Joe was raised in a small town in upstate NY with a population barely exceeding 8k. After a brief stint in college he left to join an international travelling performing arts/music outreach group. When he had his fill of teaching song and dance to children across Germany/Japan/China and the US he returned home and quickly moved to Buffalo. There he found his first FOH job at a chain burger spot. That quickly evolved into jobs at more upscale restaurants where he slid into managerial rolls and found his place behind the bar, becoming enamored with craft cocktails and the world of spirits. Several times he sought out careers outside of food & beverage, finishing both an electrical program at technical school as well as a massage therapy program, all the while still returning to hospitality.
As a Beverage Director for a local restaurant group, the frequent opportunities to taste and buy wine is when things started to click. His first "ah-ha' moment was with a bottle of Barolo and it will always remain his first love. Not far behind was the Rhone & White Burgundy. Native varietals of Italy remain as exciting as ever and he's always honing the blade that is the never ending endeavor of wine knowledge.
Outside of work Joe is an avid hiker, getting to the Adironacks when possible to visit the Hike Peaks region. Cooking (and eating) is a major pastime and the week regularly ends with an elaborate home cooked meal and paired with some great wine.