Meet Mary Beth

Mary Beth Vierra, Certified Wine Educator, Consultant

  • Certified Wine Educator (CWE
  • Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) ~ Wine Scholar Guild
  • Italian Wine Ambassador (IWA) ~ VinItaly
  • California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS)
  • Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS)
  • Masters’ Degree in Rhetoric, UC Davis (MA)

“As a life-long learner, I find wine endlessly fascinating – a blend of art, science, nature and passion.” ~ Mary Beth

A unique combination of talents and experience led Mary Beth Vierra to a career in wine education and consulting, ultimately founding Crush Course. Her love of food and wine, what seems a lifetime of teaching and training, and years conducting wine education programs for a world-renowned global wine organization all pointed her in this direction. Her in-depth knowledge, leadership, passion and engaging teaching style captivate and educate.

When Mary Beth was tapped to manage wine and spirits training programs for E & J Gallo Winery, she moved to Northern California wine country. As soon as her feet hit the vineyard soils, she immediately fell for the magic of grapes becoming wine. For over a decade Mary Beth developed and led regional and international training tours, workshops, and online education for Gallo’s sales and marketing teams. Travelling the wine globe, she followed the world’s fascinating array of soils, climate, people, and the wine styles they produce. Piecing it all together is a constant source of joy. The more she learned, the more she wanted to share her discoveries.

All Roads Lead to Wine

Mary Beth’s personal journey to the wine world began with an MA in Rhetoric and Communications and careers in sales training, marketing, and many years teaching university-level Communication Studies (starting at UC Davis). Following her curiosity, she chose to move to Italy where she fell in love with the food, language and culture. For five years Mary Beth immersed herself in Italy, teaching English and living La Dolce Vita (The sweet life). When she returned, she even had a short stint teaching Italian.

De-mystifying Wine. Connecting the Dots

Mary Beth’s passion for the alchemy of wine is infectious. Her interactive teaching style makes wine and its narrative fascinating and approachable. Students learn to connect the dots, turning their own knowledge and collection of facts into a story they fully understand and can confidently share. Known for being an engaging speaker, Mary Beth’s courses spark enthusiasm for wine and a curiosity to learn more.

She is sought for her expertise in dynamic food and wine pairing, regional wine differences and Italian wines. Putting wine into relatable categories, decoding wine terminology and her conversational teaching style make her a breath of fresh air in the world of wine education. With a reputation for finding solutions to team challenges, adapting training to the learner and team goals, and often tapped to lead spokesperson training, Mary Beth is equipped to respond to your corporate or personal wine quest.

Learning is Addictive

Mary Beth, never stops digging in, diving deep and turning over (grape) leaves to find the next fascinating fact. Years of wine in the glass, collaborations with winegrowers and winemakers, leading regional and international wine journeys, and happily paying lifelong attention to food and flavors, prove you can never stop learning. With her quest for knowledge Mary Beth continues to crack the books and attend formal workshops to stay up to date in the wine world.

Blessed to live in the heart of Northern California wine country with winemakers, growers and artisan food purveyors her neighbors and friends, Mary Beth is immersed in a California style of La Dolce Vita.

Variety is the spice, so Mary Beth enjoys more than wine, food or a cocktail. She plays in her garden, dances (salsa, two-step, tango), reads incessantly, and hikes the hills around Healdsburg. She is fascinated by language, travel, and feels at peace at the ocean watching sea mammals at play (as a child she once dreamt of joining Jacques Cousteau on his oceanic adventures.)

If you can’t travel to wine country, she will happily bring wine country to you!