The Ultimate Guide to Starting Your Wine Collection
March 29, 2022
We also tapped Melissa Smith, founder of San Francisco Bay Area–based Enotrias, whose wine cellar management consulting services include “organization, inventory, tracking software, valuation, brokering, wine curation for investment and consumption, and collection maintenance,” as well as seasoned wine collectors for their own takes on the principles and pitfalls of acquiring wine.
When And Why You May Need A Professional Sommelier To Build Your Wine Cellar
July 9, 2021
In the case of Melissa L. Smith, you’re also hiring someone certified as a sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers and trained at the Culinary Institute of America, who’s cooked at The French Laundry and was a chef on a private yacht. She is also a member of the Appraisers Association of America. I interviewed Smith about the twists and turns of her life that somehow led her to her career as a wine consultant.
Master the Art of Wine Collecting
January 1, 2023
This may be the first online class on a topic that many people rush into without a plan. You might spend thousands of dollars of wine club orders before you come up with a system for organizing your wines. One of the problems Smith points out in the class is that too many cellars don't prioritize which wines should be drunk in which order, so that many wines sit on shelves for years past the point when they should have.
$600,000 in stolen wine: Inside one of California’s biggest high-end alcohol heists
July 28, 2023
The stolen items included about 75 bottles that retailed for upward of $1,000. Among them were rarities such as a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve Champagne in an uncommonly large, 15-liter format known as a Nebuchadnezzar. Some of the selections, wine consultant Melissa Smith said, are “very, very hard to find.”
“This is an extraordinary list,” added Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. “A lot of them are things collectors would want in their possession.”
An LA Thief Cut a Hole In Store Roof and Stole $600,000 of Fine Wine. 'Like Something Out of 'Ocean's Eleven.'
July 28, 2023
According to the Los Angeles Times, the stolen items included about 75 bottles that retailed for over $1,000. Some hot ticket items include a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve Champagne in an uncommonly large, 15-liter format known as a Nebuchadnezzar.
"This is an extraordinary list," wine consultant Melissa Smith told the Times. "A lot of them are things collectors would want in their possession."
These 25 Canned Wines Actually Taste Good, According to Sommeliers
May 30, 2023
To help you navigate your wine in a can journey, here are some of the best canned wines around the world. We asked sommeliers to share the canned wines they love—and we threw in a few favorites of our own.
Maker’s canned wines came recommended by two of the somms we talked to. “Their wines are not only fun and approachable, but they are also made by incredible winemakers in great regions,” certified sommelier Melissa Smith says.
Exploring California’s Anderson Valley Wine Region
April 7, 2023
“The Anderson Valley offers some of the best values for wine on the West Coast,” said Melissa Smith, a sommelier, wine educator and the founder of Enotrias. “It is comparable in terms of approachability and style to the Loire Valley and Alsace. These wines are generally low in alcohol, food friendly and grown organically without a lot of manipulation in the cellar.”
The Best Wine Openers for Every Occasion
March 22, 2023
Additionally, a twin-blade wine opener, where two prongs straddle the cork, is similar but is best used for very old bottles. “It is used to open very old library wines that have very fragile corks, so is a great option for wine collectors, as well as sommeliers working at any restaurant with older bottles or guests that bring in older bottles,” says Smith.
Does Wine Need to be Expensive to be Good?
March 15, 2023
To help me make sense of this boozy conundrum, I turned to celebrated sommelier Melissa L. Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services and creator of the Wine Collecting Master Class. (Who, for the record, told me she’d probably try Two Buck Chuck out of sheer curiosity.)
So what factors into an expensive bottle? Smith explains that the price tag reflects the cost of the land, the vineyard management, the environmental and climate considerations impacting the yields, the aging process, and any celebrity affiliation.
The Zoe Report
Best Kosher Wines for Hanukkah
December 12, 2022
"My go-to kosher wine is from Covenant," says Melissa L. Smith, celebrity sommelier and founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. "Their 2019 Covenant Solomon 'Lot 70' is the best that they produce, that will not only be a generous gift, but something to be enjoyed with the traditional brisket."
Conde Nast Traveler
How to properly pack a bottle of wine in your suitcase
August 16, 2022
Melissa L. Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services, suggests looking into inflatable wine travel protector bags if you are travelling with just a few bottles in your checked luggage. The ones with zip-top closures are even safer – should bottles break, none of the contents of your luggage will be damaged.
Food & Wine
The Best Wine Fridges for Your Home
June 23, 2022
"Wine is a living consumable that needs a light-, temperature-, and humidity-controlled environment to thrive," says Melissa Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. "Wine fridges are designed to take all three of those into consideration."
5 ways to quickly chill wine when you're short on time
March 15, 2022
"I like to chill all of my wines," says Melissa L. Smith, sommelier and founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. "It tends to bring out the fruit flavors and minerality. Citrus is brighter, berries are heightened — the wines are more crisp and refreshing."
"Bright, young reds with low tannins like Pinot Noir and Gamay are fantastic with a bit of chill on them," says Smith. For older "library" wines and Cabernet Sauvignon, she recommends serving them just under room temperature, around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wine Industry Network Advisor
Counterfeiting Is a Lingering Stain on the Wine Industry
February 8, 2022
Melissa L. Smith, founded Enotrias to provide wine appraisal in addition to her services as a certified sommelier. She advises restaurateurs to conduct monthly inventories, monitor which employees have access to the cellars, and destroy all empty bottles—which could end up refilled and resold.
We Need to Talk About "Clean," "Organic," and "Natural" Wine
January 25, 2022
If you really want to understand exactly how your wine is made and how that specific wine retailer is defining words like "natural," "clean," and "organic," your best bet is to have a conversation with small, local retailers.
"They are the ones who will be able to tell you vineyard practices and how the wines are made," says Melissa Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. "Most organic or biodynamic wines will actually not indicate that on the labels for a ton of reasons, one of which is how expensive those certifications actually are. You want to have a conversation with the wine shop clerk the same way you'd have a conversation with the farmer at the farmers market: How do you grow your fruit? Do you use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides?"
The Best Wine Glasses, According To Wine Experts
January 20, 2022
If you’re looking for a single wine glass that will perform well with a wide range of varietals, the “One for All” crystal glass should be a top choice. “My new go-to is the Gabriel Glas StandArt One for All glass,” says sommelier Melissa L. Smith, founder and proprietor of Enotrias, a California-based elite sommelier service. “It is elegant, durable and has a modern shape. Everything I put in it, from Champagne to Bordeaux, shows beautifully. I now use them as my house glass." s well.
Property Casualty 360
Insurance Misconceptions Place Wine Collections at Risk
July 6, 2021
A misconception persists among homeowners that their insurance policies will protect wine collections, when in fact, a separate rider or wine-specific coverage is necessary, according to Melissa L. Smith, certified sommelier and founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services, which specializes in inventorying wine collections.
The Best Wine Racks for Your Favorite Bottles
January 7, 2022
What exactly are the benefits of a wooden wine rack? According to Melissa L. Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. “In California, wooden racking is necessary because of earthquakes (they absorb vibration), and in other parts of the country that might not be necessary (although I always think it's a good idea simply because it is a softer material)."
What Are You Really Waiting For?
January 3, 2022
I was wondering what happens to wine collections after people die, so I called Melissa Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. Smith does wine appraisals and is frequently hired after a wine collector passes away. I asked her, do they end up being worth what the owners thought they were?
39 Best Places You Have To Travel Before You Die
November 6, 2021
Anderson Valley is home to some of the most exquisite wines in the US. Stunning Pinot Noir and Alsatian varietals are grown along this wine route that spans 3 AVAs, and ends at the Pacific Ocean at the Mendocino Coast where you can stay at homey inns or chic glamping resorts.
Run Around Chic
Style Profile: Melissa L. Smith, Founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services
April 28, 2021
What wine would you pair with a wagyu beef burger:
A gorgeous aged Bordeaux like 2010 Lynch Bages or Smith Haut Lafitte.
What wine would you pair with oysters:
A crisp dry Champagne like Billecart’s Blanc de Blanc.
Favorite winery in Napa and Sonoma: Robert Sinskey in Napa Valley. They have an incredible biodynamic program and offer an unbeatable full circle culinary experience. It’s right on the Napa/Sonoma border, but you really can’t go wrong with Domaine Carneros.
Napa Valley’s Most Exclusive Club Makes Winemakers Out of the 1%
June 18, 2021
Situated at the Southern end of Meadowood Resort and shrouded in exclusivity, Napa Valley Reserve has become a secretive destination for the West Coast’s well-to-do; Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are rumored to pay their dues, while Kobe Bryant worked on bottlings there in the past. The Napa Valley Reserve “hosts the who’s who of Silicon Valley tech and venture capital,” as Melissa L. Smith, a certified sommelier and founder of Enotrias elite sommelier services, describes.
NFTs Join the Fight Against Wine Fraud
May 21, 2021
"I've opened so many fake 1982 Château Mouton Rothschilds, I've lost count," says Melissa Smith, founder of Enotrias, which provides white-glove private sommelier services to people who can afford it. Wine-Searcher caught her in the airport between flights from collector in California, to another in New Jersey. "I never said anything, because I was in hospitality settings, and each time, the person had brought the bottle in. I was never sure if they knew or not."
Premium Sommelier Job Portal
Melissa L. Smith – USA/CA – Sommelier/Founder Enotrias
May 17, 2021
I’ve worked with so many incredible people in this industry, but the person that continues to amaze and impress me is Tonya Pitts of One Market in San Francisco. When I was just a baby sommelier doing luxury Bordeaux events at One Market with K&L, she was always so friendly, supportive, and down to earth. Her smile set me at ease no matter how much I felt I was in over my head. It’s a decade and a half later, and she continues to wow me. She’s a quiet force, and one of the most intelligent, articulate, and welcoming people in hospitality."
Science Makes a Mockery of Tasting Notes
May 3, 2021
Smith also believes that we need to speak more inclusively to people from a variety of backgrounds, with a range of flavor touchstones.
"I work with a lot of tech companies, and the vast majority of my clients have ended up being from India," she notes. "Guess what? For them, it's not about cranberries and honeysuckle. I often start by asking them what they ate as children, the fresh fruits they love. I try to lead them through their own sensory background, and connect maybe the green mangos they loved as kids with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
Pure Healthy Living
The Best Wines for Relaxing (And What to Avoid)
For some of us, nothing compares to a glass of wine when you need to detach from a stressful day. Not a freshly brewed cup of chamomile tea. Not a mug of steaming hot chocolate. Uncork a bottle of aromatic vino and we’re golden. [...] We posed this question and more to Melissa L. Smith, a certified sommelier and founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. She’s also known as “The Sommelier to the Silicon Valley Stars”—so if anyone knows what it takes to help SUPER busy people decompress with wine, it’s her.
Uncorking The Basics Of Wine Insurance
Nov 2, 2020
Many of us simply open a $15 bottle of wine, pour a glass and sip it. Other people savor the art of collecting wine, whether it’s for pure pleasure or as an investment. But some of those collectors fail to insure their valuable vino—wines that can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars per bottle. [...] Certified sommelier Melissa Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services, which appraises and inventories wine for insurance purposes, says the wine collections owned by her clients generally range from $30,000 to several million dollars in value.
The Story Exchange
Why These 6 Women Are Optimistic About Business in 2020 — And Beyond
Sept 13, 2020
Sure, there's a lot to be down about. But women entrepreneurs are also seeing new business opportunities in a changed world. [...] Melissa Smith is the founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. A certified sommelier, Smith’s company manages wine collections. It also leads seminars on wine, sake, and spirits for in-home and corporate team building events.
How to Start Your Own Video Podcast on YouTube with 9 Expert Tips
Feb 22, 2021
Melissa L. Smith, Enotrias: set three goals for yourself before each presentation. I like to review my most recent recorded webinar, critique it, and then have any areas of improvement be my three goals for my next presentation. I write them down and have them next to my computer in case I need to refer to them during my presentation...
Podcast: Wine Tasting in a Virtual World with Melissa Smith
Did you know you can get paid for drinking wine? Yes, the perfect job does exist!
Today's guest, Melissa Smith, is a chef and certified sommelier, and the Founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. Her company manages wine collections and conducts private and corporate wine, spirits, and sake seminars. From teaching novice drinkers to wine connoisseurs, Melissa brings passion, wisdom, and creativity to every experience.
Making Sure of Your Wine Insurance
Dec 14, 2020
There might be a shock waiting in the small print of your insurance policy when it comes to wine. If you think your home insurance policy covers your wine collection, you better take a closer look. Most home insurance policies do not cover wine, says Melissa Smith, who does wine collection valuations for her company Enotrias. And most people don't find out until it's too late.
Wine Women Podcast
Melissa Smith, Certified Sommelier, Enotrias
Melissa Smith, aka “The Sommelier to the Silicon Valley Stars,” guest on the show, discussing her unique services, beyond the typical sommelier’s, with the show’s hosts. Also, serving as a guest co-host on today’s show is Patti Neumann, marketing and social media director for several boutique wineries in the Bay Area.