COURTNEY GREW UP in California's Central Valley, where she gained an early appreciation for wine and food while sampling the abundant produce at local farmer's markets and traveling frequently to the state's numerous wine regions on vacations with her family. A summer exchange program in France cemented her interest in both the French language and the country's finest export, its award-winning wines. Later, a semester at the Sorbonne during college led to extensive travel through France's most renowned wine regions and contributed to her decision to pursue a formal education in wine tasting and evaluation. It was also an excuse to drink lots of ridiculously good wine.
Today Courtney is a certified sommelier, entrepreneur and author in San Francisco, California. She is the author of the Hip Tastes blog (hiptastesblog.com) as well as the book Hip Tastes: The Fresh Guide to Wine, a fun and informative guide to the wine world published by Viking Studio, an imprint of Penguin Group USA. The book was named the Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year, and the San Francisco Chronicle says owning it is like having “a sommelier in your pocket.”
Courtney has been profiled in Vogue, Haute Living, Business Week online, C Magazine (“San Francisco’s Most Wanted Wine Guru,” May 2007), Domino and Daily Candy and appeared on numerous television and radio networks including ABC, NBC, Fox, NPR and Martha Stewart Living Radio. She pens The Swill bi-monthly wine gossip column for EaterSF, and her work has also appeared in WineCountry.com and Maxim. As a personal sommelier she has worked with global firms including Amgen, Bain & Co., Banc of America Securities, Cisco Systems, Deloitte & Touche, Google, Genentech, IBM, McKinsey & Co., Wells Fargo, Yahoo!, and many more. She is also been a spokesperson for the Wine Market Council and featured speaker at Cornell, UCLA, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, the Commonwealth Club's INFORUM, the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium and others.
Courtney holds a MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and sommelier certifications from the International Sommelier Guild and the American Court of Master Sommeliers.
She also prides herself on being an amateur interior designer, flea market junkie, C+ golfer and fan of pretty much everything gourmet and fabulous.