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Master Sommelier Writes Definitive Wine-Tasting Guide for Professionals and Novices

13 October, 2023

Master Sommelier Writes Definitive Wine-Tasting Guide for Professionals and Novices October 13, 2023 - Rio Rancho, NM – Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser has released an updated version of Message in the Bottle: A Guide to Tasting Wine (ISBN: 978-1955750479). The book is a valuable resource for professional tasters, as well as an outstanding guide for the casual enthusiast who wants to learn more about how to appreciate a glass of wine. Message in the Bottle is a compilation of Gaiser’s thirty-plus years of international wine-tasting and teaching experience. After working on the text for over ten years, Gaiser finally had the opportunity to put the manuscript together during the 2020 COVID pandemic. On release, the wine-tasting guide quickly surged to the top rankings on Amazon. “The original intent was to write something for “Jedi Knights in training,” as a colleague calls students in the wine certification programs,” Gaiser says. “However, a dear friend and fellow Master Sommelier colleague pointed out that once the book was released, consumers just getting into wine would also be interested it. I realized that I needed to make the text as user-friendly as possible." With that, Gaiser went back to the drawing board and rewrote all the chapters to include introductions and recommendations on how to use the information. The result is a comprehensive resource for the serious wine student, as well as a clear-cut guide for anyone who wants to learn the secrets of tasting wine. As Emily Wines, Master Sommelier and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas, states "For all of those who've struggled with the art and technique of blind tasting, this is the ultimate guide." Peter Marks, Master of Wine, agrees, stating “'Message in the Bottle'” should be another standard in anyone’s wine library along with “The Oxford Companion to Wine” and “The World Atlas of Wine.”  A Decanter Magazine review states that "this Guide to Tasting Wine compiles strategies and insights gained over more than 30 years of teaching and working as a sommelier. While many sections are aimed at helping sommeliers pass the tough MS exam, there are useful tools for wine novices through to those wanting to brush up on blind tasting skills." Somm Journal publisher, Meredith May, wrote, "Applying his three decades of experience in tasting, teaching, and writing, Gaiser divides and conquers concepts both objective and subjective. For those prepping for exams, Message in the Bottle may be one of the most valuable tomes in your arsenal." Beyond requisite skills, the Message in the Bottle includes an entire section on strategies for improving focus, concentration, and smell and taste memory—all using visualization. It also features a list of suggested producers for tasting practice, instructions for writing tasting notes and wine tech sheets, and a series of essays on wine, making it not only the go-to reference for aspiring sommeliers and wine professionals, but an enjoyable read about one of life’s greatest, most enduring pleasures. Message in the Bottle: A Guide to Tasting Wine was published by Networlding Publishing in December 2022 and is available in both eBook and paperback formats from major distributors. For more information, images, interviews, or review copies please contact About Tim Gaiser, MS Tim Gaiser is an internationally renowned wine expert and lecturer. He is one of less than 300 individuals worldwide to ever attain the elite Master Sommelier title. He is the former Director of Education and Education chair for the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas, and an instructor for the Napa Valley Wine Academy. Over his 30-plus year career, Tim has taught thousands of students in wines and spirits classes at every level as well as developing wine education programs for restaurants, winery schools and wine distributors. He has experience in all phases of the wine industry: online, wholesale, retail, winery, and restaurants. Tim has written for several publications including Fine Cooking Magazine and the Somm Journal and also writes for numerous wine and spirits clients. He has served as the author and lead judge for the Best Young Sommelier Competition and the Top Somm Competition. Prior to developing his wine expertise, Tim received an M.A. in Classical Music. He played classical trumpet as a freelance professional and as an extra with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. He currently lives with his family in New Mexico.
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Charles Communications Associates Celebrates 20 Years in 2023 Wine Marketing Agency Reflects on two decades of excellence

1 February, 2023

Charles Communications Associates Celebrates 20 Years in 2023 Wine Marketing Agency Reflects on two decades of excellence San Francisco, CA January 31, 2023 - This year marks the 20th anniversary for Charles Communications Associates (CCA), a leading wine marketing firm headquartered in San Francisco, California.   What began at the dining room table of founder Kimberly Charles in 2003 with her first client, noted actor and vintner Fess Parker, has grown over the last twenty years to represent clients in Japan, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South America and the U.S with a dynamic team.  In 2021, Meininger's International named CCA one of the top 10 wine & spirits companies in the United States and Founder and President Kimberly Charles likes to say, "We have kept our momentum in these twenty years, pacing with changing technologies, media landscapes, larger trends within our industry and with consumer preferences.   That consistent push to keep relevant and nimble has been a big part of our success." Charles Communications Associates was early to the tech scene when it debuted the Brandlive platform in 2012, engaging with vintners and media via interactive video meet ups.   A precursor to today's ubiquitous zoom meetings, CCA saw early on the value of connecting from the comfort of one's home with vintners around the world.    Always with an eye to sustainability through innovative partnerships and impact investing as well as aligning with companies who espoused sustainable beliefs, CCA was an early adopter to what is today a new baseline for the way companies operate and market their brands.   Another pillar of CCA's core beliefs is in supporting women led or owned companies.   Many of CCA's client base have powerful women as CEOs such as Wente Vineyards, Domaine Carneros, the Consorzio of Conegliano Valdobbiadene among others.  CCA has worked with a large majority of legacy families in the California wine business including the Wentes, the Mondavis, the Gallos among others, helping them to shape their narrative and claiming their place in the continuum of history.   At the core of the company's belief system, has been a dedication to continuous improvement and education.   Among the first U.S. cohort to earn the challenging Diploma certification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, founder Kimberly Charles has always kept the educational focus front and center with her client programming, executing programs with substance, relevance and meaning.   Early to adopt a work/life balance with her team, she works with a network of associates in Cape Town, New York, California, and beyond.    When asked what's ahead of the next industry curve, Charles likes to share that relationships will always be the company's stock and trade.   Cultivating long term connections with clients, media and gatekeepers in the trade will continue.  As she shares, "A good story never goes out of style." Discover more about Charles Communications Associates at or on Instagram and Facebook @AlltheSwirl.    
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As California’s new mandatory Responsible Beverage Service Certification deadline looms, San Francisco Wine School offers ABC accredited live training for 1 million servers in need

27 June, 2022

As California’s new mandatory Responsible Beverage Service Certification deadline looms, San Francisco Wine School offers ABC accredited live training for 1 million servers in need All alcoholic beverage servers & managers are required to certify for responsible beverage service by August 31, 2022, per the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control June 27, 2022 - The State of California has issued a new mandate for Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) certification, for all 56,000 licensed businesses in California where alcohol is served that goes into effect this Friday, July 1.  The brand-new training and certification requirement is mandatory for everyone from servers to bartenders to bouncers, anyone who is part of the on-premise alcohol sales and service process for consumers.  These individuals and their managers must be trained through an approved RBS program and pass the California’s Department of Alcohol Beverage Control’s (ABC) certification exam by August 31, 2022.   On-premise licensees who do not have all alcoholic beverage service staff and managers certified by this date will be out of compliance with the ABC when enforcement begins.  This legislation was part of Assembly bills 1221 and 82, which charged the ABC to create this training and certification process.   There are only a handful of certifying organizations within the state like San Francisco Wine School, (SFWS) whose program is approved by the ABC to offer live, instructor-led training online, at their education and event center in South San Francisco, and at client locations throughout the state. A noted certification-focused wine education and event organization, SFWS has been in operation since 2011, offering 25 different programs, along with a wide array of workshops, public events, and private experiences for both trade and consumers.   Recognizing that this mandate needed to serve a wide audience in a short period of time, co-owners David Glancy, MS and Kristin Campbell jumped into action and began developing their program last year.   SFWS has their 4-hour certification class available publicly on July 26, August 22, and September 27 for a cost of $45 per person with opportunities for group discounts.  In addition, the school offers groups, associations, and individual wineries, bars, and restaurants this training privately, allowing them to focus discussions on areas and examples that are most relevant to their particular business.  SFWS’ RBS program is also expected to be available in Spanish in the coming weeks. According to Campbell, "RBS training educates persons seeking employment or who are currently employed as servers for on-premise consumption of alcoholic beverages. It aims to provide these important staff and managers with the necessary skills to responsibly serve alcoholic beverages and mitigate alcohol-related harm in California communities. We used our deep industry knowledge to create a curriculum that is in strict compliance with the ABC’s requirements with the goal of successful certification for all students and are one of only ten approved “in-person” providers authorized to teach live throughout the state."  SFWS has also pioneered hybrid room/zoom offerings during the pandemic where attendees can either attend live in-person or online and receive custom tasting kits across the US when wine is part of the experience.   “Using our state-of-the-art AV system for RBS training will allow us to conveniently and effectively train servers across the state and minimize travel expenses for those who want to participate from home or work.”  Important to note, TIPS, ServeSafe, and LEAD programs and certification completed prior to May 2021 do NOT satisfy the requirements for California’s Responsible Beverage Service Certification.  How the RBS Training and Certification Process Works at San Francisco Wine SchoolOnce registered for a training program at, each on-premise server and manager is required to register with the ABC at before the program start date and pay a $3 fee to obtain their Server ID. This Server ID is presented to SFWS who then certifies their class participation after the training, thereby opening their exam.  They must then pass the ABC's online RBS exam with a score of 70% or higher within 3 attempts after completion of the program to earn the state mandated RBS certification.    About California's Responsible Beverage Service Training Program Act and Related Certification Passage of California Assembly Bill 1221 in 2017 created the Responsible Beverage Service Training Program Act. The bill required the Alcoholic Beverage Control to create the Responsible Beverage Service Training Program (RBSTP) to ensure servers and their managers of alcoholic beverages are educated on the dangers of serving alcohol to minors and over-serving alcohol to patrons with the intention of reducing alcohol-related harm to local communities. The mandate creates a new training requirement for roughly 1,000,000 alcohol servers and managers of alcohol servers at an estimated 56,000 ABC licensees with on-premise alcohol sales privileges. The alcohol servers and managers who work at those locations must register with the ABC, be trained by an ABC approved program, and pass an ABC exam to be certified within 60 days of the enactment or after their first date of employment whichever is later. This certification must be renewed every 3 years by all alcohol servers as mandated by these new regulations. The passing of Assembly Bill 82, on June 29, 2020, extended the date in which this requirement is enacted to July 1, 2022. This change was made to alleviate the financial strain on the hospitality industry caused by the COVID-19 state of emergency. Effective July 1, 2022, all alcohol servers and their managers must obtain a valid RBS certification though an ABC accredited RBS training provider within 60 calendar days from the effective date or their first date of employment.  Uncertified Servers, Managers and Licensees will be out of compliance with this law beginning August 31, 2022, when enforcement begins. To learn more about SFWS' RBS program, visit here or contact or 650-763-1324.  For media inquiries, images, or interviews, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles, DipWSET of Charles Communications Associates at or 415-730-0064. # # #  
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