From working at Vin Chicago to completing the first three levels of the WSET, Brian worked his way through the wine industry and has a boatload of knowledge to prove it. Tune in to hear how Brian left teaching and a steady job behind to follow his passion for wine.

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Bianca Bosker

Bianca Bosker and her book, Cork Dork, serve as this wonderful bridge between people inside and outside the wine community.

Everywhere I go, I run into people who rave about it. If I tell a stranger that I work in the wine industry, one of their first questions is, “Have you read Cork Dork?”

I’m so grateful to Bianca because her book came out around the same time that I was working on the Road to Wine Expert Summit and my next move in the wine world.

Bianca is insightful, bright and disarming. I had the most fun interviewing and talking to her. So if you’ve read the book, you’ll love this interview. And if you love this interview, you’ll love Cork Dork.

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How to Listen to the Road to Wine Expert Podcast

Listen To The Road to Wine Expert Podcast - listen road wine expert

When I launched the Road to Wine Expert Summit, it was focused on releasing as much content in as little time as possible.

33 interviews over 10 days was a like drinking from a firehose.

Some interviews were missed, and many were too good not to hear.

In re-releasing the Summit as a Podcast, we’re trying make every interview accessible for everyone. It’s one of the reasons that we enlisted the help of sponsors.

The goal is simple: free for everyone forever.

So check out the list below to find out how to listen to the Road to Wine Expert Podcast.

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Chappy Cottrell

Chappy Cottrell is the man behind the mic at Cru Podcast. Listening to Chappy’s interviews was a source of inspiration for The Road to Wine Expert Summit. After all, here was someone seeking out wine stories of industry folk.

Chappy Cottrell is someone who I got to meet in real life when I made my first trip to Sonoma, California in July 2018. We got coffee, shared some laughs and some vino. An all around great time.

I’m thrilled to see his continued success with his podcast and his wine career.

But let’s take a step back before we go forward. To hear how Chappy started in the wine industry, listen to his podcast episode below.

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Hillary Zio

Hillary Zio doesn’t just have an Instagram account that leaves you inspired and envious. She is a wine educator and consultant.

Her book, The Unfiltered Guide to Working in Wine, is a roadmap that outlines her career path and documents the ins and outs of different jobs in the wine industry.

Upon reading, I decided to double up and take the WSET Level 2 and the Introductory Sommelier Course and Exam at the same time. I registered and then passed both in 6 weeks.

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