Noelle Harman

Wine geeks such as myself are often asked about the bottle that “did it” – a bottle so special, so thought provoking, so utterly complex that it alone ignited a passion to dedicate their lives to studying a subject that, in the end, you can never truly master.  For years I have wracked my brain trying to identify MY bottle. . . and I’ve finally concluded that, well, I don’t have one. I do, however, have a person that I credit with giving me my wine “a-ha moment.”

I was looking for something to light my fire (after a 10 year career in tax law had nearly extinguished it) so I enrolled in a Sensory Evaluation class at Northwest Wine Academy.  The class was taught by the wonderfully dynamic Reggie Daigneault. Her enthusiasm was infectious – I had no idea that there was so much to learn and appreciate about wine beyond just what’s in the glass!  There was history, geography, soil, climate, laws, viticulture, etc. By the end of that first class I was hooked. Since then, I’ve passed the WSET Level 3 with Distinction, as well as the Introductory Sommelier exam.  I’m a certified French Wine Scholar and have my Rhône Master Level certification through the Wine Scholar Guild. I even became the youngest woman to join the Pacific Northwest chapter of La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.  Currently, I’m a WSET Diploma student at the Neptune School of Wine in Orange County, California.

My goal is to someday teach wine. I would love to be able to pay it forward and have that same positive impact on a wine newbie that Reggie had on me.  I’ve developed my blog Outwines with wine students in mind and update the site regularly with my study outlines (and rambling thoughts) on wine. I’m a Pacific Northwest native recently transplanted to Southern California where I live with my two old dogs and beer loving husband of 20 years.  When I’m not studying, writing about or drinking wine, I can usually be found sitting on my front porch waiting for UPS to deliver my beloved Washington wines.