Student Spotlight: Get to Know Frank Filippini

Student Spotlight: Frank Filippini

Frank Filippini is a returning student to Napa Valley Wine Academy from Redwood City, California. He is a Senior Manager for the Americas Search Business Operations at Yahoo! where he works to liaise between product, engineering, and sales teams. We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Frank, who has a passion for discovering and discussing wine with those around him. In this installment of our student spotlight, get to know Frank Filippini:

1. Why did you begin studying wine?

I’ve always been passionate about wine but I wanted to further educate myself in order to better comprehend and select wines from restaurant wine lists.

2. Why did you choose Napa Valley Wine Academy?

I would have to say their strong online presence and availability of online classes and webinars, the in-depth curriculum for the courses, having Masters of Wine on the faculty, and the frequent tastings that are opened to academy students.

3. Have you had an “AHA” moment or something you learned from studying wine that changed your experiences outside the classroom?

My first visit to the Manresa, in Los Gatos, I had an epiphany on how well wine can harmonize with food…blew my mind!

4. How do you plan to use your education?

I put my wine knowledge to practice by hosting Purple Friday wine tastings at my work, Yahoo!, where I pour wines from different regions and educate interested co-workers…not only educate on the wines but also teach them how to read wine labels.

Also, specifically, I like to utilize my Italian wine knowledge and conduct in home tastings for wine enthusiasts. Chart a tasting map from the top of the Italian alps to the islands in the south and pair regional cuisine with each wine.

5. If you were to begin a new course tomorrow, what topic interests you the most?

I would love to attend a tasting of old world and new world Pinot Noirs and learn how their terroir differs.

6. What is your favorite food and wine pairing?

Where do I start? Here are some of my favorites:

  • German Riesling and Guacamole
  • Brunello di Montalcino with Cacio e Pepe
  • Red Burgundy with Ahi Sashimi
  • Carneros Chardonnay with Dungeness Crab

7. What is your favorite wine restaurant?

That would be a toss-up between Saison in San Francisco for its Burgundy strength and Quince in San Francisco for its excellent Italian cellar.

8. What bottle would you open if you could open any wine tonight?

A bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in order to calibrate my palate with what is considered one of the best wines in the world.

Who wants to work at Yahoo on Frank’s team now? I think we may have uncovered the secret to his success in business by combining his love of work and wine with Purple Fridays. Keep learning and sharing, Frank!



Cancellations of confirmed in-person course enrollments and workshops are accepted up to 60 days before the start of the course. An administration fee of $50 plus the full cost of the study materials and exam fees will be deducted, and the remainder of the course fee refunded to the payee. Separate WSET exam cancellation/transfer rules apply.
Transfers of a confirmed enrollment to another course are accepted 60 days before the course start date with an administration fee of $50.

Cancellations less than 60 days before the in-person course start date or course no shows forfeit any refund/transfer options unless students can provide medical documentation. If medical documentation is provided, students can be transferred to a later course. No refunds will be applied.

Course Transfers cannot be carried forward to the next academic year (which commenced on January 1).

Students are highly encouraged to purchase separate travel insurance.

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