Thank You

Becoming a Master Sommelier takes dedication, time, passion and patience. More than anything else it takes the support and love of friends, family and colleagues. Having just settled back in NYC after exams, the only thing I can think about is how lucky we are to have each other. This, my first post is dedicated to all of YOU that have helped me fulfill my dream. I hope if I am speaking about YOU without using your name, you realize how you have inspired me and if you aren't directly a part of my journey, you know that you have been a part of someone else's with similar experiences.

You told me 'Pal, it is about the journey and not the end result that matters'.

You were my first mentor, you believed in me when I was 21 and convinced the owner of our company to give me my first sommelier job.

You were the first person to tell me I didn't pass my exams in London and the person I couldn't wait to sit next to during my first MS dinner.

You woke up every Monday, Wed and Friday for our tasting group at 9am and never minded that I couldn't get Gruner Veltliner right.

You were the person I walked around the block with to clear my head after we got our test results.

You were the guest in my restaurant that asked me enthusiastic questions.

You let me come into your restaurant to serve your guests and helped me perfect service.

You were the distributor that taught me there is a practical reason to know the sub zones of Lambrusco by tasting me on one of them.

You had so many people to mentor and a busy successful career but you always made me feel like the most important person in your world.

You designed a special tray for service that would help you take care of your guests better.

You asked me the 1er crus of Burgundy over and over until I remembered.

You invited me to your home and cooked me duck and served me Chateauneuf du Pape.

You reminded me to be kind to myself and to SMILE.

You let me take 2 weeks off from work to prepare for the exam.

You hosted my first introduction class.

You taught me to never give up on my dreams and that for me the 4th time is a charm.



  • Thank you for the post.  It is daunting looking down the long road that some have in front of them, but this reminds me that every step is worth it.


  • Laura;

    If there ever was one person I expected to see pass it is you.  Your dedication and enthusiasm should be bottled for future candidates.  All the best to a great friend.

  • Laura,

    It’s definitely been a pleasure to "grow up" with you during these exams in knowledge, service presence and tasting evaluations. I remember the Laura who seemed shy that has evolved into the Laura who is a great mentor and friend. Your determination and strive for the ultimate goal is evidenced in you “NEVER” giving up attitude. I too have taken the MS exam multiple times only to have fallen short and missing the mark. This makes me want it even more and to strive to be better every day. I'm proud of you and your accomplishments and hope to only follow in your footsteps. Congratulations again and I hope to join you soon.

  • hi Laura...congratulations!  your posting was beautiful and probably don't know me...i am new to the Sommelier Guild and just got my first gig as sommelier...i was your student at the French Culinary Institute back in January 2006, when i took my first ever wine course...i knew then that i had found my purpose in life, and you inspired me to pursue my dream...and you continue to inspire with your amazing achievements and dedication...i wish you all the best in this exciting next phase of your life...and i hope to have the chance to congratulate you in person one day down the wine trail...peace....

  • Laura,

    That is one of the most wonderful blogs I have read.  You are amazing, and you are already giving back, over and over again.