Tulsa Woman Only Female Master Sommelier In Oklahoma

Randa Warren has the highest certification possible in the wine tasting field - but not before a lot of hard work and disappointment.

Tuesday, July 16th 2013, 11:00 am



When it comes to wine, there's no one in Tulsa who knows more than Randa Warren. She has the highest certification possible in that field - but not before a lot of hard work and disappointment.

Imagine being among the best in the world at something, anything. Randa Warren doesn't have to. She is one of about 130 people on this continent to earn the title Master Sommelier.

"I think it was just, more than anything, the will to succeed," Warren said.

Sommelier is a French word that basically means wine steward. A master sommelier is someone with the highest level of expertise in the world of wine.

Randa Warren was only the 16th woman in the world to earn that title, and still the only Oklahoman.

"It was certainly a rocky road to get there and nothing that came very easily," she said.

She studied everything about wine for 10 years: wine theory, tasting, restaurant service - before taking her first Master exam.

"Brutally hard, brutally hard," she described the experience. "They could ask me anything in the world about wine, cigars, cocktails, any sort of spirit, vine diseases.

"It took me five times to pass the exam at the master level, and after three times I had to start over," she said.

But she didn't quit, working at restaurants for free across the country, learning anything and everything she could about wine, until she finally passed the exam and earned her title in 2007.

"Looking back, it's almost a letdown when you pass because that journey to get you to that point was so incredible," said Randa Warren, Oklahoma's only female Master Sommelier.

"I think it really was my deep passion for the subject of wine. I began to get so immersed in it."

And she still is: doing wine tastings out of her home, owning her own wine store, and traveling around the world

Of course, I couldn't pass up the chance to learn from one of the foremost wine experts in the world. We swirl the glass to release the aromas, and we get flavors of beautiful apple, pear and lemon, a little bit of butter kicking in after that.

"On the taste I look for the acid in the wine; it makes my mouth water," Rand said. "I don't get any tannins, and tannin gives you the feeling of sandpaper on the top of your tongue."

I did a tasting, and well. I feel like there's some tropical fruit in there, definitely I smelled pineapple. My mouth is watering - it's almost like a breath mint.

OK, that's enough. I'll leave the tasting to the Master.

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