Board of Directors for Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas Names Emily Wines, MS, as Chair

The Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas unanimously selected Emily Wines for a one-year term as of Friday, December 4th. Emily received the highest number of votes in the Board of Directors general election this week, showing strong support across the membership.

This decision came swiftly as the Board of Directors recognizes the immediate need for continuity of leadership while striving for fundamental change within the organization.

“At the risk of sounding cliché, I am humbled by the overwhelming support from my fellow Master Sommeliers and am honored to take the position of Chair of the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers-Americas. We have great work to do in the coming months; we must restore trust in our community and resume the services that we provide to the industry. The structure of our board will be radically different and these outside voices will aid in our goals of being more inclusive, more transparent, more relevant and stronger as an organization. This very difficult year is coming to a close and with great optimism and a strong mandate for change, I am looking forward to the future,” Emily says.

Emily’s platform for the Board of Directors election focused on healing the organization’s relationship with the sommelier and beverage community, through holding its membership to the highest standards of professionalism; engaging in listening sessions with members and students of the Court; actively encouraging inclusion in the organization and industry; more transparency regarding examination; and more meaningful and intentional communication with the organization’s community.

A Master Sommelier since 2008, Emily has participated in all levels of examination and education for the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas. She was a founding member of the Diversity Committee and previously served on the Board of Directors from 2013-2015. She currently lives in Oakland, California and  works as Vice President of Wine & Beverage Experiences at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants.

After the record-breaking member participation in the Board of Directors election, the CMS-A is looking forward to continued engagement both within and outside of the organization in this time of growth and change.

The Board has begun the process of gathering declarations of intent from other Member Directors for the Vice Chair position. The Board of Directors made the unanimous decision to call upon its full membership for ranked-choice voting to select who will serve as the Vice Chair.

Yours In Service,

Emily Wines, MS

Chair, Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas


Christopher Bates, MS

Robert Bigelow, MS

Brahm Callahan, MS

Keith Goldston, MS

Michael Meagher, MS

Kathryn Morgan, MS

Joshua Nadel, MS

Sabato Sagaria, MS

Mia Van de Water, MS

David Yoshida, MS


The Court of Master Sommeliers sets the global standard of excellence for beverage service within the hospitality industry with integrity, exemplary knowledge, and humility.