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Tim Hanni

Tim Hanni, one of the first two Americans to earn the title of Master of Wine, is the author of “Why You Like the Wines You Like; Changing the way the world thinks about wine.” This paradigm-changing book, due to be released in January of 2013, focuses on expanding wine enjoyment by fostering better communications and eliminating counter-productive wine and consumer myths. His international consulting work centers on implementing his consumer research, technology and insights into strategic planning, product development, marketing and sales initiatives that have resulted in tremendous success stories for his clients.

Hanni is currently a member of the Executive Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine in London and the Board of Directors of the Institute of Masters of Wine North America. He is on faculty at Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute teaching the Wine Business Certificate Series, the first international online wine business program. Hanni is a widely recognized leader in developing wine marketing and education programs that break down barriers that historically hinder the unfettered enjoyment of wine. He is involved in sensory and behavioral research projects to create a better understanding of consumer wine preferences.

Hailed by the Wall Street Journal as “The Wine Anti-Snob,” Tim is an innovator, researcher, renegade and a relentless crusader against wine snobbery. At the heart of this crusade is a quest to find the fundamental elements that shape our taste preferences, and to understand, embrace, and cultivate the interest of all wine consumers, not just a select few. Tim’s extensive research provides an invaluable reference for winery product development consulting that has resulted in growing one national brand from 100k to over 3mm cases in a seven year period.

Tim’s innovations influenced the wine and restaurant business during his tenure as a Director for Beringer Wine Estates in the 1990s, where he originated the now-familiar concept of the Progressive Wine List, now used by restaurant and hotels worldwide. The Progressive List organizes wines relative to intensity of flavor rather than geographic origin, empowering staff and customers to select wines according to taste preferences.
Many of the world’s greatest chefs have embraced Tim’s Flavor Balancing concepts and techniques. His techniques for creating user-friendly wine lists and retail wine programs are combined with proven culinary techniques to balance food and wine flavors and are employed by thousands of restaurants and hotel outlets around the world. The Wine & Spirits Education Trust in London, England, has adopted his wine and food principles in their international curriculum.

Tim’s research on understanding the physiological and psychological factors that determine consumer beverage preferences and buying behavior, engineered in cooperation with noted Cornell University researcher Dr. Virginia Utermohlen, MD, is setting the stage for the next revolution in wine and food education, and provides the basis for Tim’s New Wine Fundamentals seminars and his industry consulting.

He currently lives in the Napa Valley with his wife, Kate, his business partner and a leader in the airline rights movement, and their son.
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