Congratulations to Ingrid Elizabeth Eyen, IWS, for achieving highest honors in the Italian Wine Scholar exam with San Francisco Wine School.
I am a Certified Specialist of Wine based in Sonoma County, CA. Currently, I work as a Virtual Tasting Host with In Good Taste Wines.
I was born and raised in Southeastern Ohio, but I have happily called the “Left Coast” home for over 20 years now. My career has largely centered around working with women & LGBTQ-owned organizations, from international luxury travel companies to touring folk music acts to local Sonoma County wineries.
My previous career was as a full-time touring singer-songwriter with various folk/americana bands for 15 years. It was upon moving from Seattle to the Bay Area in 2008 that I discovered my deep love of wine and a community who shared and nurtured that same obsession.
Although my professional wine journey only began in 2019, I have already earned my CSW, California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS), and Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) through attending the San Francisco Wine School, passing all of my exams with honors. My primary focus is exploring the art and alchemy of food & wine pairing.
As a wine educator, I enjoy ‘preaching the gospel of the grape’ to nonbelievers and novices alike, promising there’s a place for everyone in ‘wine appreciation’ despite cultural, gender, and class barriers. My mission is to expand people’s palates and minds by creating fun, educational adventures in wine exploration and increasing accessibility for everyone to the wonders of wine.
My qualifications include:
2019: California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS) - with honors
2020: Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) - with honors
2022: Italian Wine Scholar - with high honors
There is a decent amount of overlap between CSW and IWS programs when it comes to
Italian wine knowledge, only on a more basic level in CSW. It certainly helped to give me a larger understanding of Old World wine standards, practices, and typicity that set the stage for a more nuanced study of Italian wines.
I intend to enroll in the WSET Level 3 within the next year. Beyond that, there is a possibility I may pursue the Spanish Wine Scholar, French Wine Scholar, and Northwest Wine Appellations Specialist programs. I absolutely love to learn all things wine, especially those designations that prove to be helpful in everyday conversations – be in business or pleasure – with people about wine. IWS has definitely been an enriching step towards that aspiration.
I truly enjoyed getting the deeper dive into Italian wine regions, grapes, histories, and methods during my IWS studies. I adore Italy and plan to work and/or live abroad there at some point in my life. My IWS is an excellent addition to my professional toolkit which will empower me to take that leap when the right opportunity strikes.
Meanwhile, my newfound knowledge of Italian wines allows me to engage on a deeper level with my tasting clients around our Italian wine portfolio at In Good Taste.