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. His 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 an Italian wine-tour company, and wine journalist for several publications—including Massachusetts Beverage Business and Gastronomica. Bill also is a frequent guest lecturer and judge at international wine competitions. Bill and his wife, Frances Di Savino, authored The World of Sicilian Wine (University of California Press), which won the 2013 André Simon Book Award, and more recently Chianti Classico: The Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine (University of California Press, September 2016). The latter book won a 2016 André Simon Shortlist Book Award, a "Drink Special Awards" prize at the 2017 Gourmand International World Cookbooks Award ceremony held in China, and a 2017 Special Mention Award in the “Monographs” category bestowed by the Jury of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), headquartered in Paris, France.

Beth Ann Dahan

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.

Ara Sarkissian

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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