006: Chris Blanchard Tells The Story Of The United Sommeliers Foundation

In this special edition of Inside Wine Podcast, we welcome a guest – Master Sommelier Chris Blanchard.

There are less than 200 people in the United States who have earned the title “Master Sommelier” and Chris Blanchard is one of them. He began his career in the wine industry close to the bottom — delivering cases of Thunderbird, Night Train, and jug wines to liquor and grocery stores — and worked his way onward and upward with different wine companies before eventually becoming a sommelier at Michelin-starred restaurants and Relais and Chateau properties.  His award-winning wine lists have been featured in Wine Spectator, Food and Wine, Forbes, and other publications, and he’s been a judge at wine competitions, among other things. He’s done pretty much everything one can do in the wine industry, and has made many friends in the business along the way. So when the COVID-19 crisis came to the United States, and devastated the restaurant industry, Chris wanted to find a way to help. Starting with a basic GoFundMe page, Chris and fellow out-of-work sommelier Christie Norman established, in less than three months, a full-fledged 501c3 charitable organization — the United Sommeliers Fund that raised over $300,000 in donations to help people in need.

You can learn more about the United Sommeliers Foundation, including how to donate and how to apply for assistance, by visiting the website:


You can also follow them on social media here:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/theunitedsommeliersfoundation

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/unitedsomms/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/unitedsomms

You can follow Chris Blanchard on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/djvitamix/

Have a question, comment, or idea for an upcoming episode? Email me at joe@insidewinepodcast.com or leave a voicemail at 917-727-9242