Master Sommelier Brian Cronin began his wine career in Raleigh, North Carolina. After studying biology in college, Brian realized that he wanted to make wine. However, it was his exposure in restaurants to wines from all over the world and his growing passion for wine that made him want to learn everything that he possibly could. Brian then went to work as sommelier in some of the top restaurants in the country. In Chicago he worked for Charlie Trotter as the assistant sommelier, under Master Sommelier Joe Spellman, and then worked his way up to head Sommelier. Since then, he has worked as an Educator for Southern Wine & Spirits in Hawaii, Wine Director for St. Regis, as well as the Sommelier at Gary Danko Restaurant, The Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, in San Francisco, as well as National Education for Jackson Family Wines. Brian is a very active member with the Court of Master Sommeliers, examining and teaching at all levels, and has served as an elected member of their Board of Directors.

How did you get into the wine industry?

I was working in a restaurant in Raleigh, NC and I used to watch the GM taste with different sales reps. I remember them saying that syrah was peppery and full of blueberry fruit. One day a few months later I got slid a glass of wine and I thought it smelled like pepper, so I asked if it was Syrah - and it was!!!! From then I wanted to know everything I could about wine.

Why did you pursue wine industry credentials?
I left college to get deeper into wine, but I wanted to be on a path, regardless of credential, that would help be the best I could.

If you were not in the wine industry, what would you be doing?

Who is the most interesting guest you have served?
It is a tie between Julia Child and Geddy Lee (My inner sommelier and inner rockstar fighting)

What is your most memorable wine and food pairing?
’85 Rinaldi Barolo Brunate and Alba Truffles with Fonduta

What do you like most about teaching?
Doing all I can to keep information exciting and fun. Wine should be fun.

What is your favorite wine region to visit?
The Loire Valley

What is your favorite class to teach?
Sake and Spirits

What's your most memorable wine experience?
1811 Chateau d’Yquem

Why did you decide to become an instructor?
Being an instructor gives me much of the same joy of being on the floor of a restaurant. I get to see joy on peoples faces.

What other passions beside wine do you have?
I play guitar and I love photography.

The Gift of Service

“Service not Servitude.” – Charlie Trotter. These are words that resonate with me to this day. They describe the act of truly wanting to take care of people – on all levels.


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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