the wine mi·li·tia /məˈli-SHə/ noun:
a trained group of elite wine specialists; raised from the civil population to combat pretentious wine snobbery and execute unique dynamic sensory experiences.
Our mission is to always delight our guests. We strive to deliver swanky, fun, and creative wine experiences that tilt the guest's perception of wine into curiosity and intrigue to learn more. Our goal is to connect the guest with their memories through wine while building new ones.
From the bitter cold plains of Canada to the sunny shores of California, The Wine Militia founder Lamar Engel has created unique wine experiences and relevant programs for people to enjoy. With 15 years of winery experience in the Napa Valley ranging from hospitality management to wine production, Lamar has recruited a small army of wine passionate guides and sommeliers that believe in delivering fun, energetic, whimsical, and down-to-earth wine events.
In 2008 The Wine Militia was born, breathing new life into dusty old wine programs and giving patrons a refreshed perspective and opportunity to participate in new brilliant experiences. From wine blending games, themed dinner parties, to exclusive blind tastings, Engel has worked hard to make wine more and more relevant for more people.
"I am in awe at the 'bang-up job' the wine industry has done to intimidate and brow beat people in making them feel inadequate when it comes to wine. Wine was created for humans to enjoy and celebrate! I honestly grew tired of watching guests being belittled for their lack of knowldedge and naivety by my own colleagues that were supposed to be there to help them! So I had to do something about it. I knew that what had to be done would flip the industry standard upside-down on what the main priority was about - the guest. So we started a revolution."
Engel took to the streets the philosophy that each wine holds a memory awaiting to be discovered calling it
Memory Rapture™. Engel and The Wine Militia have discovered that people are more hungry for new experiences and began to create a compendium of services to deliver.
Lamar cut his teeth on wine in 2000, with humble beginnings in small tasting rooms throughout Napa Valley as well as working in restaurants in San Francisco being mentored by some of the world’s greatest Master Sommeliers such as Larry Stone.
In 2005, Lamar managed movie director and winemaker Francis Ford Coppola’s winery Rubicon Estate (AKA Niebaum-Coppola & Inglenook) in wine and hospitality programs as well as curating the Coppola family’s personal wine cellar, entertaining Hollywood’s elite celebrities that would visit the family. During this time with the Coppola family, he began to mentor young wine professionals and sommeliers in multiple tasting groups throughout the bay area, to ready them for restaurant service as well as future Court of Masters examinations. Lamar began to consult and entertain celebrities through wine in private homes with dinner parties and charity events. With the rapid growth of these wine experiences and events, in 2008, formed a small army of wine professionals and sommeliers, launching his company entitled
‘The Wine Militia’.
Engel has been called upon for wine marketing, wine writing, wine media, tasting room and restaurant consultation, wine education and creative wine events. His wine programs have been featured in multiple syndicated publications such as Wine Enthusiast, Decanter, SMART Meetings Magazine, 7X7, Sunset, and Prevue Magazine as well as video blogs of wine professionals through the country.