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Robb Report

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.

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Wine Searcher

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.

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L.A. Times

$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.”

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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."


The Alcohol Professor

Is a Wine Cooler Better than a Wine Refrigerator? 

May 29, 2024

Not all wine bottles are created equal. Pinot noir and champagne bottles have broader bases than longer, slender riesling bottles. When possible, view wine cooler and cellar models onsite at a showroom rather than online. Check out the shelving’s durability, balance, and action, and, advises Isle, author of The World in a Wineglass, bring a bottle of pinot with you. "See if the thing actually fits without getting its label ripped off in the process.”

“Somehow every company has managed to create shelves so close together that the majority of wines will get jammed or have the labels ruined,” says Melissa Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. “And I cannot emphasize this enough, stay away from units with shelves that pull out. At some point, they fail.”


The Spectator

The Grapes of Wealth

April 16, 2024

“A lot of the billionaire clients I have approach wine collecting as almost an obligation,” says Melissa Smith, founder of wine appraisal service Enotrias, alluding to the broadly accepted notion that of course the ultra-rich must, if not drink, at the very least collect the very finest. “They hoard it and get tied up in the frenzy of an allocation as soon as it’s offered. But here’s the thing: a lot of the wines they’re buying won’t even be in proper drinking range until these people are in their nineties.”

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Hollywood Reporter

The New Cult California Wines

April 18, 2024

Melissa L. Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services, wine cellar management and appraisal consulting, is impressed with wines from Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. “About three hours north of San Francisco and stretching all the way to the coast, it has proven to be an exceptional region for growing Alsatian varietals, the historically collectable Burgundy varietals — pinot noir and chardonnay — and is at the top of the list for lesser-known regions, although it has gotten a ton of press lately,” says Smith. “Some of my favorite vintners have wines from Anderson Valley.” 

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Wine Searcher 

Oregon: The Wine Collector's New Darling

February 6, 2024

Melissa Smith, founder of Enotrias, a consulting, wine cellar management and wine appraisal company, says she has seen an increasing number of Oregon wines popping up on the spreadsheet wish lists and already cellared items of the billionaires she works with.

"The perception around Oregon wine has changed among collectors in the past few years," she says.

Dave Parker, founder of back vintage and fine wine retailer Benchmark Wine Group, who notes that Oregon wine sales are "brisk" on their website aimed at serious collectors, believes a range of factors has made it an increasing must-have among collectors who would normally target only blue-chip brands from California and Europe. 



The High-Low Holiday Pairings Wine Pros Love

December 11, 2023

Melissa Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services, and a lady who regularly works with a who’s who of Silicon Valley power brokers on their private cellars, personally opts for Barolo and butter-and-Parmesan-slathered popcorn when she’s hanging with friends.

Piedmont’s most famous red wine, made with Nebbiolo grapes, is structured and powerful, with notes of red and black cherries, rose petals, raspberries, pepper, leather and licorice. When it’s got some age (more than five years), you’ll find truffles, mushrooms and porcini in the glass.  All of these flavors play well with the complexity of Parmesan: salty and sharp, nutty, with red fruit flavors. On top of buttery popcorn, the Barolo cuts through the richness, inviting another sip and bite. And another. 

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Men's Journal

25 Best Red Wines to Drink This Thanksgiving to Keep Your Holidays Spirited

November 13, 2023

When it comes to selecting the best dry red wine for cooking, chefs follow this rule: Use the wine you'd pair with the recipe, says Melissa Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. Depending on how much the recipe requires, you might have to buy two bottles.


Wine Wednesday With Ziggy

Thanksgiving Wine Picks 2023

November 8, 2023

Ziggy the Wine Gal and Enotrias Founder Melissa L Smith reveal the results of the 28th annual turkey wine picks! We tasted over 100 wines in the categories of sparkling, white, rose, red, and dessert wines BLIND to find the best pairings for roasted turkey. 

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Masterclass US Wine Market With Juliana Colangelo

Ep. 1634 Melissa Smith 

November 6, 2023

Getting to know Enotrias Founder Melissa L. Smith and her perspectives on Italian wine investing, insights on collecting wines, and trends in the Italian wine world



The Absolute Best Wine Glasses, According To Wine Experts

October 23, 2023

For those seeking a single wine glass that will perform well with a wide range of varietals, the Gabriel-Glas “One for All” crystal option is popular among wine experts like sommelier Melissa L. Smith. “It is elegant, durable and has a modern shape. Everything I put in it, from champagne to bordeaux, shows beautifully,” says Smith, who’s the founder and proprietor of Enotrias, a California-based elite sommelier service. “I now use them as my house glass.”

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Eat This, Not That! 

12 Cheap White Wines That Taste Expensive, According to Sommeliers

September 28, 2023

Melissa L. Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services, is a fan of this bright wine. "Just this side of off-dry, this is a fantastic wine from Washington state bursting with acidity and minerality, the perfect wine to pair with spicy Thai and Vietnamese dishes that are heavy on the fresh herbs and vegetables," Smith says. You can scoop this wine up for $12.99.

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Eat This, Not That! 

12 Cheap Red Wines That Taste Expensive, According to Sommeliers

September 25, 2023

One of the most full-bodied reds from California, cabernet sauvignon is dense in color and flavor, and is best enjoyed with steak or lamb. While this popular red is often at a higher price point, there are some great blends that can be found at lower prices, like this one from Joel Gott Wines. "A blend of grapes from several wine regions in California, and seeing only 30% oak, this wine is much more approachable than most cabernets, and the price for the quality is unsurpassed," says Melissa L. Smith, founder of Enotrias Elite Sommelier Services. You can find it online for just $16.99.

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Wine Searcher

Leveling Up Wine Education

July 5, 2023

Melissa Smith, a wine appraiser, educator and founder of Enotrias, who is based "on venture capital row in the Silicon Valley" works with a number of banks, financial organizations and tech start-ups to bring younger associates, many of whom are Asian American Pacific Islander [AAPI], up to snuff on the difference between first and second growths – and sometimes even the difference between Chard and Cab.

"For a lot of brilliant, extremely successful AAPI folks, wine was a nonentity growing up," Smith explains. "It just isn't part of the everyday culture for many AAPI families."

Smith's clients – she works primarily with firms who hire her, but does some one-on-one coaching and client work – focuses on how to hack and order from major restaurant wine lists, pronounce major regions and grapes (imagine trying to sound out WairarapaViognierBourgeuil or Château Pichon-Longueville for the first time in public) and share overviews on the regions, grapes and houses they should be familiar with to comport themselves in any wine-soaked sitch with ease.



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.


You Tube

Ageability of Anderson Valley Wines 

March 29, 2023

Enotrias Founder Melissa L. Smith gives the first presentation on the ageability of Anderson Valley wines to press at The Little River Inn. 


Paste Magazine

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.”

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Wine Enthusiast

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.

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Artful Living

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. 

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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." 

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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.

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Simply Recipes

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)."

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Wine Searcher

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.


Inside Hook

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.

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Wine Searcher

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."

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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."

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Wine Searcher
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.

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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.

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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...

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Hidden Rhythm

Podcast: Wine Tasting in a Virtual World with Melissa Smith 

Nov, 2020

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.

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Wine Searcher
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.

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Wine Women Podcast
Melissa Smith, Certified Sommelier, Enotrias​

Oct, 2019

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.


The SOMM Journal 

Women in Wine Luncheon


Oct/Nov 2014

One of those perfect early summer days in Napa Valley-and I do mean perfect- more than a dozen of California's top female sommeliers and wine professionals gathered at Gamble Family Vineyards in Oakville. 

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