By Angela Greenwood

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — An East Sacramento woman put her knowledge of wine to the test, becoming the first female advanced sommelier in the city.

Earning the title was no easy feat. Elizabeth Rose Mandalou is Sacramento’s first female advanced sommelier after putting in years of studying and training. She says she’s now excited to showcase her knowledge of wine while also helping to inspire fellow women.

Mandalou’s status is craved by many in the wine world.

“The exam only proves you have the knowledge,” Mandalou said.

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It takes a thirst for knowledge to complete the years of studying and training, not to mention big money, it requires to become an advanced sommelier. It all boils down to a three-day exam that 75 percent of people don’t pass.

“If you put your mind to something, you can achieve it and I think that’s really important for women to remember,” Mandalou said.

Her own achievement highlights a shift for women in wine.

Kara Scheffield is a bartender at Allora in East Sacramento, one of Mandalou’s three restaurants. Scheffield hasn’t achieved advanced status yet, but she is a certified sommelier.

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“They say women are better tasters than men and in my experience, I kind of see that too,” Scheffield said.

Whether it’s sweet or dry, the road to wine expertise isn’t easy, but Mandalou says being a restaurant owner and now an advanced sommelier, pairs perfectly together.

Mandalous says she’s not done yet. She plans to study for the exam to become a master sommelier by 2020. If she passes, she’ll be one of about 30 women in the country with that title.


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