Gary Pickard
Location USA

Gary Pickard

Specialist

Gary started his wine and spirits journey in a place where most do not - the library. Fascinated by the behind-the-scenes aspects of the industry, he studied to earn his Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS) certification from the Society of Wine Educators and promptly began work as a Craft Spirits Specialist for New York-based distributor, Empire Merchants - working with Manhattan and Brooklyn's elite wine and spirits retail accounts. This job led to a position with Brown-Forman, within their newly-established Emerging Brands division as a Market Manager for the state of New Jersey. While at Brown-Forman, he was also the United States point person for their Global Old & Rare Whisky project. Currently, Gary works for Pacific Edge Wine & Spirits as their Regional Manager for the Northeast United States.

Along the way, Gary has earned other certifications, including his Level 3 Award in Wine and Level 2 Award in Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), and his Executive Bourbon Stewardship from Moonshine University. Most recently, Gary has earned his Diploma in Single Malt Whisky from Edinburgh Whisky Academy and his Certified Spirits Educator (CSE) certification from the Society of Wine Educators - one of the few globally to hold that title.

He has been a wine and spirits judge for competitions and publications over the past 8 years, including The Fifty Best, New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, Winemaker Magazine, and others. He has also been interviewed on the subject of spirits by media outlets such as Whisky Advocate, Fire & Barley, and Livestrong.com.

Gary's travels to learn more about wine and spirits have taken him to Napa and Sonoma counties, Portugal, Hungary, Austria, Mexico, Scotland, Ireland, The Netherlands, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the US Virgin Islands, among other places. He resides in Jersey City with a sizable bottle collection and a very understanding family.