Senior Commercial Real Estate Broker By Day

Sommelier By Night

By day, he advises clients on how to navigate the purchase or sale of their investment property. By night, he is a WSET Level 3 certified Sommelier and Wine Director at The Underground Kitchen, advising his friends and family on how to select and enjoy a nice bottle of wine for any occasion.

Before starting his journey to become a wine expert

wine was simply the drink Justin ordered with a fancy meal. He didn’t have the knowledge on why certain wines paired well with certain foods or how tannins and acidity could impact a meal’s experience.

Eventually, he realized that wine was never really a large part of his personal social networks. He never saw celebrities or famous people in his culture celebrating their favorite bottles of wine (as they did other beverages) so it seemed like something less relevant.

In 2020, Justin discovered "Uncorked," a film about an inner city black male pursuing a sommelier career and the challenges he experienced relative to his white peers because of systemic barriers. That evening, Justin took the leap and signed up for his very first wine course and it has been an amazing journey ever since. A year and over 100 different styles of wines later, he hopes to make this industry more inclusive.

This page is intended to be a resource for anyone who does not know how to approach wine, but wants to learn more. Justin aims to highlight an appreciation for a craft that has been around for thousands of years-paved by POCs. While he doesn't claim to know everything, he is thrilled to invite anyone who’s interested to follow his journey of learning about wine. You bring the wine and he’ll bring the glass.

The Underground Kitchen

As the Wine Director for The Underground Kitchen in Richmond, Justin aims to highlight an appreciation for a craft that has been around for thousands of years with influences by POCs. Bringing years of private event knowledge, wine dinner pairings, and blind-tasting education, Justin can speak the language of wine at all appreciation levels. Why? Because he firmly believes that wine is culture and that it should be shared and enjoyed by everyone.

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