Sarah Trubnick

CSW, CSWS, DipWSET, Wine Director and Co-founder of The Barrel Room

Sarah holds a Master of Science in Applied Physics (UCLA), the WSETDiploma, and is a Certified Specialist of Wine. Sarah also operates Northeast Wine Company (NH), teaches for multiple wine schools, including Commonwealth Wine School, and is renowned for her  award-winning wine lists, recognized by World of Fine Wine, Sommeliers Choice  Awards and Wine Spectator. Sarah is also deeply passionate about the effects of climate  change on the wine industry and wine regions, and the world of alternative packaging. 

In 2008, Sarah Trubnick was working in a cellar in Bordeaux when The Barrel Room's  concept solidified in her mind: a wine bar and restaurant dedicated to wine education. Two  years later, The Barrel Room opened as a small wine bar in the SF Tenderloin, later expanding  into the Rockridge neighborhood in Oakland, then opening in the SF Financial District in 2015 as a restaurant, full bar, event space, and retail bottle shop.

After a short pandemic-era hiatus, The Barrel Room reopened in SF Financial District in October 2022 to continue to take guests on illuminating, deep, delicious dives in the culinary traditions and wines of the world.  Sarah's dedication to innovation and wine education is palpable in everything she does.  "Upon reopening, post-Covid, I focused on touring 17 emerging and underrepresented wine regions here in the U.S.-where every state now produces wine!-highlighting grape varieties,  unique appellations, and wine styles made by influential producers. All flights are served blind so guests can explore their own experience and relationship with the wine without label bias. 

As a female in the industry, I have witnessed my fair share of prejudice. I began The Barrel Room with the intention of creating a safe space for all staff, guests, and owners alike,  and we apply our passion for sustainability to our business model as well as our menus. Our  staff make fair wages, are encouraged to take vacation and personal days as needed, and work in  an environment that promotes transparency, openness, and opportunity. All staff are  encouraged to participate in educational events at The Barrel Room and San Francisco. Wine is a medium of passion and expression to me, and is a product that can promote tolerance, respect, diversity, inclusion and equity if wielded properly and with respect. It is my personal mission to educate and entertain while promoting an understanding of the world of wine for all.” - Sarah Trubnick 

The Barrel Room offers a by-the-glass list of more than 50 wines, offered  independently and in educational flights, served blind. Their extensive international bottles list features iconic producers and styles from influential wineries, as well as underrated yet equally 

remarkable productions, and includes more than 1000 selections. Dinner menus highlight  traditional dishes and regionally inspired contemporary creations, and rotates quarterly to give  our guests new educational experiences with every visit. They also offer a full bar and cocktail  list, including a special Prohibition-era menu served at our underground lounge The Speakeasy. 



Meet our 2024 Judges

Susan R Lin MW

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