Katherine Mindach - Sommelier at Shawnessy Co-op Wine, Spirits and Beer

Katherine bio 2019How I ended up with the best job in the world

Well, a funny thing happened on my way to be an engineer. I was working as a cashier at the Shawnessy Co-op Wine Spirits Beer and taking engineering at SAIT. While I was studying organic chemistry, I was also getting to know wine, and the two clicked in a way I had never expected. The process and chemistry of creating wine intrigued me. So I started into my WSET courses and became a sommelier.

My favourite thing about being a sommelier

The passion of the people who create wine is refreshing. Everyone is so engaged in the making, drinking and selling of wine. And why not! It’s all about food, family, friends and good company. There are few other jobs where you can sit around the table at the end of the day and talk about what you did at work and have everybody keen to join in.

The next big thing in wine

I think sustainably grown wines are going to have a moment or two in the sun. The challenges many vineyards face as climate evolves – water shortages, changes in temperature – are creating new sustainable practices. Vintners have always needed to be masters of soil, sun and water, regardless of the circumstances, so this is resulting in a number of interesting wines that are new and intriguing.

One thing I wish everyone knew about wine

Be adventurous! Wine has a lot of rules, but rules were made to be broken. People are trying unconventional food and wine combinations and exploring new wine regions or varietals they have never tried before. It’s OK to mix things up and explore a little.