Meet the Consultants


Wine Department Manager
Wine Buyer






I’m honored to join the team at Surdyk’s and thank the Surdyk family for the faith they’ve placed in me to lead the wine department of this iconic store. This was one of the shops I came to regularly when I decided to focus my career on wine many years ago, and it’s my daily goal to continue to make us someplace someone can get excited about wine… and then succeed me in fifteen or twenty years!

I come from 26 years in hospitality and beverage sales in restaurants, retail stores, and distribution. I was the first Minnesota-based sommelier to pass the Court of Master Sommelier’s Advanced exam and am the only one to have sat for the Master Sommelier exam (so far), an annual demonstration of both my personal drive and probable insanity. You’ll likely find me in a colorful bow tie (self-tied, because clip-ons are cheating) and fun shoes, because while wine can be incredibly detailed, there’s no reason it can’t be fun.

My degree is in Art (hence the career in hospitality) and in art you study the classics before you go your own direction; you learn the “rules” before you break them. I approach beverages in a similar way. The store already has a strong foundation of classics, so the wine team and I will be tweaking sections, mixing in the best of wine’s rising stars, the new generations taking over for their parents, and some delicious things that simply defy labels.

Also, get ready for classes and tastings to return! I love sharing what I’ve learned and providing a forum for others passionate about beverages, so in addition to myself and the wine team I’ll be reaching out to industry voices locally and around the world to share their knowledge and experiences with you.

The community around us is changing rapidly, and whether you’re entertaining friends or just having a quiet night in, we’ll continue finding things to help make life more enjoyable. I look forward to meeting you!









My job as a Surdyk’s Wine Consultant is the third scene in the story of my career path. I began my professional life as a college professor at South Dakota State University. I left academia to take over my father’s automotive business, which took me all over the great state of Minnesota. I had always had more than a passing interest in wine – I’ve been enjoying it since I was old enough to drink! 


During those years I found myself reading, studying, and developing my wine knowledge as well as beginning to collect notable and ageable wines. But wine was only a hobby at this point. When I left the automotive industry, I was at a point in my life where I wasn’t quite ready to retire yet wasn’t interested in pursuing another corporate career. My oldest son noticed that the International Sommelier Guild was offering a class here in Minneapolis and suggested that I take it, if only to enhance my love of wine. I decided to give it a go. As luck would have it, I was seated next to a Surdyk’s Wine Consultant. During our course work, he mentioned that a position was becoming available on the wine staff and, as they say, the rest is history. As a teacher I loved helping people learn. I’m so thrilled that I have had a chance to return to that teaching role here at Surdyk’s and I could not imagine a better subject matter. 







I grew up in Minneapolis in a home that did not drink wine – or much of anything else that included alcohol. My wine exposure started out sweet (like so many) with coolers…as in Sun Country Wine Coolers. 

From there the trajectory slowly moved to sweet whites to Chardonnay, where it stayed for a while until I attended a Riedel wine glass tasting with some friends that included a tasting of four different wines in glassware made to enhance each varietal. It was extremely eye-opening! That night, I learned not only about the nuances of the wine making process but that the glass you serve you wine in matters, too. 

I was a new mom and had left a career in high-end computer networking sales to stay at home with my daughter and I was looking for something to do. Scrapbooking and Mommy & Me classes were not my thing. This time at home gave me the opportunity to dive into any and everything I could about wine. I read every book I could get my hands on and tasted as much as my budget could afford. 

When my youngest headed off to kindergarten, I wrongly assumed joining my husband in real estate would be the obvious career move. He was great at it – I could not have been less interested. After a year, he suggested I figure out what it was I loved to do. “Drink wine!” was my sarcastic response. It just so happened to be looking at Surdyk’s website - they were hiring a Wine Consultant, and I sent off my resume. A few weeks later I was starting what has become one of the most rewarding, educational, and entertaining jobs in the world. 

I live for food and get immense satisfaction helping people pair wine with whatever it is they are having for dinner. I love all wine, but have a special spot in my heart for Bourbon, and like to consider myself the resident Gin expert. You also might have heard my voice talking about wine on the radio! 


Minnesota Wine Buyer & Cigar Buyer






Like many people, I arrived later in life to wine drinking. I grew up in Connecticut and remember my mom entertaining with wine and food pairing as a priority, it was lost on me as beer and gin were my preferred beverages in my twenties. 


Wine started to become a passion after I got my hands on a copy of The Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine. I was a history major in college, reading about the history and study of wine had me hooked on the drink, even more so when I began to consider the stories behind each bottle. While living in Minneapolis in the early 90’s, I began taking classes at Surdyk’s! This love of wine grew into the love of pairing food and wine together, so my mom’s love of food and wine rubbed off on me after all. My career has always been in sales and during my thirties, those jobs took me all over the country. While this was a very transient time in my life, wine was always a constant. Finally in 1997, my passion for wine and my career in sales collided. Since then, I have worked in several aspects of the wine business; distribution, supply, and now retail. 


In the past ten years, it has been exciting to see the way wine has taken the US by storm. While I love wine from all over, Spain and South America are my specific areas of interest. I also buy and curate the selection of Minnesota-made wines in the store, a new interest of mine and a particularly exciting section of the store! 


Wine Consultant





I first got excited about wine when I was living in San Francisco and working as a travel writer for a regional magazine. My work frequently took me to the wine country of Northern California, and I fell in love with the whole winemaking world, from the visual appeal of the vineyards to the heady aroma of the barrel rooms. The cocktail revival was just starting to take off in San Francisco at that time, and I got swept up in that, too. I brought that love of wine and spirits with me when I moved back to my home state of Minnesota, where I continued to indulge my passions as a regular customer of Surdyk’s.


My professional and personal interests dovetailed when I became the founding editor of Drinks, a wine and spirits magazine distributed by Surdyk’s and other retailers around the country. That gig opened doors to a lot of other great experiences, like writing a regular wine column for Minnesota Monthly, serving as a judge for the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and contributing as both a writer and editor to the recently published Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails. And, not least of all, working as a wine and spirits consultant at Surdyk’s, where I get to talk about things I love all day long, whether that’s Spanish and Rhone wines or bourbon and single malt Scotch. 


Consultant & Local Craft Beer Buyer


It was about ten years ago that I first took a serious interest in the wine and beverage industry. I was living in northeastern Minnesota when I read a book that ultimately would change my life: a basic beginners guide to wine. Prior to this, I had always enjoyed wine, but really didn’t know anything about it other than Chardonnay is white and Champagne is expensive. This book opened a whole new world, and I couldn’t wait to start exploring! Hitting up the local liquor stores, reading books, mindful tastings, food pairings. I had caught the wine bug and I was hooked! 

Having a more limited selection up north, it was suggested by a friend that I try Surdyk’s next time I was in Minneapolis – they would have all kinds of wines and products that were just unavailable to me locally. The place was HUGE and the shelves stuffed with beer, spirits, and more wine than I had ever recalled seeing. The people were friendly, they loved to help and tell me about the wines, and they even had tastings! 

Fast forward to March of 2016 when I moved to Minneapolis. I had been planning on taking a job with a regional grocery chain, but for fun I decided to apply to Surdyk’s and was called for an interview. It felt good so I decided to try a new venture. Starting in the warehouse, I soon moved over into an administrative role and ultimately into management. In my tenure here, I have remained a serious student of wine, so after nearly seven years I have decided to pursue my passion in wine, beer, and spirits full time, and to share my knowledge and experience with our customers as a consultant. 

I will drink pretty much everything, but prefer zippy, dry whites and big, full-bodied reds. I also love to talk Bourbon and am very familiar with our local craft beer scene. Whether you see me at the store or hanging out at Sidebar, please say hello – I’d love to chat about wine! 







My wine journey truly began at the beginning of COVID. I work from home full-time remotely and was getting pretty stir-crazy. I always thought I was an introvert, but COVID proved me wrong! So I grabbed a part time job as a cashier at the nearby liquor store, one of the few businesses still open in May of 2020. I worked with an amazing wine manager, and he had me try wine after wine after wine, introducing me to the different grapes and styles until I eventually fell in love with the wine tasting process.

My curiosity led me to a class offered by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) which I took and passed. My wine manager began to closely mentor me after that, so as I gained more experience with discussing wine, I began to have more recommendations and ideas to assist customers with their wine selections. The store I worked at offered an in-house introductory class that was so interesting to me that I completed it in a single day and was promoted to wine consultant. From there, I took the Level 2 Wine course offered by WSET, passed it, and finished off with a Level 1 WSET Spirits course.

With my daughter now off at college (she’s a sophomore at Washington University in Saint Louis), I’m an empty nester with a very full wine rack. I’m looking forward to putting all the book knowledge into practice and bringing a sense of humor into the wine aisle. I pair things in a very interesting way. Some things have worked for me (Oreos have some really great wine pairings, ask me!), others less so (Oreos really don’t work with some wines, ask me!) and if you bring your dog into the store, know that I’m just as excited to help you find your perfect wine as I am to greet your furry friend.



I’ve always had an interest in wine, but never went any further than to read what was on the back of the $13 bottle of Chardonnay at my local Walgreens or Hy-Vee (because in Iowa we can do that!). Thankfully, I had friends who also had a fancy for wine and would give me bits and pieces of knowledge they picked; either from wineries, the internet, or just things they probably made up on their own. At the beginning of 2023, I actually made it a New Year’s resolution to learn more about wine and that’s where my career at Surdyk’s began!

I joined Surdyk’s starting as a cashier but would use every second I had free to ask questions of the consultants, shadow them when I could, and seek out what to study in order to become more comfortable being around such a vast selection of wine. Just seeing the assortment of bottles that came through my line on a regular basis made me so excited to learn more. Finally, after months of studying and a ton of encouragement from my colleagues, I signed up and passed my Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 exam. Confirming I do know a few things when it comes to the ever-changing world of wine.

Wine is just one more thing to a very long list of hobbies I enjoy! I have so many hobbies, sometimes they bleed into each other. I studied music in college for a bit and it’s quite possible you’ll overhear me loudly humming (or just outright singing) something in another aisle because I can break out into a song like no one’s business.

If you see me around the store, please stop to say “hi!”! I love learning more about our customers and what it is about wine you enjoy!