About the Team
Mike a proficient academic earned a bachelors in Psychology from Santa Clara University a masters in Social welfare from University of California Berkeley and completed a post masters clinical fellowship at Yale University. He then embarked on a 7 year career as a social worker. He left his career as a social worker in 1999 to officially pursue his interest in wine by taking a sales position at The Wine Club Santa Clara, the premiere wine shop of its time, in the Santa Clara Valley. Mike next took a sales position at K & L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, where he ended up serving as the Assistant Italian Wine Buyer.
Mike has leveraged his knowledge and passion to create and teach wine education curricula, develop food pairing programs, organize and lead wine education events, and lead both private and corporate tasting functions. Mike has been featured in articles in the San Jose Business Journal and San Jose Magazine and interviewed for segments on “In Wine Country,” and two different wine-related episodes on KRON-TV.
After cofounding Enoteca la Storia in 2010 with partner Joe Cannistraci he tapped in to his academic proficiency and achieved a Certified Italian Wine Professional credential, with honors through “Italian Wine Central” then received the Certified Specialist of Wine credential through the Society of Wine Educators, an Italian Wine Scholar credential with Highest honors and a French Wine Scholar Credential with highest honors through the Wine Scholar Guild. In July of 2019 Michael became one of approximately 1000 Advanced Sommelier’s in the world.
Mike works directly with our import partner, private labels sources and exclusive distributors to screen and choose the best price to quality wines and create the written material for your club(s). He has been curating wine clubs for over 16 year.
Randall “Randy” Bertao is of 100% Azorean descent and it was his maternal grandmother, an ethnic winemaker, who first introduced him to wine. In fact he bottled a barrel of her final vintage and is still in possession of a few bottles of it today.
It was the age old European tradition of sharing wine at the table with family and the people you love that first inspired his vinous pursuit’s. Later, a chance encounter with a bottle of 1961 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, with all its thought provoking complexity, inspired a lifelong career odyssey that included restaurant management, ownership and importing wine in England that eventually lead him to the Court of Master Sommeliers where he earned his Master Sommelier credential in 2005, one of only 269 worldwide.
Randy loves sharing his knowledge and expertise with savvy and novice tasters alike. He currently lectures and proctors examinations for the Court of Master Sommeliers, and enjoys mentoring students as they advance through the program. He has endless curiosity and is always inspired to introduce wine lovers to new and interesting wines.
John Arena is one of the most respected Pizzaioli in the nation and a worldwide ambassador to the industry. John, along with his cousin and business partner Sam Facchini, has been making pizza for most of his life. They first got into the family trade by working at Centurion Pizza, a popular pizza spot, owned by their Uncle Rocco, in Nassau County on Long Island. In 1980, encouraged by Uncle Rocco, the cousins sold everything they owned and moved to Las Vegas and founded Metro Pizza.
Metro Pizza ranks among the best in the nation and has graced the paper plates of Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton and Jimmy Carter. Metro Pizza was selected as one of the Top 10 pizzerias in America in “Everybody Loves Pizza” by Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby and has been featured on “Entertainment Tonight” and “Live with Regis and Kathy Lee.” Metro has also been listed as one of the 10 best pizzerias in the country by USA Today and is a 5-time Zagat’s Best Pizza award winner.
John, ever passionate about his trade, created and teaches the nation’s first accredited university-level pizza class, History and Culture of Pizza, at the UNLV School of Hospitality. In addition, John has also taught pizza-making team building classes for such corporate clients as American Express, Coca Cola, Avis, Zappos, and the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group.