Meet Dini Rao, Our Vice President of Products
Dini Rao has 12 years of wine experience, working in senior roles for Amazon and Christie’s wine programs. At Christie’s she evaluated the world’s finest wines for auction, including wines dating to the 1700s. Dini earned a Diploma with Merit from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and is a candidate for the Masters of Wine, which only 27 people in the US hold.
Q: How would you describe your wine personality?
DR: An adventurous bargain hunter
Q: What are your favorite foods?
DR: Fish, oysters, Basque style foods from Spain and South Indian spicy stuff that is comfort food for me
Q: What are your favorite wines to drink?
DR: Riesling, red Burgundy, Chenin Blanc and Champagne, pretty much anything with high acidity, as I am an acid freak!
Q: What’s the most epic wine you’ve ever tasted?
DR: 1921 Dom Perignon while working at Christie’s. It was stored impeccably in the cellars of Doris Duke and it still had bubbles and incredible aromas.
Q: What’s your favorite wine region to travel to?
DR: The Loire Valley. I love touring the river, where you follow it to lots of small villages with incredible châteaux to discover diverse wine making styles. Plus, it’s not as touristy. South Africa is also the most picturesque region I’ve visited.
Q: What’s the hardest part of being a Master of Wine candidate?
DR: I cannot turn the “tasting” brain off, so I end up analyzing every wine I taste! I taste 5,000-7,000 bottles per year.
Q: Why did you get into wine?
DR: I fell in love with wine when I was 17 and visiting wineries in upstate New York. Walking the vineyards reminded me of the farming country where I grew up, and after years as my mother’s kitchen taster for Indian spices, I found wine tasting a natural fit.
Q: Why did you join Lot18?
DR: To change the way Americans buy wine – it’s really an archaic business. Also, I want to help others fall in love with wine as deeply as I have – our offers are a great way to discover new wines at trial pricing.
Q: If you had one piece of advice for buying wine, what would it be?
DR: Try everything you can in the beginning, find wines you like and ask a wine expert how they would describe it and use that as your compass for finding wines you like.