Wine is integral to elegant home entertainment. To entertain with wine in a friendly and stylish way, let wine expert and educator Richard Leahy take the pressure off you so you can relax, learn and enjoy with your friends. From wine and cheese tastings to complete dinner course wine pairings, Richard has the experience, the palate and the panache to make your wine event enjoyable and memorable. Richard conducts tastings in Charlottesville/Albemarle and the West End of Richmond. For availability, pricing and policies, email Richard with “Request for Consultation” in the subject field and dates, location and times to contact you.


You can suggest your own wine theme and menu, or pick a theme from those suggested below. Richard can also match wines for your chef’s menu. This is an ideal way to enjoy tasting fine wine with friends and learn a lot in a short time while doing it! All guests will be provided with a printed sheet for their tasting notes and preferences which they can take with them. Every wine tasting includes an interactive discussion on featured foods and wines, palate preferences, and a question and answer session. Fees include wine delivery.


  • Varietal grape character across regions, quality levels or both.
  • Blind tastings are fun! California vs. Virginia, Southern Hemisphere vs. Europe and more.
  • Wild Card Wines or ABC Tasting (Anything But Chardonnay/Cabernet): taste, learn about and enjoy wines from grapes you’ve never heard of; expand your taste horizons
  • Four Seasons wine tastings: pairing seasonal wine and food.
  • Old and Young: compare wines from the same grape varieties young and with years of bottle aging; what are the trade-offs?
  • You choose the theme the sky is the limit when it comes to wine tasting!


Richard wrote the book on Virginia wine—literally! Beyond Jefferson’s Vines was published in 2012 (and again in 2014) to wide acclaim.

Other Experience

  • Worked as a sommelier and has food and wine pairing expertise from cheeses to tapas to full dinners.
  • Taught wine and food pairing classes for the William & Mary Elderhostel/Road Scholars and Piedmont VA Community College and led the wine tastings for the Outdoor Adventure Club of Charlottesville for eight years.
  • Conference Manager for a major wine trade show.
  • Wine judge with over 16 years of experience including the Virginia Wine Governor’s Cup.
  • Authority on the wines of Eastern North America.
  • Member of the prestigious Circle of Wine Writers (U.K.), the Society of Wine Educators, and the Wine Century Club (having tasted wines from over 100 different grape varieties).
Author | Consultant | Educator

Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved. Richard Leahy