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Alpana Singh

Wine Consultant; Youngest Ever Master Sommelier
  • First Indian woman to become a Master Sommelier, a title awarded to only 121 people worldwide
  • Host of the three-time Emmy Award-winning restaurant review television show, Check, Please!
  • Received “Sommelier of the Year” Wine Star award from Wine Enthusiast magazine
  • Lively, fun, and informative presentation that gives audiences a taste of life as a sommelier
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Born and raised in Monterey, California, it was only natural that Alpana Singh would develop an interest in wine. As the director of wine and spirits for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc., her duties include wine education and training, purchasing, and bar program development for the Chicago based restaurant group. She also moonlights as the host of the three-time Emmy Award-winning restaurant review television show, Check, Please! which airs weekly in Chicago. In 2006, Singh published her first book, Alpana Pours: About Being a Woman, Loving Wine, and Having Great Relationships.

Cultivated familial vines. Born to Indian parents who moved to California from the Fiji Islands, Singh's family owned an ethnic grocery store in Monterey where she worked at an early age; a life experience that she credits for her present day work ethic and ease with people of all ages.

After high school graduation, Singh attended college by day and waited tables by night. It was during this time that she discovered her love for wine and found that it combined her varied interests of geography, history, and food. She achieved her goal of becoming a Master Sommelier by passing the final exam in 2003 at the age of twenty-six, making her the youngest female ever to pass the exam. She is one of 121 Master Sommeliers in the world--fourteen of whom are women, Singh the youngest among them.

A fine young vintage. Prior to her position at Lettuce, Alpana served as sommelier for Chef J. Joho's Relais Gourmand and Traditions et Qualité restaurant Everest. During that time, Wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. praised her in his publication the Wine Advocate as "one of the finest young sommeliers in America today." In 2006, Bon Appetit named Singh "Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year." She has also been featured in numerous publications including Newsweek, Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Chicago Tribune, and The New York Times.

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