Jienna Basaldu

Sommelier

About Me

Jienna has almost two decades of hospitality experience and began her journey in wine after obtaining her Bachelor’s in Business Marketing from California State University in 2009.  Jienna is a Certified Specialist of Wine, French Wine Scholar, and Advanced Sommelier.  Currently, Jienna works the floor as a Sommelier at the Michelin-starred Angler on the San Francisco Embarcadero. 

Previously, Jienna was the Wine Director at The Morris in San Francisco, a 2020 James Beard Outstanding Wine Program nominee, and has managed wine programs for noted Sacramento establishments Ella Dining Room & Bar, 58 Degrees & Holding Co., as well as the historic Sutter Club.  Jienna enjoys Sommelier competitions and in 2017 was a winner of the SommFoundation Luxicon blind tasting, the 2018 GuildSomm Top Chilean Sommelier and the first female winner of the Star Chefs Somm Slam in 2019 and most recently of the 2020 Alto Adige Race to the Top Sommelier Competition.

Get to know Jienna

What is your favorite wine region to visit?
Visiting Chile was an amazing experience, during the visit we went as far north as Elqui, and as far south as the Itata Valley, exploring the major regions in between. 

What is your favorite class to teach?
Somm Essentials 

What's your most memorable wine experience?
Drinking 1985 Grüner Veltliner with Fritz Wieninger in the Wein

Why did you decide to become an instructor?
I love sharing knowledge, and assisting others in achieving their beverage oriented educational goals.

What's your most memorable food and wine pairing?
King Crab & Domaine Leflaive Bâtard Montrachet

What's the biggest challenge in your job?
My current Sommelier role is incredibly fast paced, incredibly knowledgeable clientele and a wine program boasting around 3,500 selections. It requires a tremendous amount of knowledge on my part and being able to tap into that knowledge quickly and efficiently.

What other passions beside wine do you have?

Outside of my work and my studies, I enjoy working out with my trainer, and food, everything from tasting menus to taco trucks. 

Name some recent wine discoveries that you find exciting.

On a recent trip to Vinho Verde I was exposed to the aging potential of Alvarinho, as we were given several examples with 10+ years of age, which reminded me a bit of Riesling, petrol notes and all.  

What do you think is the most unappreciated wine or region in the world?

The Okanagan Valley, British Columbia 

Jienna's Favorite Classes

Somm Essentials (Sommelier Preparation)

Program Description WINE, SPIRITS, TASTING, PAIRING, SERVICE, AND BEYOND: AN 11 Session progra...

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Wines of Southern France

Continue enhancing your French wine knowledge. Journey with us in the classroom as we leave last ...

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Wines of the Ancient World

A SPECIAL EVENT WITH PROLOGUE WINE CO. Did you know evidence of winemaking stretches back some ...

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Somm Essentials Service & Tasting Exam

About the Somm Essentials Exam There are three parts to the Somm Essentials Exam. Students must p...

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