National Wine & Spirits

2008 Best Young Sommelier

Arthur Black is the Corporate Wine and Spirits Sales Manager for National Wine & Spirits, a leading purveyor of fine wines and spirits in Indiana and Michigan. In addition to his role at National Wine and Spirits, Arthur is a member of the Society of Wine Educators, a Certified Specialist of Wine, a Certified Spanish Wine Educator, a French Wine Educator, an associate professor at Indiana University and Purdue University at Indianapolis, teaching food and wine oriented classes, and is also an Advanced Sommelier through the Court of the Master Sommeliers. 

Though there are many wine related credentials in the world, regulated and administered by various organizations, becoming a Master Sommeliers candidate has placed Arthur in the top 4% of the entire wine professional world. In terms of wine, spirits, and beverage, knowledge and service, The Court of the Master Sommeliers is the highest and ultimate attainable credential worldwide. Since the inception of the organization in the 1960s and the creation of the American Chapter in 1977, there have only been approximately 160 individuals in the world to pass the extraordinarily difficult series of examinations required to claim the coveted title of Master Sommelier. 

In the past couple of years, Arthur began putting his wine knowledge and service skills to the test by competing in national and international sommeliers and wine competitions. In October of 2007, Arthur competed against the best 10 young wine professionals from around the country in the 2007 USA Sommeliers Championships held in Monterey, California and was able to bring home the bronze, placing 3rd amongst his peers. Arthur also competed in the National Best Young Sommelier Competition of 2008, making it to the championships held in Las Vegas this past June, where he took 1st place in the nation as the 2008 Champion! The winner of the Best Young Sommelier Competition is awarded a monetary prize in the form of a scholarship towards their Master Sommelier exam, which Arthur will be sitting this coming February, as well as the opportunity to compete in the International Best Young Sommelier Championships of 2009, which Arthur will be competing in next year in Europe. 

Having worked in most areas of the wine business, including extensive time in retail, white table cloth restaurants, fine wine shops, wine production, and wine wholesale, Arthur is an extreme wine and food enthusiast that sincerely tries his hardest to engage the trade and public, demanding their appreciation for the finer things in life, yet always reinforcing the notion that such hedonistic articles are not reserved for the elite, foreign, or elderly, but should, and must, be available to everyone and anyone remotely curious about the playground of the human palette.