Sommelier Jorge Mendoza
As a child growing up in the seaside city of Viña del Mar, Chile, Jorge Mendoza learned the beauty of pairing delicious wine with the perfect culinary accompaniment at the family dinner table. The Chilean appreciation of lingering at a bountiful table filled with food and wine chosen specifically for their compatible qualities sparked an interest in wines for Mendoza that would lead him to embark on his journey as a future wine steward.
After graduating from the National School of Hotel Management in Santiago with a degree in food and beverage, Mendoza moved to Miami to begin a career in the hospitality industry with Marriott International. He then went on to continue his education at Florida International University, earning a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Hospitality Management. While studying the aromas and notes of wines, he honed his skill of analyzing and tasting wines, directing his talents into studying the art of a sommelier’s work. Learning more about the trade at various gourmet restaurants and fine hotels in the area, he began his career at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami in 2001, where he eventually acted as sommelier at Cioppino, the resorts former upscale restaurant.
Regular travels through renowned wine regions from Burgundy, France to Tuscany, Italy serve as continued inspiration for Mendoza in his love of fine wine. As a result, he holds a Foundation Level Sommelier Certificate, Court of Master Sommeliers Certificate, Advanced Certificate Program for the Wines of France and Italy (with honors) and an Advanced Level Sommelier Certificate. Mendoza shares his vast expertise with aspiring sommeliers and aficionados as an instructor with the US Sommelier Association. Now, as sommelier for the oceanfront restaurant and bar, Lightkeepers at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, Mendoza uses his passion and skills to tell a complete story through food and wine pairing.