IWSC Wine Communicator 2020 shortlist: Melissa Monosoff MS

Wine news

Fri 13 Mar 2020

Wine Communicator 2020 - sponsored by Vinitaly - recognises someone whose communication skills have made an exceptional contribution towards promoting and increasing public awareness in wine. Here is another chance to see the profiles of four brilliant communicators who have been shortlisted for one of the IWSC's top awards. The winner will be announced at the 2020 IWSC Awards at 6pm GMT on Wednesday 18 November, broadcast on YouTube.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Melissa Monosoff MS honed her communication skills at the top restaurants in Philadelphia as a cook, sommelier, bartender and beverage director. Monosoffearned her Master Sommelier Diploma in 2010 and is the 17th woman in the world to hold this title.

She is responsible for creating the educational written content and programming for the Court of Master Sommeliers (Americas.) These programs reach thousands of aspiring sommeliers and other industry professionals who in turn reach tens of thousands of consumers. Monosoff has also published the book What Every Wine Snob Should Know.

Besides wine, she has become a recognized name in the beer community and an accomplished competitive cyclist.

Monosoff says “The idea of communicating information in a meaningful and understandable way was a skill honed over many years beginning with my days as a sommelier on the floor of restaurants. It was essential to success not only with the guests but with the service staff as well.”  

"As with everyone, the pandemic and world events has changed everything.  Aside from adopting a puppy  (yes, yes, I did the Covid puppy thing), the planet has had to pivot quickly to online learning.  Like making lemonade out of lemons, the positive hope I have seen during such a devastating time in our industry has been incredibly heartening in so many instances."

"For the Court of Master Sommeliers our education is based on in-person classes taught by Master Sommeliers. The much needed shift to a new educational strategy was forced to the forefront.  We needed to learn (and are continuing to learn) how to connect and bring people together in new and meaningful ways not only for learning for wine certifications but for mentorship while travel is limited.  Increasing accessibility with new programming and transitioning our classic educational programs online is the highest priority."

“I would like to be the Vinitaly IWSC Wine Communicator 2020 because I want more women in wine to see possibility and inclusiveness. I would like formal wine education and certification to be accessible and feel within reach.”

“I am grateful to even have a small impact from helping students succeed in their goals to an enthusiast having their first ah-ha moment with wine as I once did.”

This year’s winner will be following in the footsteps of the 2019 title holder, Wine Folly's Madeline Puckette.