The Stout Report: Advice to a Young Wine Professional

SWE's new President, Guy Stout, MS

SWE’s new President, Guy Stout, MS, CSS, CWE

Our new President, Guy Stout, MS, CSS, CWE, has a few words of advice for young wine professionals!

The Stout Report: Advice to a Young Wine Professional

During a recent dinner with Master Sommelier Geoff Kruth, we were discussing how we, as established wine professionals, could advise the next generation of sommeliers and wine industry leaders. As you can imagine, it was quite a conversation!

Here are a few of our thoughts as to what skills and experiences could help young wine professionals be better at what they do, and help pave the way for a successful future. Here’s hoping someone out there is listening!

Travel: It’s the best thing you can do, both for your career and yourself.  My first ever visit to a vineyard was TV Munson’s experimental plot in Denison, Texas. The vineyard, which dates to the 1890’s, is next to a small airport landing strip, and it wasn’t at all what I expected.  When traveling, you never know what you may find.

Passion:  No one starts in the wine industry for the money (although that may come later). However, everyone starts in the wine industry because of a passion.  It’s a good thing, too, as I can teach wine, but I can’t teach passion

Grenache TopCognitive Thinking: Don’t just memorize grapes and places – it takes more than book smarts to grow in the wine trade. Read a book on bull riding, and then go ride a bull (just kidding about the bull.) You will, however, find out quickly that you didn’t really know a thing about bull riding until you felt that bull move.  For further insight, see “travel,” above.

Don‘t be a snob: Trust me, the world already has too many wine snobs.  You don’t want to be the person who always has a better bottle or vintage story (they get gossiped about behind their backs, they just don’t know it, and you didn’t hear that from me).  One for thing:  don’t be afraid to drink out of plastic cups – it won’t kill you!

Don’t worry if you get a wine wrong in a blind tasting: If you follow your tasting grid – either in your head or with a pencil and paper – you will get it “wrong for the right reasons” – and get it right the next time.

Share what you have: Wine is meant to be shared. The most memorable wines I have ever had were those I shared with friends.

Learn your limits: Don’t be the one who gets carried out of a big tasting by your friends. (Even more important: don’t be the one who gets kicked out.) This is very bad form and assures that you will be remembered – for all the wrong reasons.

wine and salmonLearn to cook: Knowing food and wine starts with knowing how to cook (and your friends will love you even more.) As we say in Texas, “Eat more chikin!” Burgers and Bordeaux makes for a great party, by the way!

Don’t get a visible tattoo: Ok, I am old school but truth be told, I don’t like to see tattoos on servers or somms.

The customer is always right: Even when they are wrong, and even when it hurts to admit it. But be advised – I have friends who have lost good jobs over this.

Taste with a group: Share the cost of wines, share your opinions, and make some friends (in a few years you can call them your “network”).

Ask Yourself: Why did you choose wine? Where do you hope it will lead you?

One final note:  Be kind to your mother – I have spent more than 30 years working in the wine & spirits industry and my mother still wants me to get a real job.

Cheers… Guy



Meet the Board of Directors: David Glancy

Today we are continuing our series of posts to introduce you to the new members of SWE’s Board of Directors.  Read on to meet Master Sommelier David Glancy!

David GDavid Glancy has been a wine professional for over twenty years, and has earned more than his fair share of impressive credentials along the way. David is a Master Sommelier, Certified Wine Educator, Certified Specialist of Spirits, and French Wine Scholar. If we were to spell out all of his post-nominals it would look something like this:  David Glancy, MS, CSS, CSW, CWE, FWS.

After several years in the hospitality industry both the U.S. and Asia, David created and taught the Certified Sommelier Program at the Professional Culinary Institute (now known as the International Culinary Center) in Campbell, California. His educational experience also includes teaching wine and business management at Le Cordon Bleu’s California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.

More recently, David launched the San Francisco Wine School, offering professional wine courses and certification prep courses, in June of 2011. In addition, David currently runs SFsommelier Consulting, is on the Editorial Advisory Board of Sommelier Journal, and is Echanson Provincial for the Chaine des Rotisseurs Pacific Northwest.

David’s first love was a glass of Vouvray, soon followed by another glass. Today, he says he could happily live on Champagne alone. Welcome, David!

Meet the Board of Directors: Missi Holle

Last week, SWE welcomed its new Executive Committee and Board of Directors.  While many of our board members have served for quite a few years, there are also some new faces in the group as well.  Today we’d like to introduce you to one of our new board members, Missi Holle…and thank her for her service to the Society!

Missi HolleMissi Holle, CSW, CSS is a newly elected member of the Board of Directors for the Society of Wine Educators.  She has over 16 years of experience in the wine and spirits industry, has trained through the Court of Master Sommeliers and has most recently earned the Wine Location Specialist (with distinction) designation through the Center for Wine Origins.

Missi found herself “accidentally” in the beverage industry after earning her Marketing degree from the University of Florida.  Having worked nights and weekends as a server and bartender throughout college, her hospitality experience and the attraction of daytime hours led her to a full time job with a Central Florida wine & spirits distributor.  After 2 years, she decided to try her hand within the Corporate Meetings industry, working for Hard Rock Café and GES Exposition Services before passion led her back into the beverage business as a National Account Manager for Banfi Vintners (4 years) and now Kobrand Corporation (10 years).

Education has always been a focus for Missi and today, in addition to her position as National Account Manager for the southeast US, she is the Education Specialist for the Channel Division at Kobrand.

When not working, her favorite times are spent at the dinner table sharing her husband’s home cooked meals and great beverages with family and friends.  She loves to travel and check out new restaurants and bars, enjoys running and a good book!

Welcome, Missi Holle!

SWE Welcomes New Executive Committee and Board Members

SWE's new President, Guy Stout, MS

SWE’s new President, Guy Stout, CSS, CWE, MS

As of August 15, 2013 the Society of Wine Educators welcomed two new Board Members and a new Executive Committee.  Our new President is Guy Stout, CSS, CWE, MS, Corporate Director of Beverage Education at Glazer’s Distributing.

Rounding out the Executive Committee are:

  • Edward Korry, CWE, Vice President
  • Gary Spadafore, CWE, Educational Liasion
  • Don Kinnan, CWE, Secretary
  • Neill Trimble, Treasurer


Our two new members of the Board of Directors include David Glancy, CSS, CWE, MS, who currently serves as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Wine School, and Missi Holle, CSS, CSW, National Account Manager and Southeast Education Specialist for Kobrand Corporation.

Continuing to serve on the Board of Directors are:

  • Maria E. Denton, CWE (Pinnacle House – Washington Wholesale)
  • Gary Spadafore, CWE, Educational Liasion

    Gary Spadafore, CWE, Educational Liasion

    Patrick D. Dodd, CWE, CSS (Gallo Family Vineyards)

  • Margie Ferree-Jones, PhD (Collins College of Hospitality Management – Cal Poly, Pomona)
  • Mary Gorman-McAdams DWS, MW
  • Linda G. Lawry, DWS, CWE (International Wine Center)
  • Paul Wagner (Balzac Communications & Marketing)
  • Henry Wasserstein (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP)
  • Barry Wiss, CWE (Trinchero Family Wine Estates)
  • Hayato Kojima, CWE, Director Emeritus (Wine & New Life, Ltd.)
  • William Lembeck, CSS, CWE, Director Emeritus (Wine & Spirits Program)
  • Sharron McCarthy, CSW, Director Emeritus (Banfi Vintners)

The Hard-working office staff of SWE continues to be:

  • Sharron McCarthy, CSW, Director Emeritus;  William Lembeck, CSS, CWE, Director Emeritus; and Neill Trimble, Treasurer

    Sharron McCarthy, CSW, Director Emeritus;
    William Lembeck, CSS, CWE, Director Emeritus; and Neill Trimble, Treasurer

    Shields T. Hood, CSS, CWE, General Manager

  • Vanessa Brandenburg, Operations Director
  • Ben Coffelt, Education & Technology Manager
  • Jessica Morse, Education Programs Assistant
  • Eva Woo, Education Programs Assistant
  • Kerry Lynch, Membership and Events Assistant
  • Jane A. Nickles, CSS, CWE, Education and Certification Consultant

Welcome and Congratulations to our new board! Here’s to a successful SWE Year.


For contact information, please consult the SWE Website at:

SWE Presents 2013 Grand Award to Professor “Chip” Cassidy

Chip and GobletEvery year, at the annual conference, the Society of Wine Educators grants a prestigious lifetime achievement award to a deserving wine professional.  Known as “The Grand Award,” this award has been presented to a plethora of wine luminaries, includng Robert Mondavi, Sandro Boscaini, Jancis Robinson, Warren Winiarski, Carol Meredith, and Mike Grgich.

This year’s award was presented to Patrick J. Cassidy during the Friday luncheon of the Society’s 37th Annual Conference, held in Orlando, Florida.   

Professor “Chip” Cassidy’s wine experience began over 40 years ago in New York. Working in a wine shop through college led to the head sommelier’s position at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. He later became the wine buyer for the Crown Wine and Spirits chain, and worked previously at Sunset Corners, a large volume wine shop. He currently serves as a wine and beverage instructor at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management of Florida International University.

A member of the entering class of FIU’s inaugural year, Chip graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management. His teaching career began in 1984. Today he teaches Wine Technology, The Business of Wine and recently has developed a Wine Certificate Program offered to professionals already working in the wine or related fields.

A noted speaker and fundraiser, Professor Cassidy was instrumental in developing the concept to build the Southern Wine and Spirits Beverage Management Center, a state of the art wine teaching laboratory. A man of many “hats”, Chip is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, avid reader, and passionate fisherman. Today he resides in South Miami-Dade County with his wife Christine and beloved golden lab, Darius.

Chip and HarrietDuring the awards presentation, Harriet Lembeck, Mistress of Ceremonies, presented Chip with a Riedel “Grand Shiraz” goblet with the following inscription: The Society of Wine Educators toasts  Patrick J. “Chip” Cassidy, CSH & TM at Florida International University for Impeccably High Standards as a Wine Communicator, Fundraiser, War Hero, and Mentor to his Students. Orlando, FL 2013.

Congratulations, Professor Cassidy!