Amy Racine’s career has taken her from the Zion Desert in Utah to San Francisco in California, to New York City, where the vibrant culinary and wine culture is a constant source of inspiration for this culinarian turned sommelier.
As a CIA student, Amy demonstrated enormous curiosity, persistence, and a passion for learning—qualities that remain a hallmark of her career today.
“I was pursuing an associate degree in culinary arts when the Wine Studies class really grabbed my interest,” says Amy. “Professor Michael Weiss let me sit in on extra classes and Professor Stephen Koplan expressed a lot of faith in me and made me feel I could have a career in wine.” Amy went on to complete a bachelor’s degree at the CIA and then decided to enroll in the Accelerated Wine and Beverage Certificate Program (AWBP) at the CIA’s campus in St. Helena, CA.
Her first job after graduation was at the five-star luxury Áman Resort, Amangiri, in southern Utah. “I really liked my job, but I decided to move because I wanted to grow and learn more about wine,” says Amy. In San Francisco, she was the beverage and wine director at Teague Moriarty and Matt McNamara’s Sons & Daughters, Sweet Woodruff, and The Square. In September 2016, Amy made the move east to lead the beverage program at the one Michelin-star rated Dovetail. Amy uses her skills to pair wines with the custom menu designed by award-winning chef/owner John Fraser, who also owns the popular restaurants Narcissa and NIX.
“One of the best lessons I learned from the CIA is to always have a sense of urgency. It’s something that’s helped me remain efficient in all aspects of my career and personal life. I think it sets CIA graduates apart from the crowd.”
Always determined to expand her knowledge base, Amy studied for and passed the Advance Sommelier examination given by The Court of Master Sommelier. She is the first graduate of the CIA’s Accelerated Wine and Beverage Certificate Program to achieve that distinction. In October 2014, Amy was named Best New Sommelier by Wine & Spirits magazine and, one month later, was named to the 30 Under 30 list by The Zagat Survey.
Being in New York City is a dream come true for Amy. “I’m so lucky to live in such a great food and wine city,” says Amy. “I’m able to travel around the area, increase my knowledge about viticulture, and bring that back to the restaurant.”