How did Alpana Singh get into the wine world?
My parents are both in the restaurant business — my mother waited tables, and my dad is a classically trained French chef — so I always grew up with restaurant chatter in the background. But the goal for me was to get a formal education and become a doctor or a lawyer or something. I ended up waiting tables in college, and the restaurant that I worked at had a pretty awesome and intense wine-training program. Just waiting tables there and going to the weekly wine classes, I discovered that it was a very fascinating subject. I found myself more and more engrossed in the study of wine.
The gentleman that was running the wine program was actually studying to become a master sommelier. I was young, and it never occurred to me that you could have a career in wine. It was one of those things where wine encompasses so many different areas that you study — you have history, you have food, you have travel, you have science; there are just so many things that wine encompasses. It’s a very fascinating subject, and the areas of study are pretty much endless.
He mentored me, and I said, “I want to get into the wine business, what would you suggest?” He said, “Well, I would get a job at a wine shop.” So I ended up getting a part-time job at a wine shop in Carmel, and it pretty much snowballed from there.