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My Other Life: Annette Calvillo, Wine Tasting Room Attendant

by Judy Lessin | June 27, 2014

When Annette Calvillo started her job at Coopers Hawk Winery & Restaurant in Brookfield, Wis., she knew nothing about wine beyond the fact that she liked to drink it. But she needed a temporary source of income as she got her own nail salon up and running, so after a weeklong training period, she began work as a tasting room attendant. “I had to pass a test in order to receive a bartender’s license,” she says. “I also had to take an eight-hour advanced wine training class.” Now, more than a year later, her salon — Fill 413 Nail Studio in Waukesha — still occupies her days, while she spends most nights and weekends at the winery. “I can work seven days a week with some days being 16 hours straight,” says Calvillo.

“As a tasting room attendant, I welcome people and explain how the tasting room works. Customers are welcome to have two complimentary tastes of anything on our complete wine list of over 40 varietals (types of wine) or they can do a paid tasting of eight flights. We also have an extensive wine club. It is my job to welcome guests to our location and to assist them through a wine tasting.”

Though it began as a temporary job, Calvillo has come to enjoy the work. “What makes this job fun is introducing our guests to wine tasting,” she says. “So many of them are new to wine and are unfamiliar with the proper etiquette of wine tasting. I want them to feel welcome coming into our location and not to feel embarrassed by asking questions. This is how we all start out learning about wine. I have met so many amazing people and have enjoyed great conversations with them.”

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