Photo by Carmen Troesser
Jen Epley started working in restaurants while going to school for interior design in Madison, Wisconsin. She soon discovered the hospitality industry had a lot to offer and she was eager to pursue a career in the field. Jen moved to St. Louis in 2011 and dove into farm-driven fare as a server at Five Bistro. There, she tried Chateauneuf-du-Pape for the first time and her love for wine began. While working at the James Beard-nominated sister restaurants Olio and Elaia, Jen grew her knowledge of spirits, classic cocktails, and wines- especially those from the Mediterranean region. New world wines became a focus of hers while working at St. Louis’ first James Beard awarded restaurant, Niche. Then, Jen helped to open the James Beard-nominated restaurant, Vicia as the assistant general manager and beverage director. She curated a wine list featuring both classic and advantageous styles at varying price points. In March of 2018, Jen completed her Certified Sommelier Exam issued by the Court of Master Sommeliers and shortly after, she decided to retire from her restaurant career. Pinnacle decided to take a chance on her in February of 2019 and she has not looked back. She loves that fact that she can still be involved in restaurants, while learning about the retail and wholesale side of wine too.
In her free time, Jen enjoys traveling, cooking, dining out, and lounging with her cats- Meeko and Nova.
Favorite wine to sell - Prevost La Closerie Champagne Extra Brut 'Les Beguines'
Favorite wine to drink - Rotem & Mounir Saouma Cotes du Rhone Rouge 'Inopia'