When one didn’t exist, David Glancy created a Certified Sommelier Program at the Professional Culinary Institute (now known as ICC), successfully coaching more than 400 students to pass the Court’s Certified Sommelier exam.

Glancy’s program remains the only Certified Sommelier program officially approved by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Soon after in 2011, Glancy founded San Francisco Wine School to create the ideal educational setting from the ground up. Read about his vision.

Glancy is one of only twelve people in the world to hold both the revered Master Sommelier diploma and a Certified Wine Educator credential. A certified French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Professional, and Certified Specialist of Spirits, Glancy has earned the credential for every program he teaches, and more.

Previously he managed restaurants in the Bay Area and abroad, taught wine and business management at Le Cordon Bleu’s California Culinary Academy, served on the editorial board of Sommelier Journal and was a 3-term member on the board of directors for the Society of Wine Educators. Currently he is on the advisory board for SommCon and the American Institute of Wine & Food.


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How did you get into the wine industry?

I started as a dishwasher & busboy at a restaurant outside Washington, DC when I was 15. I loved food and my mom was a terrible cook, so I was cooking family meals and a restaurant line cook by 16.

Why did you pursue wine industry credentials?
I took the Court of MS Introductory exam in 1996 simply to make myself a better restaurant manager. When I left restaurant management in 1999 to start a wine consulting business I started studying for the Court of MS Advanced exam to give myself more credibility with potential clients. The CWE exam was a perfect halfway point between my 2nd and 3rd attempts at the MS exam to keep me going. Now my studies are all about lifelong learning and continuous improvement.

If you were not in the wine industry, what would you be doing?
Park ranger or cabana boy, but all of my grade school aptitude tests said I should be a CPA. Yeah, right!

Who is the most interesting guest you have served?
I was thrilled to serve Muhamamd Ali when I managed a restaurant in Macau, China.

What is your most memorable wine and food pairing?
Empanadas and sparkling Bonarda!  I was part of a group of American sommeliers touring Argentina. Two of us just found the entire group's missing luggage unattended at the airport and retrieved every piece. The food was good, the wine was fun, the occasion was happy, the people were fantastic and the view from the hotel rooftop above Buenos Aires didn't hurt either.

What do you like most about teaching?
I love seeing students' eyes light up and I feed off the energy of their increased passion for wine. It also gives me great satisfaction watching students' careers take off.


      Best Winery Tours and Tasting in California!

      I am regularly asked what wineries are the best to visit in California. With over 3,800 wineries in the state and American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in 43 of the state’s 58 counties it can be hard to choose. Below are my picks for Napa and Sonoma with other regions to be discussed in future weeks.

      Eat Drink SF

      Eat Drink SF's signature Grand Tastings are a food lover's paradise.  

      They feature amazing flavors and one-of-a-kind experiences enjoyed under one roof on San Francisco Bay's waterfront. Watch renown chefs and bartenders do demonstrations on the main stage. Learn about wine in the San Francisco Wine School Beverage Classroom.

      Wine Enthusiast: 
      6 Expert Tips for Traveling with Wine

      Wine Enthusiast tapped a seasoned road warrior, David Glancy—master sommelier and CEO of the San Francisco Wine School—and our editors for packing solutions, tips and tricks at a variety of price points. Here’s to bringing a coveted bottle back safe and sound.


      Clarifying Credential Blur

      There are no legal requirements for anyone to become credentialed to work as, or call themselves, a sommelier. However, many individuals decide to challenge themselves, demonstrate their knowledge and add initials to their resume.



      New Video Series on California Wine Regions - 8 Wine Videos, 15 Minutes

      In celebration of California Wine Month 2014, created by Wine Institute and recognized with a proclamation by Governor Brown, San Francisco Wine School has produced a series of educational videos featuring founder and Master Sommelier David Glancy. In his easy-going, friendly style, Glancy offers insights into the California’s signature grape varietals and wine regions, providing valuable tips for visitors from a wine insider, including the answers to these questions, and more: Which region gave birth to 80% of California’s Chardonnay wine?

      The Chaine des Rotisseurs’ Young Sommelier Competition is well underway. Between February 11 and March 4, five of the eight regional competitions were completed. The first round of the competition was an online wine theory exam held in December. Two … Continue reading

      9 Easy Ways to Improve Your Wine IQ in San Francisco

      If you want to learn about wine in San Francisco, take advantage of the many resources at your fingertips, plus the miles of wine country just a short drive away. Here are some tips from San Francisco Wine School, plus some from Certified Sommelier Petra Polakovicova, Wine Director at Epic Roasthouse, and Certified Sommelier Jessica Eisenberg, Assistant General Manager at Puccini & Pinetti , that will make you smarter than ever when it comes to wine.

      Top 4 Reasons to Get Wine Credentials

      What anyone knew just five years ago is completely out of date in many areas. European Union Common Market Organization reforms that occurred 2008-2011 continue to create confusion with implementation of AOP/DOP/PDO wine regulations.

      California's 21 Pending AVAs

      Why Study California Wine

      Have you tasted that amazing 98-point Cabernet from NextNewWinery? It was featured in Wine Speculator and Bob Park’s Wine No-Advertising.

      Prosecco, Super-Models and Big Bikes, Oh My!

      I have never given even a moment’s thought to going to a motorcycle race. That is, until I was enticed by an invitation to hang out in the VIP/Media Lounge drinking Prosecco all day at Laguna Seca Racetrack in Monterey County on September 29.

      Which Way to Wine Education?

      Studying wine is endless. It is a rabbit hole with no end. Many people assume that passing the Master Sommelier (MS) or Master of Wine (MW) exam is the end of the journey. Once I passed the MS I gained the freedom to decide WHAT I wanted to study about wine, but never slowed down.

      How Restaurant Wine Buyers Make Their Selections (or Should)

      I was a restaurant wine buyer for years before focusing exclusively on wine education. I also discuss the struggles and success of many of my friends who work in that capacity and to those who sell wholesale to them. From all of this I thought I had seen it all.

      Fantasy League Wine Collecting

      I do not buy wine hoping it will increase in value to re-sell later. I will not be recommending blue chip producers or bottlings to maximize your wine collecting return. Wine is for sharing with good friends, good food and good times. For me, it is not a commodity.

      How to Become a Sommelier

      Which Wine Credential is Best to Become a Sommelier? Many people are confused by what I call wine credential blur. This is further muddled by competing and sometimes misleading claims.

      Sommelier Opening Wax Sealed Wine (Video)

      This is a follow-up to our last blog about wax seals and my video is at the end. Most wines have corks with metal or plastic capsules over them and screw cap wines are on the rise.

      Restaurant Service of Wax Sealed Wine Bottles

      A small number of wines around the world are bottled with a wax seal over the cork. Some beers, meads and spirits are sealed this way, as well. There are many ways this can be done. The most common is a small wax seal on top of the cork instead of a plastic or metal capsule. Some other wax seals are thin and cover the very top of the neck.

      Top 10 Funniest Wine, Food & Service Videos

      I feel the need for something light hearted today. In fact, I use humor every time I teach about wine. Here are some of my favorites to inspire, instruct, shock or simply amuse.

      French Wine Society, Scholar, Master Programs & Immersion Trips

      There is no better place to study French wines than the French Wine Society. This is a partially self-serving statement as San Francisco Wine School is the exclusive provider of their programs in the San Francisco area.

      Wine Service Exams vs. the Real World

      I am constantly being asked for tips to prepare for the Court of Master Sommeliers’ exams. Everyone is terrified by the blind tasting exams, and the studying required to pass any level of theory exams is also daunting. Those who have worked in restaurants for years often take the service exams for granted.

      Why Teach Blind Wine Tasting?

      One of the first things taught during the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory Course is blind wine tasting, or more specifically the deductive tasting technique. They test blind tasting ability at the 2nd-4th levels of their exams (Certified, Advanced and Master Sommelier), but not at the Introductory. The Society of Wine Educators tests blind wine tasting for varietals and faults in their top exam, Certified Wine Educator (CWE).

      SWE Launches Hospitality Beverage Specialist Certificate

      On July 24, 2012 the Society of Wine Educators (SWE) conducted their first Hospitality Beverage Specialist Exam at this year’s annual conference in San Mateo, CA.  Eight of San Francisco Wine School’s recent graduates were among those tested and all of them passed! The Hospitality Beverage Specialist is an entry-level program designed for hospitality and culinary students, waiters, bartenders, cocktail servers and others looking for an introductory credential.

      How to Start a Career in the Wine Industry (or Not)

      Many people are surprised to find out that the majority of my students over the last decade have been career changers. The next largest student segment has been 20-somethings entering the workforce for the first time or trying to turn a part-time job into a career.

      San Francisco Wine Shops That I Love by David Glancy

      I thought I would share some love with my favorite San Francisco wine retailers and hopefully help some shoppers in the process. I buy wine many places but two shops are head and shoulders above the rest for me.

      Teaching Styles in Wine Education – So What?

      While all wine educators share a common goal, to convey information and assist in the learning process, each does so with a unique style. Wine education is of course no different. In over 20 years of sitting through both fascinating seminars and deathly boring lectures, I finally found my own style after attending the first-year Master of Wine residential seminar a few years ago. So What?