Road to Wine Expert

Road to Wine Expert
Join host Brian McCann on his journey to wine expertise as he interviews personalities throughout the wine world including Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, influencers, writers, authors, podcasters and other wine professionals..

James Cluer - On What It Means To Be A Wine Expert and Starting a Wine Business
Oct 9 • 42 min
I revisit my interview with James Cluer MW, founder of Fine Vintage. We discuss starting a wine education business, becoming an MW and what it means to be a “wine expert.”
Napa and Sonoma: Travel Tips for Your First Wine Trip
Sep 28 • 34 min
Travel tips for your first trip to Napa or Sonoma. Support California winemakers and consider donating to those affected by wildfires.
Cal Fussman - Revisited - The Unedited Original Interview
Sep 10 • 64 min
To kick off Season 2, we return to one of my all-time favorite interviews. It’s Cal Fussman again with never-heard audio from the original interview.
Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir - Yes Way Rosé
Aug 23, 2019 • 28 min
Hear the origin story of Yes Way Rosé, the lifestyle brand that started as a fun inside joke between friends and co-founders Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir.
Steve De Long - De Long Wine - Wine Maps and Wine Grape Varietal Table
Aug 21, 2019 • 43 min
Steve De Long is the creator of the Wine Grape Varietal Table, which is a lot like the Periodic Table for wine. He also makes some of the best wine maps in the industry today. To learn how he got started with an idea in a bar, listen to our chat.
Randy Smith - The Wine Writer - Covering Central Coast Wineries and Winemakers
Aug 19, 2019 • 30 min
Randy Smith is behind the amazing wine blog The Wine Write. He profiles people throughout the wine industry with a focus on producers in California’s Central Coast region.
George Taber - The Judgement of Paris
Aug 16, 2019 • 36 min
George Taber was the only reporter on the scene for the 1976 Paris Tasting. His coverage and original 3 paragraph article in TIME would spread the news of the surprising result of the event.
Richard Hemming - Master of Wine - Writer, Consultant and Educator
Aug 14, 2019 • 35 min
Richard Hemming is a Master of Wine, talented wine writer and arguably one of YouTube’s best wine musicians. Learn about his wine journey and how he got his start writing for Jancis Robinson.
Thomas Monroe - Division Winemaking Company - @winestache
Aug 12, 2019 • 38 min
Thomas Monroe went from the land of cubes to Portland. Learn how he transformed from working in the finance world to the wine world with a trip to France that would serve as inspiration for Division Winemaking Company, based in Portland, Oregon.
Richard Betts - Scratch and Sniff Guides - Sombra, Astral, An Approach to Relaxation, My Essential Wine - @yobetts
Aug 9, 2019 • 46 min
Richard Betts is an author, a winemaker, a spirits maker and all-around righteous dude. He also passed the MS Exam on his first attempt (like I said, righteous). Hear his story and how he keeps up with his hectic schedule.
Elliott Clark - Apartment Bartender - @apartment_bartender on Instagram
Aug 7, 2019 • 61 min
Elliot Clark, aka @apartmentbartender on Instagram, left a 9-to-5 while pursuing his passion for cocktails. He’s turned his Instagram feed into a full-time job and offers tips and advice for others looking to do the same.
Ray Fister - Life Between The Vines
Aug 6, 2019 • 46 min
Ray Fister found a way to combine his love for wine with his talents of audio engineering. He created the podcast and video content of Life Between The Vines which showcases many of the talented winemakers in our industry.
Elizabeth Schneider - Wine for Normal People
Aug 2, 2019 • 45 min
Elizabeth Schneider, host of Wine for Normal People, joins me to talk about her journey into wine. One class would lead to the podcast that has influenced so many in the wine community.
Wanda Mann - The Black Dress Traveler
Jul 31, 2019 • 34 min
Wanda Mann, aka The Black Dress Traveler, joins me on this episode of the Road To Wine Expert. With over ten years of experience in wine writing, Wanda talks about finding her voice and her own journey towards becoming a wine expert.
James Cluer - Master of Wine and Founder of Fine Vintage Ltd.
Jul 29, 2019 • 34 min
James Cluer is the founder of Fine Vintage Ltd., the Approved Program Provider for my WSET Level 1 course. Thanks to James and his amazing team, I’ve continued my journey on wine eduction. We sat down to chat about how he created Fine Vintage and his…
Wine Education - 6 Different Wine Experts Share Their Opinions and Journeys
Jul 27, 2019 • 32 min
For this installment of the Road to Wine Expert, we talk wine education with Elizabeth Schneider, Richard Hemming, Wanda Mann, James Cluer, Hillary Zio and Richard Betts. We gather diverse opinions to talk about their personal experience with wine…
Brian McCann - Time to Flip the Script
Jul 24, 2019 • 64 min
Talia Goodman, Podcast Manager, flips the script and puts me in the hot seat. Hit play to hear the early parts of my personal journey to wine expertise including WSET, Intro Somm and my first wine job at Vin Chicago.
Bianca Bosker - Author of Cork Dork
Jul 22, 2019 • 57 min
Bianca Bosker sits down to discuss the journey that would become her acclaimed book Cork Dork, New York Times bestseller and Winner of 2018 M.F.K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing. We unpack how she worked her way through the wine world and…
Chappy Cottrell - Host of Cru Podcast
Jul 19, 2019 • 67 min
Chappy Cottrell is a marketer, podcaster, and wine enthusiast. He studied fermentation science at Appalachian State University while working at a family owned winery in Boone, North Carolina. He is also the host and producer of Cru Podcast, a weekly wine…
Hillary Zio - @hillaryzio and Author of The Unfiltered Guide to Working in Wine
Jul 17, 2019 • 49 min
Hillary Zio is the author of The Unfiltered Guide to Working in Wine, which I consider a fundamental book for anyone thinking about starting a career in wine or looking to change career paths within the industry. In her book, Hillary documents her journey…
Yannick Benjamin - Sommelier, Founder of Wheeling Forward and Star of Uncorked
Jul 15, 2019 • 44 min
Yannick Benjamin is a master of the art of the hustle. Between working the floor and working for his non-profit, Wheeling Forward, Yannick uncovers the tips and tricks that got him to where he is in his wine career.
Chel Petras - @chelloveswine on Instagram
Jul 11, 2019 • 27 min
It’s Chel Petras, aka @chelloveswine on Instagram. We chat about how she started building her social following, connecting with brands and fans, and learning more about wine.
Cal Fussman - Big Questions and Cocktails Before the Collapse
Jul 10, 2019 • 55 min
We dive deep with Cal Fussman to uncover how he became Sommelier for one night at Windows on the World atop the World Trade Center.