Alissa Bica is a sommelier at the award-winning Los Angeles restaurant, 71Above and a contributing editor at Wine and Spirits. Every day, she feels humbled that she was able to turn one of her greatest passions into a career. She lives for the “aha!” moments that her guests experience when they taste a Premiere Cru Chablis next to a Napa Chardonnay and appreciate the differences. Her musings on wine, culture, and memory have been published in Wine Enthusiast magazine, and she runs the popular site, Off the Beaten Wine Path, where she explores the histories, flavors, and pairing ideas for obscure yet delicious grape varieties that you’ve likely never heard of.
India Mandelkern is historian, writer, and certified sommelier with a zest for the finer things in life. At University of California, Berkeley, where she completed her Ph.D., she wrote her whole dissertation on the sense of taste, which served her well throughout her sommelier certification journey. She's written about food, art, design, and the connections they sustain for a slew of popular publications––Eater, Vice, Los Angeles Magazine, Curbed, Roads & Kingdoms, and Los Angeles Review of Books–-and is writing a book on street lighting. Wine, for her, is bottled history: a way to tell stories using the most unlikely of senses.