Do you want to feel more comfortable opening and serving wine? Do you want to feel more confident serving fine-dining tables, wine dinners and parties? This course will help you feel excited to answer questions about wine regions and grapes, serving according the the rubrics of the Court of Master Sommeliers and mastering the interpersonal art of selling wine.
You've been through the basics. You loved wine, learned wine, tasted wine and served wine. Now you're ready to teach about it. Now you need to know the broader view. This class is for you!
The Mid-American School of Wine was founded by four St. Louis area natives. Jeff Callahan, CS, CSW, is the Sommelier at Porter’s Steakhouse in Collinsville, IL, a co-founder of the St. Louis Wine Cats, and an instructor/member of the American Wine Society St. Louis chapter. Aaron Mandel, CSW, is the American Wine Society Regional Vice President and a national coordinator of their Wine Judge Certification program. He is also a WSET Certified Instructor, and is currently working on his WSET Diploma. Craig Adams is a Sommelier and Owner of Vino Vitae in Lafayette Square. He is also an instructor in the STLCC Continuing Education program and has been Director of Tasting Room Operations and Cellar Master for several Missouri wineries. Denise Mueller, CS, CSW, is the Sommelier/Bar Manager of The Dark Room Wine Bar and Photo Gallery in Grand Center, in St. Louis, MO. She is an instructor/member of the American Wine Society St. Louis chapter, and is currently studying for the Advanced Sommelier through Court of Master Sommeliers and for her French Wine Scholar certificate.Jeff | Denise | Craig | Aaron
Jeff Callahan is a Certified Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine. He has been the Sommelier at Porter's
Steakhouse in Collinsville, IL since 1998. In that time he has conducted numerious wine dinners, classes and
Jeff, along with Scott Sutter, co-founded the St. Louis Wine Cats in 2004. They conduct monthly wine tastings at restaurants, wineries and cooking schools throughout the St. Louis area. www.stlwinecats.com
Jeff is also active with the American Wine Society. Along with Denise Mueller, he is co-chair of the St. Louis branch. He has also be instrumental in starting branches in metro-east St. Louis, IL. and Moline, IL.
In 2010 Jeff was editor for the book Use Wine To Make Sense of the World, written by James Beard award- nominated author Elliot Essman.
In 2013 Jeff, along with Denise Mueller, Aaron Mandel and Craig Adams, founded the Mid-American School of Wine, based in St. Louis. www.stlsow.com
Jeff has two grown children, Christy and Donny. He is active promoting the global Pediatric Stroke Awareness initiative. He also works in his son's movie company, DJC Filmz, as a producer and writer. Jeff enjoys going to the gym.
Craig Adams is an enthusiastic wine professional I have dedicated my life to understanding the world of wine. I developed an educational pursuit of wine I call Vino Vitae. My first experience was discovering the romanticism of wine by touring distilleries in Kentucky and the art of barrel aging. This development continued while in college at the University of Missouri and visiting many Missouri wineries. I was able to pursue a career in the science of wine using my degree in Biology and discovering the side of wine that makes it a technically rewarding as well.
I began as a home winemaker with the Missouri Winemaking Society in 1997 while I developed my technical skills as a Research Biologist at Monsanto. This led to a startup consultant position that allowed me to discover a career in wine as a Cellarmaster at Mount Pleasant Winery in 2000. I was able to consult on the launch of Chaumette Vineyards and Winery as Director of Tasting Room Operations in 2003. I realized my passion for wine and food would best be served by launching my own Educational Retail wine shop in 2007 in Lafayette Square called â€œVino Vitaeâ€.
I taught classes for the Continuing Education department at St. Louis Community College and educated my retail customers while they discovered the world of wine. I hosted wine dinners with area restaurants, professional speaking engagements and private wine events while continuing the education of the wine consumer. I have added professional wine credentials as a Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers; I am a member of several wine organizations including the American Wine Society and now with the launch of the Saint Louis School of Wine as a Wine Educator.
As I continue to share the pursuit of education with my fellow Wine Educators and immersion in the multifaceted world of wine, I plan to add to my professional credentials and visit the great wine growing regions of the world and of course taste through many labels and add to my personal cellar.
Aaron Mandel is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators and runs theÂ Certified Wine Judge Program for the American Wine Society. He is an international wine judge, having served as a judge in wine competitions in both the United States and the United Kingdom.Â Aaron has completed levels two and three of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) program, passing both with distinction, and is currently enrolled in the Diploma Level program. He serves as a WSET instructor for the Wine Center, bringing the WSET program to St Louis.Aaron
Denise Mueller is a Certified Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine, and is currently studying for her Advanced Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She is also studying for the French Wine Scholar program, and will be testing in late 2015.
Denise is the Sommelier/Bar Manager The Dark Room in Grand Center. The venue boasts live jazz 5 nights a week, an art gallery curated by the International Hall of Fame, and a progressive wine program, that changes when the art installations rotate.
Previous to The Dark Room, she strengthened her business savvy working as Beverage Manager for Robust Wine Bars in Illinois and Missouri, participating in Management, Beverage Program, Event Planning, and Staff Education.
She has also worked for other strong, local wine programs at Porters Steakhouse and The Wine Tap, both Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” winning programs. She has a degree in Mass Communications and Advertising from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUe). Using a combination of her background in Communications and Restaurant Management, she worked for Aloha Point of Sale Systems as a Lead Programmer and Trainer for 4 years.
Denise participates as an active member of the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG-STL) and is an active member of the St. Louis branch of the American Wine Society, participating as an event instructor.
In her “Spare Time,” Denise enjoys running Tower Grove Park, experiencing new restaurants in new neighborhoods, finding the areas greatest new bartenders and sommeliers, and relaxing at home with her Chihuahuas Maximus and Katharine Hepburn.