About the Wine Institute of New EnglandRenée B. Allen, is the Founder and Director of Wine Institute of New England, and an award-winning wine educator known for her passionate, engaging and often humorous style. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine and member in good standing of the Society of Wine Educators, the internationally recognized accrediting organization. Renée is also a French Wine Scholar, having received her certification with highest honors. Her written work has appeared in such publications as Connecticut Magazine, the New England Wine Gazette and The CT Beverage Journal. Renée also serves as a wine judge in both Connecticut and New York, as well as a wine competition organizer and director. Most recently, Renée accepted a position as adjunct professor of wine and spirits in the College of Business, Department of Hospitality & Tourism at the University of New Haven.

An avid wine collector for many years, Renée’s passion for wine is the perfect complement to her love of cooking and fine dining. Renée decided to parlay this passion into a career. Her mission? To provide others with the language and confidence necessary to feel comfortable in the world of wine. Whether it is a better understanding of basic grape varietals, a more extensive knowledge of a particular region, or the pursuit of certification in the specialty of wine, Renée seeks to guide others along their journey to epicurean enlightenment.

Renée’s background as an attorney representing clients in both private and public forums has provided her with valuable experience useful in her public relations representation. WINE assists clients with creating a public image, or updating an existing brand.

Guest Educators

Doug Croll, aka Tolerant Taster, is a Certified Specialist of Wine and a member of the Society of Wine Educators. Doug enjoys all types of wines. He has ridden bikes from winery to winery in Napa/Sonoma, California and has visited many smaller wineries in the famous wine regions of Italy. He started a Facebook fan page and weblog, Tolerant Taster, with the goal of helping consumers discover alternatives to mass produced wine by seeking out and reporting about small, family owned winegrowers.

Doug is also the co-founder of QWIQTag.com, a point of purchase education, marketing solution to help consumers make more informed decisions while they are in a retail store or restaurant. “Wine is very personal. I won’t tell a customer what wine to like. The best that I can do is to help them find what they like and to suggest other things that they might love.”

Wence Chan, a Certified Specialist of Wine and member of the Society of Wine Educators, is all about Some Damn Good Wine. While he has an affinity for wines from all over the globe, after a stint in San Francisco as an Advertising Creative Director, he had the opportunity to hone his palate (almost every weekend) on wines from the “Left Coast,” specifically Napa Valley and Sonoma, the most famous of the California wine regions. He reviews wines on his blog, SomeDamnGoodWine.com, with a specific goal in mind… to introduce some of the lesser known wines that can give the big expensive ones a run for their money to the budget-conscious consumer. But, that’s not to say he doesn’t enjoy one of the big guns every now and again.

Wence is also the co-founder of QWIQTag.com, and Mr. Croll does a wonderful job of explaining what that is above.