How do you go from an arcade-pizza joint to founding your own global consulting company? Ask Fred Dexheimer. The master sommelier and well-traveled wine professional is proof that once you’re bitten by the hospitality bug, you’re hooked for life—even when your first taste of the industry is your mom’s video game arcade and pizza shop. Like many industry pros, Dexheimer made an earnest attempt at the collegiate life only to find it wasn’t for him. On the less-traveled road to self-discovery, Dexheimer did seasonal industry stints from Nantucket to Jackson Hole, ultimately realizing his professional destiny would center around a career in food and wine. And when he was offered the job of a lifetime—working in the wine cellar of famed Daniel in New York City—the deal was sealed.
From that prestigious point of entry, Dexheimer has had a major impact in the industry, from working the front lines in New York City’s Gramercy Tavern and the BLT Restaurant Group (where Dexheimer won StarChefs.com 2005 New York Rising Star Sommelier), to contributing to publications like The New York Times, Wine Spectator, Food & Wine, and Wine Enthusiast. An avid cocktail enthusiast and accomplished mixologist, Dexheimer has also shared his creations with major national publications from Bon Appetit to People.
With Juiceman Consulting, a wine and beverage consulting company that specializes in wine and cocktail list development, education, events, and marketing, Dexheimer’s industry impact continues to expand. Clients include Wines of Chile, Wines of Southwest France, Max Brenner Chocolate, Grand Hyatt New York City, and StarChefs.com, for whom Dexheimer is overseeing the 2011 Somm Slam—a long way, but in some sense, a straight shot, from a pizza joint.