Jennifer’s love affair with wine started in her early twenties with taking an interest course at George Brown college in fundamentals and immediately was hooked. From there, she leapt into the Sommelier Certification from ISG graduating top of class, then accomplished the Diploma of Wine from WSET, followed by the Advanced Sommelier passing in England and finally the Master Sommelier Exams-becoming Canada’s first female Master Sommelier in 2011 graduating in Dallas Texas.
Jen educated hundreds of employees through implementing Court of Master Sommelier service standards, as well as teaching WSET level 1 & 2 to staff members. Eventually she caught the attention of Californian wine producers. First Napa’s Cliff Lede and then Sonoma-based Jackson Family Wines. Both placed full confidence in her to artfully represent their prestigious brands throughout Canada. Today, Jen is a free agent with a multi-passionate mission.
Whilst Jen proudly mentors men and women as they move towards attaining sommelier designations, she is particularly passionate about supporting and working with women. Through both creating and participating in events, Jen is consistently cultivating relationships and making real impact. She considers it a profound privilege and a pleasure to use her platform in the wine industry to encourage and elevate women in their careers. She is also a volunteer at both Femmes du Vin and Vinequity.
Her ability to talk to a variety of generations and knowledge levels comes so naturally to her that Jen is a highly sought-after speaker, spokesperson and event MC. She regularly leads masterclasses and is frequently featured in media outlets from podcasts and blogs to national television and newspapers. Jen currently teaches with other Master Sommeliers and adjudicates exams from the Certified Level to the Masters Level around North America. Because she also holds a WSET Diploma of Wine, Jen can be found teaching courses with Fine Vintage.
Jen is passionate about sustainability and delivering incredible experiences around matching plant-based meals with wine. She is a founder of @socialherbivore, together with Priya Rao, and is now writing a book on plant-based food & wine matching and feels that this is the next huge wine trend. The Social Herbivore is all about about elevating the experience of food and wine and culture In what has been seen historically as either radical or boring. The authors show that it doesn’t have to be that way and they shine a light on making it all fun, delicious and accessible.
Moreover, Jennifer also had the honor of playing herself in the Hallmark movie ‘Raise a glass to Love’ filmed out in the Okanagan. In general, whether teaching wine classes, creating and hosting VIP events, curating wines for restaurants and clubs, or acting as a spokesperson for some of the world’s top wineries and wine regions, Jennifer loves liberally sharing her knowledge with those who desire a deeper appreciaton for what they are sipping.
The Court of Master Sommeliers
The Court of Master Sommeliers was established to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. Though its members worldwide come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, they share a proven mastery of the art, science, and history that informs a sommelier’s work.
There are 269 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam.
Learn more on the Court of Master Sommeliers’ official site