The Educated Grape is a dynamic education company devoted to enhancing the wine and food appreciation of passionate enthusiasts. Through interactive events, both virtual and live, we strive to create memorable educational opportunities to learn, enjoy and increase the confidence of wine and food lovers.
Wine Educator, Sommelier & Corporate Speaker
|“All of us who enjoy wine have a certain interest level…
My aim is to inspire that interest.”
George Staikos, as a 32-year veteran of the hospitality industry, is known for his role as an educator, sharing his passion for wine appreciation and knowledge of the pairing of gourmet cuisine and fine wine as well as the finer points of hospitality service.
- Entrepreneur: Founder of The Educated Grape, an innovative event company devoted to enhancing wine appreciation for individuals, companies and hospitality groups.
- Director of Food and Beverage/Sommelier: His national experience encompasses food and beverage positions from California, Miami, Washington, D.C and New York operating three Five Diamond rated hotels for industry leaders such as Four Seasons Hotels, Hilton and Sheraton.
- Featured Speaker: Speaking events for corporate clients such as Merrill Lynch, GlaxoWellcome, Novartis, Pfizer, Pharmaceutical, AAA, Shering Plough, Salomon Smith Barney, Bristol Myers, Polo Ralph Lauren, Accenture and Make A Wish Foundation.
- Featured Guest: Interviewed for regional television programs offering instruction on specialty cocktails, children’s etiquette and wine appreciation.
- Innovator: He has won acclaim for innovative programs such as “Chef and Sommelier of the Day”, “Sneak Preview Tasting Dinner Series”and wine classes “Exploring Wines… A-Z”. Programs have been featured in magazines such as Cuizine, Drink, New Choices, Restaurants and Institutions and New York Magazine as well as USA Today, The New York Times, The Star Ledger, New Jersey Countryside and New Jersey Monthly magazines.
- Educator: Is a Professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University where he teaches the acclaimed 13 week course Introduction to the Study of Wine and Global Events Etiquette.
The Educated Grape Associates
The Educated Grape employs a team of committed individuals with industry credentials that assist with research, event execution and concept development to enhance the scope of work that we can provide.
Thank you for a most enjoyable 3 months of learning and traveling through wine, in the comfort of our homes! Your Zoom weekly events have been not only informative, relaxing and enjoyable, but also the highlight of the passing Covid-19 months. No matter what your wine knowledge level, George will help expand your understanding and enjoyment of wine and the food it accompanies. The sign of a good teacher is the person that is an expert in his field and can convey that vast knowledge to others in a meaningful way. George accomplishes this with his relaxed presentation manner, wine selections, maps, fact sheets and Masterclass guest speakers. You could not ask for anything more from a wine class experience!– Susan D. in PA
We have been participating in The Educated Grape’s virtual wine tastings since March. We look forward to what we call “date night” every week. We have learned so much about many different wines and the regions they come from. George is a wealth of knowledge and makes the class very fun, interactive and enjoyable. We have met people from different areas that share the same passion for food and wine as we do and we look forward to seeing them each week as well. The Master Classes are extra special as we get to hear from the winemaker direct about their winery and the different wines they produce. We would highly recommend this class to everyone that is looking to expand their knowledge about wine and those who just enjoy drinking wine.— Alex and Amy in FL
With the Educated Grape Virtual classes, you don’t just learn about the featured wines, you experience these wines. George’s expertise and engaging personality enhance your own senses to recognize and enjoy the unique characteristics of each wine. The classes are not lectures, they are conversations and feel more like a get-together with friends. Always a treat when George highlights great wine and food pairings while describing a recent meal he prepared with his family. Everything about wine tasting should be enjoyable, and George’s classes never disappoint.— George C. in NJ
George’s virtual classes have been educational and fun, and the master classes with winemakers exposed us to both knowledge and wines that we otherwise would probably never have encountered or had access to. Perhaps what is most special is that while the classes teach even the oenophiles something, George never talks down to those whose knowledge is more basic. – Victor S.— Victor S. in NJ
From the first class my wife and I attended, we were hooked! We plan our Thursday nights around a chance to learn about a new region, a new varietal or to revisit some about which we may already know a great deal. George’s classes and materials are extremely well designed to inform and educate everyone, regardless of one’s level of wine knowledge. My wife really enjoys the maps that George uses in his materials and we both love the excitement and passion George expresses when he’s leading us through the tasting of the bottles he’s selected for each class. Thanks for all the enjoyable wines and for the continuing wine education, George!– Greg W. in IN
“What a terrific course. My initial expectations were exceeded by miles. George’s knowledge, personality, and ability to relate to his attendees (which in each class span the spectrum from the na•ve to those who think they are experts) and mold each class almost nightly is truly a credit to his experience and knowledge. My wife’s anniversary gift to me, attending all classes offered by George, has allowed me to improve my knowledge of wines tenfold. Whether it’s reading a label, ordering a wine off of any restaurants’ wine list or pairing wine with food, George’s classes are first rate and second to none.”— Michael W. in NJ
“I think the best testimonial to what I learn in George’s wine classes is an anecdote from my recent trip to the wine country in California. As my tour group visited different wineries, I discovered that I already knew almost everything the winemakers explained to us. I was the only one who was able to answer the tough questions they threw out to the group. By the end of the tour, people were asking me to recommend wines. I was amazed!”— Laura G. in MA
My wife and I try to never miss George’s wine appreciation classes. His classes are a fun, educational, and a delicious night out for wine experts and novices alike! George’s classes are just the right mix of listening, tasting, learning, and socializing. The food and wine pairings are always fantastic. We have brought friends, family, and business associates with us, and have gotten rave reviews. His class on Cabernets was a stand-out favorite. We have discovered great bargains, hidden gems, and new favorites thanks to George!– Tim K. in NJ
“Thank you so much for participating in our special event. You met all my expectations and more- we especially appreciated your ability to be flexible yet find a way to still interact with the group during dinner. …even the wine enthusiasts in our group learned a few new facts and their knowledge was stretched! Bravo! We hope there will be another opportunity to work with you.”— Marie S. in CT