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.
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.