Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center Faculty

Sandy Block, MW

Sandy Block attained certification as a Master of Wine from the London-based Institute of Masters of Wine in 1992. He is vice president of beverage operations at Legal Sea Foods and frequently lectures at wine festivals both regional and national. Sandy is also wine editor of the Improper Bostonian, a monthly columnist for the Massachusetts’ Beverage Business, and has contributed to the Quarterly Review of Wines, Boston Magazine, International Wine Review, Wine Enthusiast, Santé: The Magazine for Restaurant Professionals, Wine & Spirits, Cheers, and Sommelier Journal, among many other publications. He has an MA in history, and has worked as both a sommelier and vice president of several wholesale and importing companies.

Bill Nesto, MW

Bill Nesto holds the prestigious Master of Wine certification awarded by the London-based Institute of Masters of Wine. He is a Master Lecturer at Boston University’s Metropolitan College. Bill and his wife, Frances Di Savino, authored The World of Sicilian Wine (University of California Press) which won the prestigious 2013 André Simon Book Award, and more recently Chianti Classico: The Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine (University of California Press, September 2016) which the Jury of the International Organization of Vine and Wine recognized with its Special Mention Award for a Monograph in 2017. He is a frequent guest lecturer and judge at international wine competitions. Bill’s prior experience in the wine world includes serving as an award-winning sommelier at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston, wine director of a food and wine festival, managing director of a wine-tour company, and wine journalist for several publications—including Massachusetts Beverage Business and Gastronomica.

Beth Ann Dahan, CSW

A Certified Specialist in Wine (CSW), Beth Ann Dahan has earned diplomas from the Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center and Le Cordon Bleu in London, as well as an MBA from Northeastern University. She previously owned a Boston-area café and catering business, and is now the director of Vela Wines, a company that produces and imports wines from the Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she owns a vineyard with her husband and business partner.

Jacquelyn Groeper, CSW

Jacquelyn is Winemaker and Co-owner of Artis Winery. She attained accreditation as a Certified Specialist of Wine after completion of the BU Wine Studies Program and pilot Winemaking Class. She continued making wine and pursued further education in enology at UC Davis. Jacquelyn’s travels allow her to explore various wine regions and meet with winemakers from around the world.

Ara Sarkissian, CWE

Ara Sarkissian is a Certified Wine Educator, holds the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits, and has earned the Boston University Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center’s Level-4 Diploma with Distinction. He currently works for Dion’s Wine focusing on consumer education and serves on the board of the Boston Sommelier Society. Ara also holds a graduate degree in music composition and continues to pursue his interests in music in parallel with his interest in the field of wine studies.

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