Meet The Mentors
Patrick Okubo, MS CWE
Patrick Okubo is a Master Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, one of 269 in the world, 172 of which are in the Americas. He passed the exam on his 29th birthday in July of 2011 making him one youngest to achieve this certification.
He also passed from the Society of Wine Educators, Certified Wine Educator (CWE) in 2010, a certification held by less than 400 people worldwide and Certified Specialist in Spirits (CSS). The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) he holds the Advanced Sake Level 3 Award.
Patrick is the Fine Wine Specialist and Wine Educator for Young’s Market Hawaii since 2011. He travels throughout the state on a regular basis working with hotels, restaurants, and retailers training their staff and helping enhance their business with quality products.
Born and raised in Kaimuki he graduated high school from University Laboratory School in 2000. He then went to the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Bachelor of Science in Travel Industry Management with an emphasis in hospitality. He graduated with honors, Eta Sigma Delta in 2004. In 2016 he earned his Masters from Hawaii Pacific University with a Master of Arts in Organizational Change and Development, graduating with Distinction.
He has been a member of the National Guard since 1999 in the 111th Army Band as a Sergeant First Class. As a Band member, he performs on Clarinet in full concert band as well as Clarinet and Guitar in their woodwind quintet. He often rearranges music to fit their instrumentation and sets up concerts throughout the island.
On the side, he runs The Wine GI, a personal wine consultation and education business. The mission of the business is wine education among wine professionals and consumers.
In 2009 -2010 he hosted A Perfect Sip – an online radio show, www.aperfectsip.com which is still online with 37 episodes to download for free.
Previous to Young’s Market he opened Formaggio Grill in 2008 as Managing Partner managing all operations in the front house, kitchen, as well as business support operations. He opened the restaurant from construction to opening and expanded the operation to include a private banquet room. While he was there Formaggio Grill won Hale Aina Awards Gold Award for Best Wine Program from 2008-2010 and Ilima Awards Best Wine List.
Prior to Formaggio he was the Wine Director / Restaurant manager at Four Seasons Lana’i. He managed the fine dining restaurant at Manele Bay as General Manager. In addition to the restaurant he managed the wine program for both Manele and Koele including 13 different outlets from restaurants, banquets, room service, to retail shops.
In 2021 he founded a non-profit organization in Hawaii to inspire and facilitate more diversity in the wine industry. He serves are Chair of the Aloha Wine Foundation non-profit organization with a mission to unite, educate, and inspire the Hawaii sommelier community.