Somm's List

Sandi Lucchesi

Sandi Lucchesi is a wine consultant specializing in creating engaging wine programs for cruise lines, tasting rooms and wine associations.Customizing corporate programs for top Silicon Valley companies and convention and visitors bureau and private clients. Winegrower, hobby winemaker.
Court of Master Sommeliers . Level 2 Certified Sommelier
WSET. Sonoma, CA. csw
Norwegian Cruise Line. Miami, FL. Consultant
Pernod Ricard. Napa, CA. Consultant
E.&J. Gallo Winery. Healdsburg, CA. Wine Educator
North Coast Wine Competition. Sonoma, CA. Wine Judge
WInemakers Studio at Wente Vineyards. Livermore, CA. Consultant
Wine Educator
Wine Judge
Wine programs developer
Wine training
Corporate wine training
Sandi Lucchesi is a wine consultant specializing in creating engaging wine programs for cruise lines, tasting rooms and wine associations.Customizing corporate programs for top Silicon Valley companies and convention and visitors bureau and private clients. Winegrower, hobby winemaker.
As the daughter of a farmer I fell in love with winegrowing and eventually everything about wine. Realizing I have a teaching and writing style that engages people with all levels of wine knowledge and keeping it fun is what keeps me inspired.
  • Samsung
  • Target
  • Yahoo
  • Intel
  • Google
  • Pernod Ricard
  • E & J Gallo
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
Frank Marcus General Manager - National Training & Development at E & J Gallo Winery “Sandi was hired to conduct a Train the Trainer seminar for a very advanced group of Winery professionals in my region. The content as well as the delivery was excellent and she left the group wanting more. Her knowledge of the material as well as the creativity in the delivery makes every program she conducts interesting and fun. I can recommend Sandi to anyone who is looking to broaden their understanding of wine and have fun at the same time.” Christopher O'Gorman Marketing Communications at Paul Hobbs Wines “Sandi is a top flight wine professional and training expert. I hired her to increase the wine knowledge of my sales team, and give them some concrete skills for engaging the consumer and closing the sale. I highly recommend Sandi's work.” Bruce Riezenman Author / partner at Pair It! app for mobile phones “Sandi is a true professional and a motivating speaker. Each time I've worked with Sandi has been a pleasure. She is always prepared, knowledgeable and engages her audience at the right level to be meaningful to them.” German Ramirez Digital Strategy & Social Media Pioneer and Expert, Consultant, Coach & Engaging Speaker “Sandi is a hard and result driven dedicated colleague. She seeks solutions and finds them, while keeping an incredible positive attitude. Excellent service mentality that makes her a powerful addition to any team. Beyond this, her wine knowledge and capacity to transfer it makes her a strong asset in this particular field/industry.” Tim McDonald CSW Founder and Chief Everything Officer Wine Spoken Here PR “Sandi was the the #1 wine educator located at the winery and was always the person I utilized for all wine writers and press visitors to the vineyard. Sandi knew all the right answers for the media and was perfect at engaging them as well as educating the press on what was happening from grapes to the table. She was an important reason why we received such positive press. I enjoyed working with her and would look forward to doing so again in the future. Sandi is second to none as some might say.” George Christie President, Wine Industry Network “Sandi and I have worked together on a number of projects, but I have also known Sandi for years from her Gallo days. She is one of the most professional people I know and I would strongly recommend her for anything that requires top tier talent and an attention to detail.”

Sandi Lucchesi
Sandi Lucchesi
Healdsburg, CA
United States

A Sense of Wine

Simply put, I started out at the bottom and worked my way up.  A friend owned a tasting room and asked if I would help out- I fell in love with learning and sharing the stories of the families I worked for. From there I moved on to bigger (and more corporate) wineries and eventually landed back at a family owned winery, albeit the largest family owned winery in the world, Gallo!  Working for Gallo was one of the most important roles of my career.  I loved the family story, the wines, traveling to different countries and learning about the wines and partners and again, sharing the knowledge via wine education, training and development. 

Combining my certifications (Advanced Somm, CSW, WSET) with a training background and my own personal style led me to start a consulting company, A Sense of Wine.  This platform allows me to provide customized programs for my clients, is never boring and requires me to stay on top of my game. Whether it is a cruise line, a silicon valley company or group of beginners wanting to know more, I love developing programs that exceed expectations.
  I wanted to create an opportunity to teach about wine.  Formal wine training can be tiresome, boring and not at all entertaining but it doesn’t have to be that way! Taking a traditionally passive style of learning (you sit, I stand, I lecture, you take notes and there is tons and tons of PowerPoint) and turning it into an interactive style.  An environment where guidance is given but the guests is the one doing the fun- blending the wine, sipping the wine, smelling and writing down what they think about it. It occurred to me that with my skills and credentials I could create a business that could permeate many aspects of the industry but it was important to focus. 

The corporate market was ripe for new versions of teambuilding- rope courses and 5 day workshops were ripe for a makeover and wine was the answer!  So I created programs like “Wine blending Workshop” where teams had to blend a wine, name it, brand it, put a cost to it, create a marketing plan and pitch their product to the other teammates and the best brand wins.  Or “Color Blind with Wine” where you taste wine in black wine glasses and see if you can tell if it’s red or white, or what varietal or even what region!  And an aroma seminar where there is a stunning display of fresh herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, dirt, rocks and even chalk- all you have to do is smell the wine in your glass (which has been “doctored” with an aroma that is in the display)and match it.
While the groups are “doing” I am able to weave in wine education in a fun, and most importantly, relevant way to the group.  The program delivery is adjusted to each group- are they competitive? Intimidated? Fun? Serious?  Creating programs that could be flexible as far as content was key.  Just because I had a big giant toolbox didn’t mean I had to use every tool at every class.    Next up was the wine industry itself. Large wineries already had training and education departments with budgets and small wineries didn’t have these departments or the budget.  Mid-size wineries would be the market, somewhere in the 100,000 to 250,000 case sizes.  This size winery had some budget and it would be more cost effective to hire a consultant than a full time person.  The model thus far has worked well and now opportunities in the cruise line industry becoming real. Another key component is The Wine Tasting Tool©.  The growth potential is huge- tasting room sales in wineries, I use it when I create programs so clients have to purchase it from me and website sales. I have not given this project the time it requires to become a revenue stream simply due to priorities.  I do plan on putting focus on this in 2016.  With The Winemakers Studio at Wente Winery using The Wine Tasting Tool for their programs and soon with Norwegian Cruise Line, these will help generate leads and give credibility. As they say in life “timing is everything”, well I can certainly attest to that.  Starting a company in 2007 was not great timing.  But through hard work, perseverance, staying focused and remaining optimistic, A Sense of Wine has doubled in business the past three years!