Richard Fillmore CSW

Wine Writer & Social Media Expert at WTSO

I am a CSW, Level 2 Sommelier (Masters of Sommelier Program), and am now studying for my Champagne Master Certificate from the Wine Scholar Guild. Wine started in my life as a bargain scavenger hunt trying to find those 90+ point wines for under $20 listed in Wine Spectator. In 2004, I became a Wine Consultant at a local gourmet market in Michigan called Busch’s Marketplace which had 12 Detroit area locations. I moved up to Beverage Buyer to Regional Director of Wine and Beverages in 2013 with 2 other grocery chains, World Market and Westborn Market. My responsibilities included eye catching merchandising, finding great wines at the best price, building the wine and beer categories, category management, events, and marketing. I used Nielsen data to keep the scope of the wine world and staying on top of the competition and pricing. I called my buying strategies the “Trifecta” when I could find a combination of an attractive wine label, fair price, and an enticing flavor that best promotes the grape variety.

I became a Sommelier in 2013 and moved to Virginia in 2016 where I started working in the tasting room at Coopers Hawk Winery and Restaurants in Richmond as their Sommelier. When I am not at the restaurant, I enjoy doing wine consulting at local stores in Charlottesville part-time to help them find the best wines that will sell with the best margin. My forte is brand management, retail buying, merchandising, hosting food and wine tasting events and educational seminars. After years of tweaking and educating my own palate, I find evaluating wine flavor profiles, food and wine pairings, and restaurant menu development exciting! I enjoy writing wine reviews for my blog at and have also written for Wine Connoisseur Magazine, Snooth, Wine Country, Red White and Cru, and more. Cheers!


Meet our 2023 Judges

Cami Lehmann

Purchasing, Wine Programs and Marketing at Maggiano’s Little Italy, Dallas, TX

Ryan Pandl

Senior Buyer, Adult Beverages and Beverages at Target

Susan R Lin MW

Master of Wine and Head of Wine Expertise & Business Development at Belmont Wine Exchange