After growing up in St. Louis, Allyson spent much of the next two and a half decades traveling the world under the guise of wine, spirits, food, and hospitality. She says, “You don’t find the wine world; it finds you.”
Serving and bartending her way around in her twenties, Allyson became a Certified Sommelier, and later an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. She also holds the WSET Advanced certificate and is a CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine.)
She has run the gamut of beverage programs, including dive bars, and nightclubs—then worked a harvest for Gary Farrell before becoming the Front of House Manager for Cakebread Cellars. She later ran a small Michelin-starred beverage program for the Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant in Sonoma County as well as larger programs at establishments like the Saint Louis Club and The Beverly Hills Hotel.
Allyson writes freelance as well and has for years. She spent time at The Somm Journal and The Tasting Panel as Senior Wine Editor. Allyson, however, enjoys education most in this industry’s capacity. So much gets overcomplicated, and she loves to see “the light” come on when she explains something in a way that finally resonates with someone. Whether staff training or public seminars, Allyson loves to help connect the dots.
With travel being her number one priority upon graduation from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Allyson feels incredibly fortunate to have had the amazing experiences, trips, tastings, and comradery she has found within the wine and spirits business.
Outside of work—which let’s face it, when you drink and eat for a living, much of your life is connected to work—she loves spending time with family, especially her niece, Sydney, and her nephew, Steven. Film and theater have always followed a parallel in her life as well, so she tries to stay current on independent films and plays as much as possible. She volunteers for CASA and SLSO, both incredible organizations for the larger community.
Favorite wine to sell: Produttori del Barbaresco—talk about a “light” going off! When the guest is ready for it—love!
Favorite wine to drink: Any Premier Cru Chablis—it’s my desert island wine.