Sandy Block MW has been Vice President of Beverage Operations for Legal Sea Foods where he has directed beverage strategy, training and product selection for the 33 restaurant group since Nov. 2004. He initiated a comprehensive 18 hour training and education program at the company, the Legal Beverage Certification Seminar Series, which has educated over a thousand staff members since inception. From 2002 to 2004 he served as Assistant VP of Wine for Horizon Beverage, Massachusetts-based distributors of wine and spirits where his responsibilities involved portfolio development, key account sales, brand management, marketing and education. From 1990 to 2002 he worked as Vice President of Product Strategies at the Whitehall Companies, where he also directed staff education and served as General Manager of Whitehall Imports.
Sandy was the first American resident on the East Coast of the United States to have been certified as a Master of Wine in 1992. He also holds membership in the Confraria do Vinho do Porto, as well as being recipient of the Corporation des Vignerons de Champagne’s Diplome d’Honneur. Sandy writes and lectures regularly in the United States and abroad, travelling as far afield as New Zealand to present seminars. Over the years his particular specialty has been researching more effective ways to communicate about wine and food together. His extensive credits include serving as Wine Editor at The Improper Bostonian, and writing monthly columns for the Massachusetts Beverage Business Journal for several years as well as contributing articles to The International Wine Review, The Quarterly Review of Wines, The Wine Enthusiast, Sante Magazine, Wine & Spirits, Cheers, The Sommelier Journal, Nightclub & Bar, The New England Wine Gazette, The Boston Business Journal, Boston Magazine, Travel Smart and L’Officiel du Vin. He has authored “Selecting Wines for Vegetarian Cuisine,” a chapter in Chef Ron Pickarski’s Eco-Cuisine, as well as a comprehensive Study Guide for the Center for Wine Origins’ “Wine Location Specialist Accreditation Program,” and has frequently appeared as an expert commentator on television and radio programs.
He has also served as Vice President of the Executive Board of Boston University’s Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center and has been an Adjunct Professor in its certification programs since inception in 1999. Together with a colleague he developed the curriculum for Wine Studies at Boston University, an accredited program launched in the fall of 2004. In addition, he has taught mandatory wine tasting courses to aspiring chefs at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, as well as operating the Boston Wine Center, a school he founded in conjunction with the World Trade Center from 1994 to 1997 (by bomm). For a number of years Sandy wrote a weekly column for AOL’s Digital City Boston and in 2003 he developed the WBCN Horizon Wine Club where he served as its on air voice, scripting and delivering “info-mercials” on various wine-related themes.
Sandy graduated with Honors from Vassar College and has a Master’s Degree in American Intellectual and Cultural History from the State University of New York. Prior to entering the wine trade he worked as a Sommelier, wrote scripts for radio and taught History. He has just completed his first novel.