Joanne DiGeso

Wine Educator, Judge, Writer, Seminar Presenter, Creator SommWine

Me atop Barolo

I've spent much of my wine life working in swanky places such as the Four Seasons in Whistler and two of the top 50 restaurants of Canada. These include working as a sommelier for Hawksworth Restaurant in Vancouver and as the wine director of the largest cellar in Western North America, the Bearfoot Bistro.

In 2018, I started my wine business called SommWine where I now teach certified Wine and Spirit Education Trust courses, host private and public wine tastings and act as a wine judge and wine seminar moderator.

Who am I? Think zen master meets the female version of Dionysus the Greek god of grape harvests, winemaking, religious ecstasy and ritual madness. As a metaphorical flame thrower, I'll break down your barriers to learning.

And if you would like to learn more about wine, check my next online wine courses or subscribe to my newsletter for updates!

My classes have 2 rules; No oenophobes allowed and no prisoners taken.

Joanne at SommWine



Vancouver International Wine Festival

wine writer for seminar recaps and coverage of events
2019, then 2022 - Present

Whistler's Blind

hosting and curating monthly blind tastings for Whistler's trade community

Wine Growers BC Educator for BC Wine Ambassador Program

executed online BC wine courses

Vancouver International Wine Festival

Wine Writer

wrote sections on aged rare wines from Napa Valley, Champagne, Bordeaux and Italian wines for online auction
2020 - Present

Hosting Private and Virtual Wine Tastings

Whistler, Vancouver BC
2018 - Present

Wine writer, researcher

check out samples of my writing here

2018 - Present

Wine and Spirit Education Trust Approved Program Provider for SommWine

teaching Levels 1-3; Whistler, BC

Recurring since 2015

Cornucopia, Whistler's Celebration of Food + Drink

Wine Judge + Seminar Presenter, Whistler

2016 / 2017

Top Drop

Host and Wine Panel Moderator: Whistler + Vancouver

2012- 2016

Bearfoot Bistro; wine director

Voted Top 50 Restaurants in Canada; Whistler


Hawksworth Restaurant; sommelier

Voted Top 50 Restaurants in Canada; Vancouver

2009 - 2012

Four Season's Resort; sommelier + server



VinItaly International Academy Scholarship 2017

Les Dames D’Escoffier Scholarship 2016

British Columbia Hospitality Scholarship 2015

Whistler’s Top Sommelier 2010



Certified Beer Educator Program; Las Vegas


Level 1 and Level 2 Award in Beer; Passed with Distinction


Certified Wine Educator Program; New York

2017 completed


Levels 1-4; The Art Institute of Vancouver


VinItaly International Wine Academy

Certified Italian Wine Ambassador; Verona, Italy


International Sommelier Guild Advanced Certification


University of British Columbia

Undergraduate Degree; Sociology


Wine educator 91%
Wine Writer 82%
Seminar Presenter 71%
Wine Judge 61%
Staff Wine Training 85%
Wine Service 100%
Panel Moderator 73%


With many years experience working at swank restaurants. I’m currently focused on writing an online wine program. You can contact me to prepare wine seminars for staff training or create a wine tasting for your friends.

I call Whistler – the famous ski resort – home.

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