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Meet Devin Andolsen, our Napa/Sonoma Wine Specialist

Devin Andolsen grew up in vineyards, helping build and plant his family’s 11 acres in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. He has over eight years of experience as a professional in the wine world, including four years in fine dining under a Master Sommelier, as well as helping manage a small international distributor out of San Francisco and most recently managing Constellation’s Fine Wine division for Northern California. In addition to being a professional wine judge, Devin is a Master Sommelier candidate of which there are only 112 in North America.

Q: How would you describe your wine personality?

DA: All over the place!

Q: What are your favorite foods?

DA: Having grown up in Northern California/San Francisco area, I crave a little of everything all of the time. I enjoy California fresh cuisine with international influences. I like to source my vegetables and fruits locally. A perfect example of a meal I like would be a mixed green salad with avocado, radishes and carrots from outside in the garden. Throw in a meat and cheese platter, such as an insalata de prosciutto de Parma and I’m happy.

Q: What are your favorite wines to drink?

DA: I believe there is a time and place for absolutely every wine. My favorite wines are the ones I haven’t had yet. My general philosophy while at a restaurant is lower alcohol and balanced. Other times, I want a little residual sugar and high alcohol. I look at how my palate truly feels and go with it, whether a jammy, over the top, high alcohol port-like Zinfandel or a low alcohol, elegant and floral Pinot Noir from Burgundy.

Q: What’s the most epic wine you’ve ever tasted?

DA: 1993 Dom Perignon Oenethoque…thinking about it makes my mouth water. Pavlov would laugh at how many wines do this to me.

Q: What’s your favorite wine region to travel to?

DA: The wine region I haven’t been to yet is always the most exciting to me. The next stop on my list is all of the French wine regions, including the Loire Valley and Champagne.

Q: What did you enjoy about being a Sommelier?

DA: The interaction with people, and being able to put smiles on their faces by introducing them to new and interesting wines from all over the world.

Q: Why did you get into wine?

DA: It was my calling – I didn’t really have a choice. It was the one thing I was best at. The light bulb clicked one day when I realized I could make wine my profession, because it had never really dawned on me before. It was always one of those things I loved and was good at.

Q: Why did you join Lot18?

DA: The excitement factor. I wanted to be part of the revolutionary concept of introducing a large group of people to the wines I love. And, I wanted to do it in a way that would be approachable and Lot18 provided that.

Q: If you had one piece of advice for buying wine, what would it be?

DA: Be adventurous. Explore, try new things, and find someone you trust and go with their recommendations.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

DA: I am somewhat of a sports fanatic, I have to watch the Oregon Ducks, Buckeyes, San Francisco Giants and San Jose Sharks.  I enjoy playing soccer, cross-fitness, hiking, traveling, reading, and spending time with my wife to be.  Beer allows me to continue to enjoy wine.