Vino-Versity was founded by Shari Schneider, a.k.a. "The Dean", a New York City entrepreneur & restaurateur, now instructor, proctor, consultant, and practicing Boozist .
Shari Schneider, CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine), is the creator and founder of Divine Bar (two of New York City’s most renowned wine & tapas lounges from 1996-2010) , and Vino-Versity®, a ground-breaking educational Manhattan wine shop and wine "school", established 2010.
Shari’s expertise in restaurant & retail operations, menu/marketing programs, and wine education stemmed first from her studies at Cornell University, an Ivy League program where she pursued a combined major of Facility Planning and Design with Business Management. Her interest in Oenology and subsequent managerial positions in Manhattan restaurants ultimately defined her role at The New York Restaurant School, where she taught a collegiate-level curriculum encompassing Food and Beverage Management, to Accounting, to Wines. While teaching, she founded her own free-lance food & wine consulting company, “Thought For Food.”
Under her Divine Bar and Vino-Versity administration as Food & Beverage Director, Shari has marketed two proprietary wines with exclusive labels and cuvee blends trademarked as “DIVINE” and “CHATEAU BUBBA.”
She has lectured at numerous private wine tastings for individual and corporate clients, been quoted in major hospitality publications and columns such as
Wine Spectator, New York Magazine, and The Daily News,
and also appeared on the TV Food Network.
As "The Dean" of the current online Vino-Versity, Shari is hired to teach classes in person chosen from her curriculum (or customized!) ranging from "Vino! Rosso! Pronto!" (Italian red wines), to "Bubbles, Bubbles, Everywhere" (Champagne & sparkling wines), to "Wine Sense For The Wine Dense" (wines for 'dummies'), to "Brown Is The New Black" (understanding whiskey), and many others! She also organizes and conducts daily tastings & tutorials for clients, word-smiths highly unique & fun ways to describe wines & spirits on take-home "wine notes" or literature, and publishes educational blogs.
Her consultations have ranged from menu crafting, to menu "prep & purchase" logistics engineering, cost and production analysis & control, all service training, wine & alcohol education, design & aesthetic conceptualization, Public Relations & press releases, Special Events planning & execution, POS computer programming, salesmanship, and authoring entire business plans. In addition to herself, she's helped other people open up their own restaurant from scratch!
For two decades and counting, she has been an innovative entrepreneur of several Manhattan enterprises (since the age of 26).