Our seminars are as delicious as educational, and often explore somewhat controversial topics of the day. Our moderators are not only knowledgeable and industry experts, but skilled at keeping our panelists and audience on track and on time!
Author, The Wine Bible
Karen MacNeil, one of the foremost wine experts in the United States, is the author of the award-winning book,The Wine Bible, recognized as “the most comprehensive and authoritative book on wine written by an American
Karen’s articles on wine and food have been published in more than 50 magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, Fine Wine, U.S.A. Today, and Town & Country. Karen has also brought her style and love of wine
to television—first as the wine correspondent for NBC’s Today Show, and later as the Emmy-award winning host of the PBS television series Wine, Food & Friends with Karen MacNeil.
Karen’s firm, Karen MacNeil & Company, creates one-of-a-kind wine experiences and seminars for individuals, groups and corporate clients, including, Lexus, Merrill Lynch, Disney, General Electric, UBS, World
Presidents Organization, and Singapore Airlines. An educator at heart, Karen is the creator and Chairman of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley, which has been called the “Harvard” of wine education.
In a full page profile in 2004, TIME magazine named Karen “America’s Missionary of the Vine.” She holds an Advanced Certified Wine Professional Degree.
Donald P. Kinnan, CSS, CWE
Secretary, Society of Wine Educators
For 30 years, Don Kinnan has been active in the fine wine trade, both on a business and personal level. Having traveled frequently to the wine regions of Europe, South America, New Zealand and California, the depth of his knowledge has been enhanced by his own experience.
Kinnan joined Kobrand Corporation, a family-owned wine importer and marketing company, in 1985 covering the Washington, DC, Virginia and West Virginia areas. In 1992, he was promoted to Director of Education and was responsible for Educational Services nationwide. For the next 20 years, he conducted over 60 seminars, annually, for distributor sales forces, trade groups, and consumers.
Kinnan’s passion for wine is evidenced by his involvement in numerous professional organizations. He has been cited by the U. S. Government for his role as founder of the Society for American Wines in Canada. He founded and acted as President of the Decanter Club in Washington, DC, and frequently presents to groups such as the Society of Wine Educators, where he holds that organization’s highest credential, CWE (Certified Wine Educator). He is also a member of the society’s executive committee and board of directors. In 2012, Kinnan will be the lead instructor in the French Wine Society’s new Master Burgundy Certificate program.
Kinnan received his undergraduate degree from Penn State University and his masters from Johns Hopkins. He had a long and distinguished military career in the US Army, from which he retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While in the Army, Kinnan graduated from the Defense Department’s Language Institute for French, the Command and General Staff College, and served as an instructor and, subsequently, as chief of the South East Asian Studies Section at the US Army Intelligence School.
Frederick L. Dame, MS
President, Guild of Sommeliers
Frederick L. Dame, Master Sommelier brings an impressive blend of experience, expertise and enthusiasm to the world of wine and cuisine. He is the first American to have served as President of the Court of Master Sommeliers Worldwide and assists restaurateurs and hoteliers in developing their wine programs in his role as Vice-President of Prestige Accounts, American Wine & Spirits of California. He is currently the President of the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation. He holds Honorary Professorships at Purdue University and The University of South Carolina.Dame's ability to transmit his passionate interest in wine make him a natural teacher. One of just seventy-three Americans to have passed the Master Sommelier Examination, Dame was the first to successfully pass all three parts in a single year. This feat and his high score won him the coveted Krug Cup of the British Guild of Sommeliers in 1984. Dame founded the American Branch of The Court of Master Sommeliers in 1986 and has played an active role in the expansion of the Master Sommelier program throughout America since that time.
A sixth generation Californian, Dame graduated from Washington and Lee University with a degree in journalism and communications. A European trip after high school piqued his curiosity about wine and food. Since then, he has applied his considerable persuasive skills to the service and appreciation of fine wine.