Steven Olson is dedicated to the education and consultation of degustation for appreciation and celebration. He teaches, lectures, and writes all over the world about wine, beer, spirits, sake, and virtually any other beverage under the sun, discussing their integral cause-and-effect relationship with food as he preaches the gospel of his mission: making tasting fun by removing the intimidation factor and the pretense.
Olson’s company, aka wine geek, based upon his standing as one of America’s foremost experts and most sought-after lecturers in the business, and his 30+ years of experience in the restaurant business, specializes in beverage and service consulting, and has focused on the professional presentation of beverage education for the trade, consumers, press and the media since 1992, always striving to empower both members of the trade and consumers to make their own decisions, and to trust their own palates.
Over the years, Steve has hosted a few of his own TV series’ and been a guest on many others, and has served as host of several trade education and product information videos, including being the voice of Virtual Bartender kiosks in retail stores nationwide. He was also selected as Santé Magazine’s Spirits Professional of the Year for 2003, awarded CHEERS Magazine’s Beverage Innovator of the Year, a lifetime achievement award in 2005, chosen to judge at the 2012 to 2015 Diageo Reserve World Class Finals, and honored as Best Bar Mentor at the Spirited Awards at the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail.
Olson may be best known to many, however, for his restaurant and bar consulting, having designed the innovative beverage programs and service systems for several nationally acclaimed operations, including the Relais Chateau, Mobil Five Star award-winning Mayflower Inn in Connecticut, New York City's #1 Zagat-rated restaurant, Gramercy Tavern, the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, and the Adam Tihany-designed Summit at the Mobil Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond BROADMOOR in Colorado Springs. Olson designed the beverage programs for OTG Management, which exclusively operates dozens of restaurants and wine bars in airports, and designed the beverage programs for Aqua in Cancun, Mexico, the prize jewel of Grupo Posadas, which opened in 2008, and acted as beverage consultant to the Morgans Hotel Group in NYC with Isola and Hudson Common. His most recent venture is in collaboration with Viña VIK, a holistic VIK wine that is world-class, for long-term aging, with the promise to become one of the best wines in the world.
aka wine geek, LLC is more than Steve Olson. It is a network of employees and contracted consultants, including several speakers and sommeliers, bartenders and servers throughout the US, that collaborate to make his vision happen. Steven Olson and Melissa Rosete are the company officers. Other full-time employees include Special Projects Director Sarah Tirone and Office Manager Kate Burgess, and regularly scheduled and contributing contractors that include Craig Colton, John Lermayer, and Danny Valdez based in Florida; Andy Seymour, Leo DeGroff, Jason Cousins, Jeff Bell, Willy Shine, Aisha Sharpe, Philip Ward, Richie Boccato, Tim Cooper, Justin Noel, Michael Flannery, and Don Lee, all based in NYC; Charles Joly, Bob Borchardt, and Matty Eggleston, based in Chicago; Anthony Alba and Patricia Richards, based in Las Vegas; Eric Alperin, Chris Bostick, Joseph Brooke, and Marcos Tello, based in Los Angeles; Jacques Bezuidenhout, Jon Santer and Carlos Yturria, based in San Francisco; Misty Kalkofen in Boston; Sean Kenyon in Denver, covering the Rocky Mountains and Arizona; Ricky Gomez and Jeff Grdinich in New Orleans, covering the South; and many others.
aka wine geek acts as a liaison between all strata of the industry, serving in an educational and advisory capacity between producer, importer, distributor, sales force, restaurateur, retailer, management, servers, and all others involved in the presentation and sales of beverages, creating the opportunity for successful interface with the consumer. The company has now been in operation for 20 years, under the guidance of Olson and the design of Melissa Rosete.