Tim Gaiser is an internationally renowned wine expert, educator, writer, and blogger. He is the former Director of Education and Education chair for the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas, and an instructor for the Napa Valley Wine Academy.


Over his 30-plus year career, Tim has taught thousands of students in wines and spirits classes at every level as well as developing wine education programs for restaurants, winery schools and wine distributors. He has experience in all phases of the wine industry: online, wholesale, retail, winery, and restaurants.


Gaiser has written for a number of publications including Fine Cooking Magazine and the Somm Journal and also writes for numerous wine and spirits clients. He has served as the author and lead judge for the Best Young Sommelier Competition and the Top Somm Competition. His new book, “Message in a Bottle: A Guide to Tasting Wine,” was published in 2022 and quickly became one of the top resources for students in wine certification programs.


Prior to developing his wine expertise, Tim received an M.A. in Classical Music. He played classical trumpet as a freelance professional and as an extra with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.


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

Work is mainly writing these days. I publish a blog (timgaiser.com/blog) and a Substack (tgaiser.substack.com). I’m also currently finishing up a second book called “Strong Water: Essays on Food, Wine, and the Restaurant Industry.” My career in wine has been greatly influenced by working with–and for–the CMSA.


Where were you working when you passed?

I was working the floor and helping run the beverage program at the Cypress Club in San Francisco.


What made you want to become an MS?

I learned of the Court through Evan Goldstein and Nunzio Alioto, and was immediately attracted to the curriculum, title, and the world-class standards the organization represented.


What advice do you give those who are pursuing certification?

The power of group dynamics cannot be underestimated. Find–or create–a good tasting/study group. I never would have passed without the help of my tasting group.


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

There are too many amazing wines to narrow it down to a single bottle. Favorites include Champagne, German Riesling, Burgundy, Brunello di Montalcino, and Barolo/Barbaresco.