Sommelier-in-residence offers his ideas on picking wine for holiday parties

“What they should know about wine is not to spend a lot of money on it,” says Arturaola in video interview

Published Nov. 19, 2008

The perfect holiday season party favor often comes in a corked bottle. With that in mind the November issue of The Boca Raton Observer magazine, now on newsstands, featured Charlie Arturaola, the sommelier-in-residence at Lynn's College of Hospitality Management. In the story, Arturaola offered his expertise for bringing the perfect bottle to any holiday gathering.

“You can impress people with the unsung heroes which cost between $15-$25,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be something different.”

When asked how to be the hit of the party, Arturaola said, “Attach a card with a quote from someone who loves and knows wine or an interesting story about the wine you brought.”

See Arturaola answer more questions about wine and his career in a recent “Four Questions For…” interview.

When not offering readers advice and information on making wine selections, Arturaola is teaching students in Lynn’s College of Hospitality how to taste, recommend and respect wine – both personally and in their career. In an interview last fall, Arturaola explained his role within the college saying, “The industry is hungry for students that have a working knowledge of wine and the wine industry… There’s an expectation among patrons and resort management that wine will be an important part of the experience. What we're doing here is giving our students that experience - and building toward a day when we can extend that education to those already practicing in the industry.”

Arturaola also hosts monthly Wine Master Classes on Tuesday’s from 7-9 p.m. that are open to the public. Each session is designed to cover an independent and exclusive topic to include a focus on Australian, Spanish and American wines along with sparkling wines from around the world among other themes. The five remaining sessions will be held on: Dec. 9, Jan. 27, Feb. 17, March 24 and April 21. Tickets are $39 per person for each event. For reservations call the Lynn ticket office at 561-237-9000 or visit

Source: Arturaola, a distinguished sommelier with a resume as well stocked as one of his legendary wine cellars, brought his experience and one of the country's “top 10 palates” (according to the American Sommelier Association) to the university last fall as the institution's first-ever sommelier-in-residence. The former wine director at the Boca Raton Resort & Club and the Marco Beach Ocean Resort on Marco Island, Arturaola taught the college's first-ever wine appreciation courses for hospitality students last year. In the course, Arturaola provides students with greater insight on the history of wine, the various grape growing regions of the world, the methods of production, and the differences that distinguish the various types of wine.

Earlier this year, appearing on the cover (and in the pages) of the Fall 2008 issue of Florida Table Magazine, Arturaola was given a new title to go along with his already impressive list of monikers. Referred to as “wine guru” in the article, Arturaola offered up “Charlie's Choice: 5 wines we can't live without this autumn.”