Meet Water Sommelier Jessica Altieri

Wine Celebrity Jessica Altieri Earns Prestigious Water Sommelier Certification


A $100 bottle of wine for the holiday. Lazy. A $100 bottle of extremely rare fine water sourced from the purest of icebergs in the fjords surrounding Norway’s Svalbard islands. Just 1,000km from the North Pole at 79° north, these islands sit in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and are one of Europe’s last great wildernesses with more polar bears than people.

Acclaimed sommelier, Jessica Altieri, a leading digital wine lifestyle executive, has added a new title to her already impressive list of credentials- America's Newest Water Sommelier.

Jessica's impressive resume is well-known, and for good reason. She is a Certified Wine Sommelier, California Wine Appellation Specialist, CEO of the Wine Channel TV Network, and one of Wine Enthusiast's prestigious "Top 40 Under 40 Tastemasters" in 2016. Jessica's latest certification as a Water Sommelier further solidifies her position as an innovative authority in the United States and around the world.

Jessica's certification as a Water Sommelier makes her part of a highly exclusive group of tasting professionals. Until 2015, there was only one Water Sommelier in the entire United States, and even today only a handful exist worldwide.

A Water Sommelier is someone educated on the properties of water and the elements that affect it. Training includes identification of the terroir, which is the manner in which the geographic region affects the flavor and properties of the water before settling in the location from which it is sourced for drinking. Different terroirs produce varying levels of minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium and Sodium. These minerals, which are present at different levels based on geography and other factors, have a marked impact on the taste and mouthfeel of water.

Different kinds of water pair better with different types of food, just like wine. Additionally, the quality and type of water used in coffee and tea have a significant impact on the taste of the beverage and can also alter the taste profile of a glass of wine or an entire meal.

Jessica's innovative, sophisticated, but humble approach has established her as one of the world's most sought-after millennial-aged professional wine judges and tasting experts. In conjunction with her work with lifestyle brands in food, fashion, retail and hi-tech, Jessica Altieri is undeniably an innovative authority in the wine lifestyle industry.

About Jessica Altieri

Jessica Altieri is a wine expert and sought-after wine judge and was recently named as one of the "40 under 40" to watch in the food and beverage industry by "Wine Enthusiast" magazine. Altieri is the CEO of The Wine Channel TV network and hosts a popular wine podcast on Revolver called "Wine Conversations with Jessica Altieri." She has been a lifestyle contributor to CNBC, Yahoo! News, ABC7 Chicago and ESPN Radio, among others.

Jessica Altieri Visits The Capital Grille Chicago

The Generous Pour Takes on Chicago

Jessica Altieri, CEO and Certified Sommelier of Wine Channel TV had the opportunity in Chicago to experience this summer’s ultimate wine and food tasting experience, as The Capital Grille kicked off its ninth annual “The Generous Pour” wine event.

The tasting experience features seven acclaimed wines from California and Oregon. Selected to pair with the restaurant’s signature menu items, The Generous Pour wine experience is available for $28 when paired with dinner from July 10 through September 3, 2017.

The first wine I chose was what I call “summertime” in a glass. The WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris 2016 from the Willamette Valley, named for Oregon’s Willamette and Mckenzie rivers, is filled with bright pineapple, citrus and tropical aromas with a bright yet creamy finish. It was a perfect, bright pairing with the cold shellfish platter.

For the second dish, I went with one of my favorites, the bone in Kona crusted dry aged New York strip. I am a legendary steak eater, having grown up eating steak and eggs for breakfast before basketball practice in high school and college.

I paired it with two killer cabernets I chose from the #GenerousPour options- the big, bold and in your face Mt. Brave, Mt.Veeder, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with jammy blueberry and raspberry aromas. “At 1,800 feet atop Mt. Veeder in Napa Valley—where the sun is intense, the climate is cool, and the berries are small and flavorful—comes a big Cab consistently rated 90 and above from critics such as the famed Robert Parker”. – The Capital Grille

The second cabernet was the savory Arrowood “Sonoma Estates” Cabernet Sauvignon. “A bright, juicy blend of Bordeaux varietals from the valleys of Sonoma, Knights and Alexander, the historic Arrowood winery has set the bar for Sonoma County Cabernet  with bright black cherry and black currant aromas.” – The Capital Grille

Both are two killer pairings, and the best part is you can order both wines and decide for yourself if you are more of a Napa or Sonoma Cabernet fan!

And for the finale, how could I pass up the decadent flourless chocolate espresso cake! I tuned into the live Capital Grille Facebook event recently where they suggested this cake with the Mt.Brave Cabernet Sauvignon, which was a Perfect Pairing!

Here is a complete list of the wines and recommended pairings from The Generous Pour from The Capital Grille:

Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 (92 Points) – At 1,800 feet atop Mt. Veeder in Napa Valley – where the sun is intense, the climate is cool, and the berries are small and flavorful – comes a big Cab consistently rated 90 and above. Tasting Notes: Raspberry, blueberry and touch of vanilla with approachable tannins.

  • Pairing Recommendation: Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged NY Strip with Shallot Butter

Arrowood “Sonoma Estates” Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 (90 Points) – A bright, juicy blend of Bordeaux varietals from the valleys of Sonoma, Knights and Alexander, the historic Arrowood winery has set the bar for Sonoma County Cabernet. Tasting Notes: Black cherry and black currant preserves with undertones of chai tea and mocha.

  • Pairing Recommendation: Seared Dry Aged Sirloin

Siduri Pinot Noir, 2015 (90 Points) – Willamette Valley is arguably the finest region in the country for Pinot Noir and Siduri’s 2015 vintage is perhaps the finest produced in Oregon in over 20 years.

Tasting Notes: Fresh red and blue fruit with allspice, a hint of white pepper and silky smooth texture.

  • Pairing Recommendation: Seared Citrus Glazed Salmon with Marcona Almonds and Brown Butter

Edmeades Zinfandel, 2013 (91 Points) – From a pioneering winery with a sole focus on Zinfandel in the Mendocino Valley with vines planted over 60 years ago, this is the wine that helped put Mendocino, Calif. on the map. Tasting Notes: Ripe raspberries, cherries and red currants with notes of cinnamon and graham cracker.

  • Pairing Recommendation: Double Cut Lamb Rib Chops

Matanzas Creek Winery Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 (92 Points) –

A balanced and savory ‘old world style’ of Sauvignon Blanc from the Bennett Valley in Sonoma, that delivers fresh brightness of fruit and lively acidity on the finish. Tasting Notes: Grapefruit, white nectarine, honeycrisp apples and dry lemon thyme.

  • Pairing Recommendation: Jumbo Lump Crab Cocktail

Cambria Clone 4 Chardonnay, 2015 (91 Points) – Long, sunny days and a cooler climate moderated by the Pacific Ocean of the Santa Maria Valley define this ripe but refreshing Chardonnay.

Tasting Notes: Fresh citrus, apple, and white peach with a hint of sweet oak.

  • Pairing Recommendation: Seared Tenderloin with Butter Poached Lobster Tails

Willakenzie Pinot Gris, 2016 (90 Points) – Named for Oregon’s Willamette and McKenzie Rivers to honor the mineral-rich sediment in which their vines are grown, it is understandable that Willakenzie’s motto is “dirt matters.” Tasting Notes: Pineapple, citrus, green melon and tropical fruits with a bright but creamy texture.

  • Pairing Recommendation: Cold Shellfish Platter

Click here to learn more about the featured wines and the winemakers. Follow The Capital Grille on Twitter (@CapitalGrille), Facebook ( and Instagram (@TheCapitalGrille) and join the #GenerousPour conversation.

Stay tuned for more on The Generous Pour from The Capital Grille all summer long with Jessica Altieri and Wine Channel TV .

Chicago Summer of Riesling Wine

2017 Riesling Summer Wine Picks with Jessica Altieri

Jessica Altieri – Editor Wine Channel TV Network

You’ll love the fra­grant fresh sips I suggest, not that I don’t have a few reds to spring on you too! Wine Channel TV Editor Jessica Altieri shares some of her favorite Summer Wines for you to enjoy! Watch the video for a “Cheeky Riesling from New Zealand.


Germany, Austria, New Zealand, the U.S.—it seems vint­ners everywhere are getting into the Riesling rage these days, and for good reason. This funky varietal boasts a stunning range, from rich and sweet to ultra crisp, zippy and dry. Yes, I said dry. Wine lovers around the globe have expanded their taste buds to embrace this chic native of Germany’s Rhine Valley.


Rot is rot, you say? Noble Rot begs to differ. Take the Trockenbeerenauslese Riesling for starters. Those crafty Germans let the grapes age and rot and wrinkle like rai­sins, intensifying the sugars and the caramel and honey bouquet. At the other extreme, Kabinett Rieslings are like late spring in Death Valley—nearly bone dry.

Millennials—the biggest, boldest wine consumers today—seek out the new and aren’t afraid of change, but they also demand to be informed. Which is why the Riesling Taste Profile scales (on the sides of many wine bottles now) are, in a word, genius! 26,000,000 bottles in the U.S. market now help you predict the taste in a particular bottle of Riesling.

This is sweet Riesling music to my ears!

Fave Sips

  • Mud House Riesling Waipara Valley New Zealand 2014
  • Chateau Grand Traverse Riesling Semi Dry Riesling 2011
  • Dr. Frank Dry Riesling 2012
  • Jim Barry ‘The Lodge Hill’ Dry Riesling 2013
  • Spy Valley Envoy Riesling 2009
  • Tierce Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2009
  • J.J. Prum 2010 Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese

Great Eats

If you go the sweet route, Asian fare, Indian food, spicy sausage and charcuterie perfectly contrast that Riesling sugar kick that cools down spicy grub. If you grabbed a dry Riesling, choose crisp seafood, shellfish or grilled chicken to complement the crisp mineral, zesty lemon/lime and tropical stylings of this favorite spring varietal.

The Unforgettable Kiss

Tierce Dry Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, gained rock star status in 2013 when President Obama served it at his second inaugural luncheon. When I judged the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competi­tion—created by winemakers Peter Bell of Fox Run Vineyards, Johannes Reinhardt of Anthony Road Winery, and David Whiting of Red Newt Cellars—my taste buds were ravished by this amazing white. Wine genius Dan Berger recently dubbed a 2008 Tierce “the best dry Riesling ever made in the United States.” Enough said!

Happy Summer Sips and stay tuned to Wine Channel TV for more summer sips coming next month!