Cara Pelletier is a Certified Sommelier (pronounced “suh muhl yay”)- an expert in all things wine. She earned her sommelier certification from The Court of Master Sommeliers in 2016. She's taken all the sommelier classes and it's safe to say, she knows, well, more than just how to enjoy wine-she might even have some background knowledge on how to open a winery.
We are fortunate to have her as part of our team here at BinWise as an Account Executive. She applies her expertise in food and beverage to help BinWise customers maximize their benefits from the BinWise Pro beverage inventory software. I chatted with Cara to learn more about her background and what’s happening in the wine industry.
How did you first become interested in the food and beverage industry?
Just after high school, I worked at a historical hotel. I had a great mentor that showed me a glimpse of the world of wine as I was learning the various roles in the hospitality industry. I worked in several different types of restaurants and bars during these years, and I also always enjoyed the social aspect of the industry.
“I fell in love with the hospitality industry in my hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania. Since the start of my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience the Big Apple, the picturesque San Juan Mountains, and the Silicon Valley. The relationships I’ve built and the adventures along the way have proven the journey is truly the reward.”
Describe some of the positive feedback you’ve received from customers who’ve benefited from BinWise’s array of products.
They love having a tool that meets their business needs and helps them to accurately manage the intricacies of their beverage program. The platform not only provides POS integration and automatic depletion but an efficient and streamlined method to completing inventory, perhaps the most dreaded task.
When tracking the items in your inventory throughout their lifecycle, the platform provides the most accurate reporting at your fingertips. Customers of BinWise also rave about the support team and the ease of the onboarding process.
How do you establish and build relationships with top-tier wineries?
I was fortunate enough to spend the last few years in the San Francisco Bay Area, working with an incredible beverage program. This allowed me the amazing opportunity to be introduced to some of the great winemakers and professionals in the industry.
What trends are you excited about?
It’s exciting to see champagne and sparkling wine being enjoyed regularly and not just as a celebratory beverage! I'm also excited to see the growth in virtual education. It is not specific to a professional setting, but for personal growth and engaging interactions!
Are there any regional wines you’ve discovered that have surprised you?
When you talk about wine from Portugal, it’s easy to focus on the sweet, fortified reds the country is most known for. However, Portugal boasts some incredible varieties of still and sparkling wines! And domestically, Oregon, Washington, and the Finger Lakes Region of New York are areas that produce excellent wines.
What’s an underrated wine that many people haven't heard of?
I’m certainly not the first to say this, and I definitely won’t be the last: cru Beaujolais! Thankfully, it has gained more recognition in the last few years. It is one of my go-to styles when it comes to pairing versatility and amazing value.
What’s a good wine to pair with steak?
For highly marbled and richer proteins, I love powerful structure and integrated tannins in wine. A domestic cabernet sauvignon or a Bordeaux blend is a great compliment to these styles.
I also enjoy pairing such ingredients with wines from Tuscany and the Rhône Valley. However, it's always been crucial to ask more questions about the guest's preference. Enjoying both the food and wine takes precedence over my opinion of the perfect pairing.
As a Certified Sommelier, how would you sum up your general attitude about wine?
One of the most intriguing things is its depth and ever-changing nature. No matter how far I’ve come with experience or certifications, I will always be a student of wine. There is always something new to learn and, most importantly, to taste!