Paul Carayas

Wine Director at Chez TJ


Paul Carayas is a Certified Sommelier and has had a career in hospitality for the past twenty five years. In this time, he has worked in the wine industry for over ten years and ran multiple wine programs across the peninsula in the bay area of northern California. Carayas has spent the last six years at Chez TJ and has obtained Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator since 2016. When looking for different wines to incorporate in the Chez TJ wine program, Carayas tends to include different wines from all over the globe. Although he does appreciate large wine houses, he tends to look for more boutique winemakers that have more obscure wines. Carayas aims to showcase extraordinary wine producers that are typically difficult to find, allowing for Chez TJ guests to experience new wines each visit.

In 2020 Carayas became the first, and only, certified Madeira Wine Educator for the US and all of North America. He is also a Sherry Specialist, and again, a Certified Sommelier.

Although Carayas is a native New Yorker, he has lived all over the United States. His passion for wine began while he was living in Santa Barbara in his twenties. After this, Carayas was mentored by a sommelier who helped him develop his skills. This mentorship allowed for Carayas to dive into the wine industry and become the excellent sommelier he is today.


Meet our 2024 Judges

Susan R Lin MW

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