We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsay Pomeroy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsay, how does your business help the community or the world?
My business was started to help educate consumers and ultimately trade professionals about wine. The by-product of this was the creation of a knowledge-thirsty community. A few years after I founded Wine Smarties, I started offering the WSET certification courses and that was a fabulous decision! I have seen my graduates move on to own their own businesses in town locally, move away and do cool things in other regions of the country and world as well as help create better wine choices in the community, meaning, the more you know about wine, the more diverse your palate becomes which then results in exploring a wider range of styles and regions. San Diego now (compared to 2006 when my business began), now has a respectible culinary and wine scene. Watching it all unfold and offering tools (via certification courses and classes) to help wine professionals empower themselves and in many cases, create their dreams, has been exciting to be a part of.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Gosh, okay well Wine Smarties was founded in 2006 and was inspired from my time working wine retail at a wine store. I realized no one knew anything about wine and there wasn’t really any wine courses, classes or school in San Diego at the time. My history was as an ESL teacher, so I knew how to teach. So I put the 2 together and voila! It was very hard in the beginning because I needed several jobs to supplement my income. This was true until around 2009 when I started offering the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) certification courses. This was the best decision I’ve made! Offering a globally recognized and top quality wine certification was both an honor as well as such a gift for my students. They now had a way to get measurable wine credentials AND deepen their wine knowledge and tasting ability. I’m most proud of the fact that I am still around 14 years later, still teaching and I actually finished the Master of Wine process. That was unbelievably difficult (and painful). Lessons I”ve learned include being patient with yourself when you are learning, to take frequent breaks, to meditate to keep your mind calm, and to connect to your loved ones as often as possible to buoy yourself emotionally. I overcame my challenges by sheer grit, focus, a hard-core work ethic and lots of wine! I want the world to know that I worked unbelievably hard to be a Master of Wine and a business owner. I want people to know it was definitely earned through grit and hardwork. I also want people to know that I understand deeply what being a wine student is about and can relate. As a result when I teach I infuse that into my perspective and approach. I don’t just teach people about wine, I also teach them how to learn about wine and the why behind the what. Wine Smarties is about perseverance, actualizing your dreams, and having fun while doing so!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to lake Poway where we would rent a boat for $15, pack a picnic and some cold drinks and enjoy nature! We would go to the Wild Animal Park to watch the elephants and tigers and if it’s March to the live butterfly museum! I’m vegetarian, so we would go to Cafe Gratitude and eat their delicious nachos and drink fancy drinks followed by the world’s best espresso at Cafe Moto. Wow! We would rent a duffy party boat and toot around the bay with our picnic and wine collection for the day and have a blast playing music, singing, having fun! We would go to a Padres game and hit up their winebar there (that I used to manage in fact). I love baseball! We would head up to Temecula to visit my students at their wineries and most likely stay overnight in one of the beautiful resort hotels, enjoy the swimming pools and do some wine tasting in the area!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes, when I passed my Master of Wine (MW) credential in 2018, that was exactly how I felt. I had the best mentors to help me get there: Amy Christine MW and owner of Black Sheep Finds (fabulous wines in Santa Barbara). She got me through most of the exams and I am so grateful! Also Martin Reyes MW, Mary Gorman McAdams who together saved my research paper (which I had to do twice!). They are geniuses! And my study mates Nicolas Quille MW and Mary Margaret Mccamic MW who helped together helped me see my weak spots and help me work through them. In addition, my parents, who are the most special wonderful people in the world-always cheering me on! My great friend Stephanie Kendall who was a huge supporter to the process. Regarding my business, all of my past, present and future students have shaped my business, course offerings and have made my career enjoyable. I really do love teaching about wine and learning and growing with them has been invaluable, exciting and often times entertaining!