The 23rd Annual Nantucket Wine & Food Festival: May 15-19, 2019

Colin Thoreen, AS

Advanced Sommelier

Ai Fiori
New York, NY

An unlikely confluence of an interest in ornithology and an innate desire to connect with people led Colin to discover his passion for wine.  Those seemingly unrelated areas of his life converged at Cornell University, where Colin realized that studying and connecting people through wine simultaneously satisfied both his thirst for making lasting connections and his drive to explore the natural world. One of Colins first forays into the world of wine was made early on with fellow Seattle local and now mentor and friend, Greg Harrington, MS. He pointed Colin in the direction of the Court of Master Sommeliers. He immediately began studying their curriculum and, in fact, passed the first two exams while a senior in college. During the summers, Colin alternated between hospitality jobs and commercial fishing in the Bering Sea. However, he had his first true wine-focused position as a vintern at Canlis Restaurant and then as food and beverage manager at a small retreat in Costa Rica. Upon graduation, Colin joined the team at Eleven Madison Park where he honed his skills as a wine professional before moving onto Ai Fiori where he has helped guide the wine program for the past four years.