Master Sommelier Morgan Harris relocated to San Francisco in 2018, after ten years working on all sides of New York City’s restaurant scene. With over fifteen years of experience in restaurants, running everything from multi-million-dollar, Michelin-starred beverage programs to small wine bars, he’s prepared to help with any beverage management questions you might have. He began his CMS journey in 2008, passing his Intro and Certified in 2009, taking (and failing) his first Advanced in 2011, and passing Advanced in 2012. He sat the MS exam five times, resetting in 2016, and passing in 2018.

Since 2010, he’s also freelanced in the beverage media space, which turned into a position as Director of Branding and Marketing for OMVino over the pandemic. He’s written for major players in the digital beverage space including Wine Folly, Vivino, Punch Drink, GuildSomm, and WineAccess. Morgan also appeared as a presenter on NBC and the Esquire Network and as a principal character in 2018’s NYT nonfiction best-seller, Cork Dork. Morgan’s experience selling to a demanding clientele for over a decade grounds his approach to all aspects of beverage communication.


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

I currently work as Director of Education and Experience for K&L Wine Merchants in California. While my role is now off the restaurant floor, the principles are the same. Wine knowledge only matters insofar as it’s used to create experiences for other people. All the knowledge we learn for the exam has to be used in service of getting other people excited about drinks, and helping them to develop their own relationship to beverages.


Where were you working when you passed?

I had started a job as head sommelier for Saison Hospitality’s Angler Restaurant in San Francisco six months prior to passing. Saison, at the time, was a Michelin 3-Star restaurant, and Angler was meant to be the “little sister” casual restaurant, but the restaurant earned a Michelin star its first year of operation, and the wine list grew to over 3000 selections by the time I left in 2024.

What made you want to become an MS?

Really, my community around the exams is what ultimately kept me going; I started more casually, with a real curiosity and interest to learn, but no long-term goals. The years and years I spent in tasting and study groups was what pushed me to the MS. I was so inspired by my peers’ depth of knowledge, their passion and enthusiasm, as well as their desire to improve themselves.

What advice do you give those who are pursuing certification?

Cultivate an attitude of, “When I pass the exam,” not, “If I pass the exam”. The Court’s exams only present a measuring stick for your own abilities. It’s you versus yourself in there. Think about becoming the sort of person who can pass the exam, not about passing the exam. The real journey is the growth you make to improve yourself to become that person, not putting on a new lapel pin.

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

My any-time and all-the-time beverage will always be Champagne; it’s so delicious, and there’s such a breadth of diversity in terms of styles and producers. There’s always something new to learn, whether it’s about production, terroirs, style, or history. For not wine, it’s definitely Mezcal, but for all the same reasons.