Charlie Arturaola

The distinguished sommelier Charlie Arturaola is a household name in culinary and oenological circles, and considered one of the nation's "top 10 palates" by the American Sommelier Association. The charismatic wine expert approaches his life's passion with knowledge and enthusiasm, and is in demand at food and wine events nationwide.

He has been a featured sommelier and educator at many of the country's greatest wine festivals, including Aspen, Naples (as a founding sommelier), Napa, and Jackson Hole, and is on the tasting team for the Wine Spectator's Wine Experiences, most recently in San Francisco, New York and Chicago. In 2005, Arturaola was recognized as a Chevalier by France's Ordre des Coteaux des Champagnes.

As an educator, Arturaola is teaching at Lynn University's Hospitality department in Boca Raton. He was a "distinguished visiting sommelier" at Johnson & Wales University, and, in 2007. He has also served as an expert speaker for Bloomingdale's and Waterford, Master of Food & Wine in Mendoza, Argentina and as a guest columnist for USA Today. Arturaola is currently the wine expert on MSN Latino on line.

Arturaola is the president of Miami-based Grappolo Blu, which offers sommelier services and consulting, speaking engagements, wine seminars, wine estate appraisals, and cellar salvages. His global knowledge of wine is so comprehensive that several insurance companies rely solely on him to appraise wine collections valued from $50,000 to more than one million dollars. His experience with wine embraces 25 years as speaker, writer, cellar master, director of wine, sommelier and wine purchaser for hotels, resorts, restaurants, and luxury cruise lines. He has traveled to every wine region in the world, cultivating productive relationships with winemakers and is fluent in five languages: English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Before founding Grappolo Blu, Arturaola served as wine director for two of South Florida's top resorts, the legendary Boca Raton Resort & Club, in Boca Raton, and the luxury boutique Marco Beach Ocean Resort on Marco Island. Earlier, he spent ten years as sommelier at Tulipano Ristorante and as manager of Rigoletto Ristorante, both in Miami. Prior to that, he was head wine steward for Cunard Lines, based in South Hampton, England. Arturaola's extensive education includes a degree in journalism and broadcasting from the Press Institute in Montevideo, Uruguay, and studies in European history at the University of Navarra in Spain.

Arturaola belongs to the Board of Education of the Society of Wine Educators, based in Washington DC; Toast to Humanity as Board of Directors, and member of the American Society of Appraisers.