Bio: Robert Smith

Raised in Dallas, hospitality and cuisine surrounded Robert from a young age with his family’s business in the Food and Beverage industry. Robert went on to study at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Hotel Administration and pursued the fields of Economics and Philosophy while working at boutique restaurants before earning a position at Picasso in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. There he worked for James Beard award-winning chef Julian Serrano. In February, 2004 Robert was one of three (out of 41) to pass the Master Sommelier diploma examination held in San Francisco. One of 149 total Master Sommeliers in the United States, Robert has dedicated his life to wine education, travel and cuisine.

Through his career as Master Sommelier at Picasso, Robert played a key role in building the restaurant’s renowned cellar which boasts 1,500 selections from the finest vineyards in Europe. Robert’s expertise earned Picasso the Wine Spectator Grand Award every year from 2003 – 2016, Wine Enthusiast’s America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants in 2015, SANTÉ Restaurant Award’s Excellence in Wine Hospitality in 2007, and a Five Time James Beard Finalist position for Outstanding Wine Service. Robert began working for Foley Family Wines as Factotum in the summer of 2016 where his wine expertise is cultivated in many aspects of the business. The diversified Foley Family portfolio of resorts, restaurants and wineries highlights Robert’s background in fine wine, food and hospitality.

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San Francisco Wine School strives to open up the world of wine to serious students and enthusiasts everywhere while helping people of all levels break into the wine industry, advance their career, or simply pursue their passions. Founded by Master Sommelier and Certified Wine Educator David Glancy, San Francisco Wine School is the largest wine school in the U.S., offering the most thoughtful approach to wine study. Their inspired educational programs and workshops are taught in their state of the art wine education & events center and their cutting edge virtual classroom by industry-leading instructors from all major educational disciplines. San Francisco Wine School’s curriculum features the best content in the business: expert course materials, carefully conceived wine flights, and in-depth blind tasting exercises designed to engage students, illuminate course content and enhance learning. Their brand new sunlight-filled wine education & events center is conveniently located just 5 minutes from San Francisco International Airport and boasts 16-ft high coved ceilings, eight 12-ft tall arched windows, and gorgeous 180 degree views of the San Bruno Mountains, South San Francisco City Hall and the San Francisco Bay, making it the perfect place to enjoy classes, industry seminars and tastings and host a wide variety of private events—from serious educational programs for wine/hospitality industry staff to team-building and other fun, social, private events for wine enthusiasts.

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