At just 19 years old, Shawn started working in the restaurant industry, and always had the gift of hospitality. Things started small and slow, but Shawn worked his way into management and eventually into fine dinning under one of the top maître d’s and notable wine sales people in the industry within the US.
Shawn served some very special vintage wines and Champagnes in one of those restaurants that he couldn’t afford as he worked his way through college in the Dallas Texas area. After finishing college at home in California, Shawn left the restaurant industry in 2000, but never left wine.
As a banking officer, Shawn continued to frequent many of the California wine regions on the weekends, and taste often. Living very near Santa Barbara County, California certainly makes visiting Santa Barbara, and the remaining Central Coast easy. In 2010, Shawn started a website dedicated to providing winery reviews, wandering-wino.com
Shawn has said.
“When people ask where to go wine tasting, so many people often will simply share their favorites. For me, I want to provide the best information possible for that person asking for help, and I always ask questions; like:
What are you looking for? Are you bringing a group or a romantic get-a-way? Do you want to find great values to stock your cellar, or would you prefer beautiful places to picnic? Do you want to park the car once, and simply taste by foot, or do you plan to drive? Are you looking for education? What types of wines do you like to drink? What sounds more interesting, a small quaint historic store front type town filled with tasting rooms, or beautiful vineyards spread out?” How much time do you have and would you like information on restaurants, historic places, the casino, breweries, and the climate?
Since 2010, Shawn is often found at wine events, particularly those with educational opportunities he can learn from. Shawn has also conducted many winemaker interviews where he continues to gain greater education. Photography is one of Shawn’s passions, and he is rarely seen in a vineyard or event without his camera. As a former restaurant person and foodie, Shawn enjoys pairing food and wine and can be found sharing his passion with education on KVTA 1590 AM Saturday mornings, and event classes pairing with Chef John Paolone at Cafe Firenze.
If wine is in it, Shawn is likely not too far off as he is a published photographer, wine writer, wine educator, event creator, helped restaurants with wine lists, and even moderated a panel for an event.
If you are visiting California wine country, and more specifically, Santa Barbara (Sta Rita Hills, Santa Ynez Valley, Ballard Canyon, Happy Canyon, Santa Maria Valley, downtown Santa Barbara, the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, Los Alamos, Los Olivos District, +) Shawn is ideal to help plan your trip.