Wine Director Chuck Furuya of Vino Italian Tapas and Wine Bar - Biography

Honolulu, HI

May 2012

Born in 1954, Furuya is one of the oldest Master Sommeliers in the country (he was the tenth to achieve the title), having passed in 1988 while he was working at Bagwell’s 2424. He also served as Chairman of Education for the Court of Master Sommerliers’ American Chapter. While in college, he worked at a catering company to make extra cash, but quickly realized there was more than money attracting him to the business. He worked his way up the ladder in various cellar-master and general manager positions at the Kahala Hilton Hotel and La Mer. In 2003 he put his head together with Kodama and helped develop the wine program for Vino, eventually overseeing the wine programs for all eight restaurants, and is a partner in DK Restaurants.

When he’s not training staff or managing the wine at those restaurants (or rattling off a seemingly endless list of puns to customers and visitors), Furuya also contributes to the Winophilia blog and occasionally writes a column for the Honolulu Star Advertiser.