Wine, Wisdom and Wit

Elizabeth Schweitzer
Master Sommelier
Photo Credit: Cliff Graber

Los Amigos!

Spanish Wine Tasting

California Wine and Cheese
115 W. Foothill Blvd, Monrovia, CA. 91016

SUNDAY, April 21st, 1-3 p.m.

Grapes appeared  in Spain around 1100 B.C. Only in recent decades have the wines of Spain evolved into some of the most delicious, innovative and award-winning wines in the world.You will hard-pressed to find better tasting Garnacha or Tempranillo from anywhere else. This class will give you an understanding of the regions and wines of Spain. We will taste Spanish wines, discuss the foods, tapas, and cheeses of Spain and improve our wine tasting ability in a relaxed and friendly environment. Beginners and Wine Experts are welcome. This class is taught by a Master Sommelier. The class includes wines, snacks, hand-outs, fun and friendship. Ciao! $45.00 

Reserve Here

If you wish to pay by check or cash, please make your reservation by calling the store: (626)- 358-6500. Thank you so much.

 Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
Wine Director, Summer 2013
Please come and visit!

Montalcino, Italy            

Elizabeth Schweitzer, Master Sommelier

Educator, Wine Writer.

Elizabeth is the eighth woman in the world to achieve the Master Sommelier title. There are 129 in North America of which 18 are women. She was voted Best Sommelier in California by the California Restaurant Writers Association. She is available to host Wine Tastings, Classes, and Dinners at your home or other venue. Contact her:
Elizabeth teaches classes "Wine, Wisdom & Wit" that cover the wine regions of the world, sensory evaluation, food & wine pairing among many other topics. She is Adjunct Wine Professor at College of the Canyons.

Her company, Schweitzer Enterprises, LLC keeps her working full-time in the hospitality industry throughout the country. Her forte is education and she teaches classes, conducts wine seminars and dinners for the private sector and for numerous clients and restaurants. She maintains an active profile with teaching and donating her time for events and fund-raising. She has served as a wine judge for Jerry Meade’s New World International Wine Competition , Long Beach Grand Cru Wine Competition and is quoted and published in numerous trade and popular magazines such as Oprah, Los Angeles, Victoria, Wine &, Distinction,  Dining Out and Inland Empire.
When asked how she knows so much about wine she simply states, “I open a lot of books and a lot of bottles." Her approach to wine is a mix of old-fashioned common sense and modern economics; “If you like the wine, then it is good wine. You should not have to pay a lot to enjoy a good glass of wine.” The message she emphasizes is that wine not be taken too seriously but rather included as an integral part of everyday life. Elizabeth brings unpretentious and contagious enthusiasm, passion, humor, and a vast array of knowledge to the hospitality & wine industry.
Elizabeth is the eighth woman in the world to achieve the Master Sommelier title and the only Master Sommelier in Los Angeles County. She was voted Best Sommelier in California by the California Restaurant Writers Association. She is available to host Wine Tastings, Classes, and Dinners at your home or other venue. Contact her:

Why and how does one become a Master Sommelier?
The title Master Sommelier is the top professional qualification in the hospitality industry. It is a title that is recognized worldwide and serves as a passport to work where you like and opens many doors of opportunity.The process for becoming a Master Sommelier begins when you decide to raise your service standards, and fine-tune your selling and hospitality skills to the highest level of refinement and elegance. It starts with a healthy dose of self-discipline applied to many hours of reading, studying, memorizing wine regions, vintages, producers, grape varietals, soils, topography, and food and wine affinities. Along with that are many hours spent working in a restaurant, preferably a fine dining room, waiting on guests, managing a wine cellar and wine list, meeting with wine purveyors, and a hundred details that go along with a fine dining experience. All the wine tasting, dining and traveling are mandatory and make for many treasured memories. 
A Master Sommelier will discuss, recommend, and serve aperitifs, cocktails and beer, as well as wine. A Master Sommelier knows a lot about food, recipes and their contents, and is often a chef or someone who enjoys cooking. She knows the wine list and can discuss the vintages and characteristics of each wine and also discuss and serve after-dinner drinks, brandy, port, liquors and cigars. The Master Sommelier handles questions, complaints and compliments with grace and skill.
The examinations are not for the faint of heart.There is an introductory exam which has a very high pass rate. The next level is an intro to the advanced level. At the advanced level you must pass all three parts in one seating in order to move on to the Master Level.
The exam is in three parts, which I call Brawn, Brains, and Bottle. TM
Brawn is the practical part where one is required to decant wine, make food and wine pairings,
discuss vintages, serve cigars, and generally show off one's grace, demeanor, and salesmanship skills. The Brains section is a tedious exam of questions being asked about every corner of the earth that grows grapes and why. At the advanced level, these questions are answered on paper, but at the Master level they are answered live in front of a panel of judges.  The Bottle section is fun because the wine is there. The candidate is required to identify six wines served blind; the grape variety, country, appellation, vintage, and food pairing in a timed setting. Whew! You train like soldier and have no regular life for at least five years. Hard, challenging and wrought with unforgettable experiences like every other noble aim. Keep posted, Elizabeth. 
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