Give your business "class" and help retain your customers through unique, innovative wine and spirits tastings and food pairings.
Enchant your friends at customized in-home or venue-based private tastings of wine, whisky, or sake.
Feel more comfortable when entertaining clients through one-on-one in-office wine tutoring.
My name is Sharona Tsubota. Let me lead you on a journey to great wines, smooth whiskies and rich sake from around the world... in a relaxed atmosphere closer to home. Each expedition is customized to a client’s unique desires. By combining entertaining seminars with intriguing tastings, you will increase your knowledge while having a great time, all in the comforts of familiar surroundings.
Sound tempting? Think about what corner of the globe you want to explore, and I’ll take you there. These exciting evenings will surely leave you In Great Spirits!
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This past January the Rotary Club of Portland had a super whisky tasting session on January 22nd to commemorate the 250th birthday of Robert Burns, the Scottish national poet. Sharona volunteered to guide us through the different single malt whiskies we had. Wow, what a background she has! She knew so much about all of the different types of whiskies and made the whole event totally enjoyable!”
Sharona is a remarkable person to taste beverages with not only for her extensive knowledge of drink, but also for her remarkable intuition for creating new and interesting approaches to comparing various drinks within the same category. Personable and outgoing, she is a pleasure to follow and work with in a variety of settings. Her programs should not be missed.”
I recently enjoyed a unique and educational wine seminar given by Sharona. Her presentation skills were of the highest quality. She was both knowledgeable and entertaining. She is dynamic, creative, and relates well to an audience, answering numerous questions from the participants. She took an enjoyable subject — wine — and raised it to a new level of fun.”
Oregon WinePress, October 2009
Sharona Tsubota, a Portland-based wine and spirits educator and owner of In Great Spirits, started teaching in Tokyo in the mid-90s when more California wines were being imported into Japan. Although the typical Japanese wine drinker was heavily biased toward everything French, wines from Napa were increasingly found in stores and on wine lists.
“Outside of Napa, the average Japanese drinker was skeptical,” said Tsubota...READ THE FULL ARTICLE
In Great Spirits Featured in the Oregonian
The Oregonian, June 1, 2010
WINE NOTES: Sharona Tsubota gives some inside tips on serving and sipping the Japanese rice wine
When Sharona Tsubota graduated from college in 1990, she moved to Tokyo in search of adventure and a job. She ended up getting married and staying 10 years. While there, she learned a heckuva lot about sake... READ MORE
The Oregonian, June 25, 2009
In Great Spirits owner Sharona Tsubota of Beaverton started conducting wine and spirit tastings and offering tutoring for business clients and private party hosts earlier this year. Some of her focus during the recession is helping companies retain customers through events such as client appreciation tastings and food pairings.
With Michael Jackson, renowned whisky writer, at private whisky nosing in Japan
In the 1990’s, while I was living in Tokyo, I found myself surrounded by a wealth of French and Californian wines, fine single-malt whiskies, and sake that knocked my socks off. After extensive study and many hours spent tasting, I began to offer my own tasting events to clients and friends in Japan, the UK, Australia, and the US.
What started as a private passion evolved upon my return to the U.S. in 2000, when I joined the San Francisco/Napa Chapter Board of the non-profit American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF). Over the next five years, I had the joy of personally bringing more than 25 events to our members in my roles as Chairman, Vice Chair, Program Chair, and Membership Chair.
In 2002, I founded Angel’s Share to offer high-end food, wine, and spirits events to the public. Our first event was the “Spirits of Scotland,” enjoyed by over 1,200 whisky lovers. In addition to nearly 300 single-malts, we tantalized our guests with fine tequilas, aged rums, and other rare spirits, as well as delicious food from many of San Francisco’s top restaurants. Other Angel’s Share events included a tasting of five Krug champagnes and the Cult Wines Classic, held at the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
Since 1995, I have continued to expand horizons and blast preconceptions through private and corporate tastings in Portland, Napa, Tokyo, London, Philadelphia, Singapore, San Francisco, and Sydney.
Sharona is a true wine aficionado that not only teaches you about the wines you're enjoying, but surprises with tips and tricks for helping you appreciate - and differentiate - them. For someone like me - with a lead palate - I think I was able to distinguish subtle differences for the first time. Sharona is fun and educational, and a great way to kick-off dinner with friends.”
Want to stand out in today’s market? Retain your best clients and show them how much you value their business by hosting a tasting for 10 to 100. Structured or free-flowing, this is an excellent way to reward your clients in a relaxed, no-pressure environment.
Tired of the same old team-building exercises? Strengthen the bonds within your company as you take a break after work to learn a little and laugh a lot. I offer entertaining, educational tastings, on-site or off, for small or large groups. Your “bored” room will never be the same!
Simple Wine or Sake Event
6 to 16 people, 5 wines or sake
Starting at $500
Host an expedition for adventurous friends with
In-home or venue-based tastings from 6 to 16 guests
These 90-minute events feature sumptuous, catered food and a lineup of wine, whisky, or sake, so you can taste and compare side-by-side. I will personally guide you and your guests as we discover the history, flavors, and charms of your favorite libation.
Larger Event or Whisky Seminar
6 to 50 people, 5 choice beverages
Starting at $800
One-on-one or semi-private, in-office wine tutoring for busy executives
Give me an hour and I’ll increase your confidence and raise your sophistication level about wine. We will simplify the mysteries of wine lists, decanting, and pairing wine with food. Afterwards, you can feel comfortable and knowledgeable when ordering wine for clients and special guests.
Includes one bottle of wine
Starting at $250
Noir from Around the World” – Delve into
the mysteries of Pinot Noir, learn the history of the grape
and taste 5 different expressions from Oregon, California,
Burgundy, and two lesser-known regions, such as South Africa,
Australia, New Zealand, Alsace, or others.
“Wine Basics (and more)” – From colors to varietals, from dry to not-so-dry, from glassware to decanters, enhance your knowledge of wine in a 90-minute course.
“Cheese and Wine Pairing” – For die-hard cheese lovers This is a chance to push the boundaries of what you think you know about pairing wine and cheese.
“Single-Malt Basics (and more)” – Explore Scotland’s finest single-malt whiskies from North to South, paired with savory and sweet foods to get your palate dancing!
“Highland/Speyside Drams” – For single-malt aficionados who know their preferred style, this offers a chance to taste a range of less well-known whiskies, accompanied by delectable, complimentary foods.
“The Islay Whisky Festival” – In honor of the annual shindig, try drams from each of the active distilleries on Islay, and learn about the history of this famous island and its peaty whiskies.
“Whisky vs. Whiskey” – Explore the differences between traditional American whiskies and those produced in Scotland and Ireland, and between blended, vatted, and single malt styles.
“Sake and Food” – Taste surprisingly good pairings from a range of cuisines, matched with several outstanding Japanese sake.
“Sake Basics (and more)” – For true sake lovers, an-depth exploration of this sublime drink. You will come away with a better understanding of sake and a greater cultural awareness through the insights gained from my 10 years in Japan. We will discuss the merits of honjozo vs. daiginjo, chilled vs. warmed, Akita vs. Nagano, and more.