Careful what you wish for; I am officially now a Wine Steward.


De Margerie Brut Grand Cru, Champagne, FranceCelebrating with: Champagne De Magerie A Bouzy Grand Cru

As some of you may have noticed, I have been a bit out of the loop the last couple of weeks. The short version as to why is as follows:

Soon after my recent WSET [Wine and Spirits Education Trust] certification through Johnson and Wales University I was contacted by the grocer Winn Dixie to discuss an opening within their organization for a Wine Steward.  Approximately four meetings later including a final interview by a renowned Sommelier Master [yes, I was intimidated] the job was offered and  I accepted. HOORAY.

My responsibilities will include managing the Miramar FL wine department, dealing with vendors/distributors, assisting customers, working with other departments for food pairings, scheduling tastings etc. I am typing this posting on my first day off in eight days of what can only be described as a GRAND OPENING whirlwind!  Winn Dixie operates in 9 states and employs 63,000 people [I find that number staggering]. Within the last couple of years a new business model was designed and has begun to be put into place. The new stores are truly beautiful with expanded higher-end produce, deli, seafood, bakery, prepared foods, and most importantly a WINE department in addition to meat carving, pasta and pizza stations. The response has been incredible and I cannot tell you the amount of times our guests compare the store to Whole Food Market.  Here is a recent local newspaper story on our local Grand Openings:

Careful what you wish for; I am officially now a Wine Steward.  My hobby is now my career and it will be interesting to see how this moves forward.  This is an incredible opportunity for me to begin the second half of my career,  and even though I wished it would, I never in a million years would have thought this was attainable.  Thank you to the powers that be, my Whine and Cheers for Wine supporters/followers [my new employer LOVED the blog!] and most importantly my family and better half who didn’t blink twice when I decided it was time for a career change. I am one lucky wine lover.

So, since this is a wine blog;  I wanted to include a blurb on what we drank to celebrate.  Champagne De Magerie A Bouzy Grand Cru [$35-40.00] had come highly recommended and we were not disappointed. This Grand Cru Champagne is considered to be Brut but I must add that although dry, the texture proved that the acidity level on the tongue was perfect. It was a sensation to behold and one I hope to experience again soon. SALUD!

Dry,  Cherry, Berry, Toast, Medium-bodied

94 PT Beverage Dynamics – Champagne, France– “Simply gorgeous! A crisp, clean blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay from the famed Bouzy region. Pale gold in color, with a nose of red fruit, followed by a lively palate filled with pin-point bubbles that caress the palate into a long, refreshing finish.”

21 responses »

  1. Congratulations! Do what you love and love what you do. Maybe you could make a new blog dedicated to growing your customer base as the new steward? You seem to do well with this one and it would be a great way to connect with your customer community. Salud!

  2. Congratulations! I’ve been toying with the idea of certification. What made you choose WSET over CSW? And how hard was it? I would love to hear about your experience going through the process. Thanks, and congratulations again!

    • Their curriculum is very compatible. I looked into both and others and my deciding factor was the fact that the WSET certification was being offered through a local culinary university while CSW was not. I believe the next level of certification will be much more difficult. The exam itself was very stressful for me, not so much because of its difficulty level but I believe I made it more difficult than it was by reading too much into the questions etc. It had been quite a few years since I took exams where passing or graduating depended on my actual score. I guess I am getting old 🙂 Good luck if you decide to proceed! I am looking forward to my classes in the Fall.

  3. Ernest, just found this on my gmail account (secondary) after international re-entry and then transition to Asheville. so proud of you and happy for you to have made such a wonderful career change! enjoy every minute!!! love, stl

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  6. Curious; What level Wset course is nec to be considered for a position at a restaurant, cruise line or related company.
    Congrats on your move.
    I’d like to follow.

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