threadTALK Blog Series 15: Thoughts of a Certified Sommelier with Casleah Herwaldt

"I only drink wine on days that end with a 'y'" if that quote sounds about right, then you must be a huge wine lover like Casleah Herwaldt. Find out how she became a Certified Sommelier, what initially sparked her interest in wine, her favorite pairings, and more on this month's threadTALK influencer blog!

Q Tell us a little bit about yourself and your Instagram and blog page. How and when did you get your start as a content creator?

A Hi! I'm Casleah or Cas for short. I recently became a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. I have a passion for everything about wine. I'm obsessed with learning about wine and teaching others about wine. I live for helping others discover their love for wine too. I actually started my Instagram almost 2 years ago to promote my in home wine tasting business. I began posting about other wines and it really started to take off! I had no idea the opportunities that are available on Instagram!! I started my blog about a year and a half ago and I feel like I'm just recently starting to write relevant content that resonates with my audience. I didn't know writing was something I was capable of, but I'm really enjoying it!

Q What sparked your interest in wine and what do you love most about it?

A Wine has always been apart of my life. My dad grew up on a merlot farm in Michigan, and I remember walking through my grandparents vineyards as a young girl. Also my dad was always fermenting something new in the basement and we grew concord grapes on our back porch. Riesling was my first love and still is. It wasn't until maybe 5 years ago I really started to gain an appreciation for other types of wines including dry wines. Once that happened, my world opened up and I became obsessed. My favorite part about wine is how it brings people together, not only around me, but all over the world. It's a beautiful medium for connecting different countries and cultures. It teaches us about other ways of living and new foods. There's so much to learn about wine and I think that's what fascinates me the most- that is impossible to know it all. I've also met some of my best friends because of wine!

Thoughts of a Certified Sommelier

Q What exactly is a Sommelier and how did you get to where you are today?

A Sommelier technically means "wine steward". But to become a Certified Sommelier, one must complete level 2 of the very intensive program throughout Court of Master Sommelier. It's a 3 part exam of blind tasting, theory and service. I got where I am today through stepping into each step as it came. I got my first job working in wine as a sales associate at a cute little boutique in Kansas, because I was probably their most dedicated customer. I was always there for every tasting, event and class. It came to the point that they offered me a job! Of course I said yes and that it is how it started! I decided to start my wine education throughout the CMS level 1 and started my in home wine tasting business. I started my Instagram, then my blog, started hosting events, went on to get my WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) levels 1 and 2 and just recently passed level 2 of the CMS exam. I believe this is only the beginning for me though. I have some big goals and I'm excited to see where this wine journey takes me.

Casleah at Somm Con

Q What would you say is your main goal or something that you would love to accomplish on this wine journey?

A I have so many including hosting more events and continuing my education. I could see myself creating my own wine label someday!

Q What has been the coolest thing that you have experienced in regards to your wine career?

A Oh man, there has been so many from visiting different wine regions, meeting so many cool people and getting to meet Master Sommeliers and blind tasting with them!

Rapid fires:
  • Favorite wine pairing? Blue cheese and Sauternes
  • What is the significance of the medallion that sommeliers wear around their necks? The tastevin is traditionally used so sommeliers could give themselves a little sip of the wine to ensure there are no faults. I actually own a really old one from Bordeaux.
  • Do you drink all of the wine that you taste or do you spit it out? I spit all the time, especially when doing my tasting groups, studying or when I'm at large tasting events where we are tasting hundreds of wines.

Q Lastly, we love that you were able to relate your story with our designs. If you were to give a title to your life story, what would it be and why?

A haha oh man, that's a tough one. We'll go with your saying- "May Contain Wine"

Casleah at a vineyard

  Follow Casleah on her Instagram: bythestem and blog page

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