Roberto Viernes took his very first wine class, the CMS Introductory Course and Exam in 1997, then passing the CMS Examination in 2001. He ultimately achieved the coveted title of Master Sommelier in 2005. He travels extensively to classic wine growing regions around the world to gain an even better understanding of wine and is also active in teaching courses and testing with the Court of Master Sommeliers and has been a judge at the prestigious U.S. National Sake Evaluation five separate years.


Having worked in restaurants, retail and distributor settings for many years, he is now Managing Partner with Lotus Wine and Spirits a boutique fine wine and spirits importer and distributor in Hawaii. Roberto is also an author and wrote Vino Sense, a weekly column in MidWeek Magazine, a Hawaii publication for a decade. He is a contributing writer for HI Luxury Magazine. Roberto launched his first wine FIL Pinot Noir with the 2015 vintage, a project grown in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Roberto is also a board member for Aloha Wine Foundation, an organization dedicated to the local Hawaii Sommelier community. Follow him on Instagram @filwines.


What made you want to become a Master Sommelier?

I am the cliché Master Sommelier. I love Champagne and Burgundy.

I love wine above all other beverages because it has a sense of place. It can express the grape, time and specific plot on earth that it hails from and It also entwines culture, history and conviviality all in one bottle.