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Joelle Cousins

Huneeus Vintners
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Born and raised in Austin, Joelle Cousins has witnessed the evolution of the food & wine scene in this city first hand. Working in restaurants while earning her degree in Biology from U.T. she became fascinated by the science of wine in addition to the artistry and history that goes along with it. During her post-college job hunt, she decided to try her hand at the Certified Specialist of Wine test just for fun. One thing led to another and before she knew it she was receiving a scholarship for earning the top score in her class on the Certified Sommelier Exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers and building a beverage program for a new restaurant opening in town. Her most recent success as the winner of 2014’s Texas’ Best Sommelier competition has furthered Cousins’ momentum, bringing visibility to her goal of promoting a culture of exploration and education at the Red Room Lounge not only for sommeliers, but for the general public as well. If you can catch her without a glass of wine in her hand or her head in a book, you might find her experimenting in the kitchen, or traveling the world with her husband Michael, or doing sun salutations in a sweaty yoga class.
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Scott Ota

Arro
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In 2005, Scott started working in restaurants during his senior year of college. Appreciation for food, wine and all-things service came during his tenure at Restaurant Jezebel, from 2007-09, establishing a foundation for higher-level service and wine pairings. His first beverage-buying position came as the Wine Captain at the Driskill Hotel in 2011, and currently is the manager and sommelier at Arro Restaurant in downtown Austin, Texas.

In 2010, Scott passed the Introductory exam for the Court of Masters in Dallas, TX, spawning a growing passion for wine. The following year, he passed the Certified exam in Anaheim, CA with the top score. In 2013, wins at Somms Under Fire and TexTom provided enough ammunition to earn a seat for the Advanced exam in 2014. At the exam, he earned my Advanced certification with the top score, earning the Rudd Scholarship. Credit for his success is given to a hard-working study group, a strong wine community in the Austin area, and the support of family, friends, and Lindsey.

Austin is his home, and he has aspirations for the Master Sommelier diploma, a stronger community of Austin sommeliers, and a shared network of mentorship for the progression of our beverage professionals.
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Paula Rester

Maialino
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