Larry has over 30 years of experience in the restaurant and wine businesses. His wine career hardly seems likely as it began as a Teamster casual worker for a beer and wine wholesaler in Youngstown, Ohio. While the beginnings were humble, Larry earned opportunities at Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, FL, Emeril’s in New Orleans and Orlando, FL and Station Casinos and Resorts in Las Vegas, NV.


Larry represented the United States in the prestigious international sommelier competition Meilleur Sommelier du Monde Concours Mondial in 2000 after winning the title of Best Sommelier in America earlier that same year. In 2001, he became one of approximately 190 Master Sommeliers in the world and the first Master Sommelier in Florida.


He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers. He served as a judge for the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs’ Jeuene Sommelier Competition at the national and regional levels. He participated as a wine judge, with other internationally recognized experts, at the Starwine International Wine Competition and the TEXSOM International Wine Awards, formerly the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition.


In 2010, Larry joined Jackson Family Wines and in 2012 he became the National Ambassador for Kendall-Jackson, a career-defining role. He travels extensively and works closely with Jackson Family’s distributor partners to deliver sales results for both retail and restaurant accounts.


If he had the skill, Larry would give up all this wine drama for a chance to join the Professional Bowlers Association.


Where are you working currently and how has being a MS supported you in your current role?

In my role with Jackson Family Wines my status as a Master Sommelier and my many years of restaurant operations and wines sales experiences provide credibility.


Where were you working when you passed?

I was very happily employed by Emeril Lagasse in Orlando, Florida when I passed the exam.


What made you want to become an MS?

I pursued Master Sommelier certification to ensure I had the skills and abilities to contribute to successful restaurant operations and be viewed as a valuable member of a restaurant management team. These attributes have also been priceless in my career in wine sales.


What is your desert island wine, or what wines/beverages are you currently excited about?

If forced to make a desert island choice, Mosel Riesling from any number of great producers and great sites. I recently discovered The King and The Frogs Liege Ale from Mad Fritz. What a lovely beer!