by Erin Carlman Weber
On March 28*, we’re kicking off the Practicing Gastronomy discussions, a series of informal monthly chats with professionals from all corners of the food and drink world. Here’s a preview of our first guest.
Alicia Towns Franken thinks wine should be on every table, and that includes those in the delivery room. The Boston-based sommelier and consultant christened both of her children with a dab of Krug rosé moments after they were born. She brings this same principle of lighthearted pleasure, plus her vast knowledge of all things wine, to her pursuits as an educator through tastings, seminars and charity events around the country.
Alicia got her start at Back Bay steakhouse Grill 23, where she was working as a server to finance her neuropsychology studies at Harvard. Her path took a sudden turn down a different road the day she sampled a glass of wine that gave her goose bumps. She asked immediately to be part of their wine program, and eventually she was made wine director. During her tenure as sommelier, Alicia expanded their wine offerings from a two-page menu to a 1,000-bottle list, and earned accolades from Boston Magazine, Les Dames d’Escoffier, and Wine Spectator.
These days, Alicia is a wine consultant and works charity events, participating in seminars, tastings and panel discussions. She’s also an accredited Wine Location Specialist and an ambassador for the Center for Wine Origins, where she works to educate consumers, the media and policy makers about the importance of accuracy in wine labeling. To perform work like hers, Alicia feels it’s vital to be open-minded, with a strong sense of fun and flexibility, and to have a passion for sharing knowledge in an accessible and respectful way.
Alicia will be sharing much more of her wisdom on building a career in wine as our first guest in the Practicing Gastronomy discussion series. Please join us as we sit down with Alicia for an informal chat about her life as a sommelier, consultant and educator in the world of wine, including what it’s like to work a charity event that goes through 100,000 wine glasses.
Practicing Gastronomy with Alicia Towns Franken
Monday, March 28*
808 Commonwealth Avenue
4:45 – 5:45pm
*Originally scheduled for March 21. Date revised March 15.