Michelle Harris is a seasoned wine consultant possessing over 20 years of experience in culinary arts, fine dining service, assisting clients specializing in one-on-one sales, future recommendations, party planning, menu writing as well as execution, and food and wine pairing, with a focus on education.
Michelle started her career in culinary arts completing her apprenticeship at the Grand Hotel in Lund, Sweden at the age of 17. Upon returning to the United States she completed 3 internships at three different fine dining establishments; her goal being to further the classical education she received in Europe….. Then, she fell in love with wine.
After transitioning to the front of the house, she taught her first wine class at 24. At 25 she became a full-time wine consultant. At 26 she was selected to attend the Robert Kacher Tour; a two week educational experience traveling the wine regions in Provence, the Rhône Valley, Burgandy, and the Loire Valley. At 28 she was one of 14 people chosen from the United States and Canada to attend the prestigious L’ecole du Vin in Bordeaux, France, for which she earned the award for academic excellence in Bordeaux, awarding her an accredidation from the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux, and at 29 she took and passed the Certified Specialist of Wine exam given by the Society of Wine Educators. Both allow her to always have the awarded initials after her name: CSW and CIVB.
Michelle is also very well versed in single malt scotch whiskies, from both the Highland and Islay regions of Scotland, as well as small batch bourbons from the US. She has been a proud Makers Mark ambassador since 2014.
Rounding out her diverse palate is an extensive appreciation for that nation building elixir of malt, barley, hops, and water. Beer helped build the pyramids, aided countless treaties, agreements, contracts, marriages, kings, queens, and presidents; helped start governments, and end wars. It’s made in almost every country, and on all 7 continents on earth, and still is, in many of those places, safer to drink than the actual water. So, whether it’s an IPA, stout, pilsner, Trappiest ale, or her favorite, the hefe-weissen, she can teach you and your staff about them all. A well-crafted beer menu can be just as beneficial, and successful to your food menu as wine.
Being a proud native of South Carolina, when she’s not teaching, writing, or consulting, you will find her with a fishing pole and a beer out on the water or playing in the garden, building wine racks or with the other loves in her life, her 3 dogs: Bailey, Oliver, and Alphie. If you ask her she will tell you that her boys, her mom, dad, and family remind her daily to always follow her heart and to keep doing what she loves; teaching others to enjoy and explore the fascinating worlds of libation and gastronomy. Cheers!