Brian Smith

Winemaker // Sommelier // Chief Wine Officer at Club W

Brian’s love affair with wine started after purchasing his first case of 1998 Clos du Caillou Côtes Du Rhône while riding out his snowboarding career in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. As a sommelier, Brian developed wine programs for Charlie Palmer's Aureole in Las Vegas and the Jackson Hole Wine Company and served as the Wine Director at Clo Wine Bar in NYC. In 2008, Brian fulfilled his lifelong dream of making wine, starting with a few hundred cases of Loca Linda Malbec. Today, he makes Malbec, Torrontés, and Provençal rosé for the Crazy Beautiful Wine Co. Brian is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and oversees all winemaking and product development for Club W as Chief Wine Officer.

Accolades and Current Projects

Loca Linda

Wonderful Wine Co.

Club W

What do you love most about your job?

Freedom, creativity, and responsibility. When you drink wine, you experience something special from a specific spot on the planet with a completely unique history. These are fun stories to tell, especially when they involve the sensory experience of drinking wine.

What’s your favorite place to eat, drink, or play?

For playing: warm, uncrowded waves and untracked bowls filled with fresh powder.

For drinking: I like to day drink anywhere with a view!

For eating: foreign lands and my friends’ restaurants — always a superior experience.

If you were throwing a dinner party and could invite anyone, who would it be?

Charlie Sheen and Aaron Forman.

Who’s your palate icon?

The Master Sommelier candidate who’s in peak training for his exam. I respect the dedication, focus, and discipline it takes to blind taste at that level. There’s nothing more impressive than a good blind taster. It’s the ultimate skill and far more difficult than people think.

Who or what do you consider your biggest influence?

I’ve been lucky enough to have many mentors, but I’d have to give props to my family above all.

See Brian's Club W collaboration:

2013 One From the Quiver Malbec