About

Michael Schafer Esq. (aka The Wine Counselor), takes the mystery out of knowing fine wines and liquors with a fun and humorous approach that makes learning enjoyable for all!

Michael is a wine educator and sommelier who entertains while teaching, his humorous and lighthearted approach to wine and spirits is evident in his student’s testimonials and reflects his trademark phrase: “I taste bad wine so you don’t have to.”® Come join us at one of The Wine Counselor’s many public events or book your own private party and with a little help from The Wine Counselor, you too can impress your friends and co-workers while you laugh and learn.

The French are very particular about wine.


While touring a world-renowned winery in Burgundy, the winemaker stopped our group amongst the barrels in his cellar and with a very thick French accent asked: "What are the two kinds of wine?" Eager to demonstrate their knowledge to the artisan, the crowd began to shout out a variety of assorted responses: “Red & White”, “Dry & Sweet”, “Sparkling & Still”. The old man simply shook his head and replied: “Non! Non, there are only two kinds of wine in the world.” Leaning into the group he said with a chuckle in his voice: “Yummy and Yucky!”

Wine is to be enjoyed.


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feature publishings

Events

vodka varieties

june 8th

Yes, vodka varies — a lot! Experience six very different versions of the most popular spirit on the planet. Learn what makes each vodka unique and why they have such distinctive flavors. You'll be surprised at the differences once you're an expert! Light fare provided.

7pm @ the war memorial

vodka varieties

june 8th

Yes, vodka varies — a lot! Experience six very different versions of the most popular spirit on the planet. Learn what makes each vodka unique and why they have such distinctive flavors. You'll be surprised at the differences once you're an expert! Light fare provided.

7pm @ the war memorial

vodka varieties

june 8th

Yes, vodka varies — a lot! Experience six very different versions of the most popular spirit on the planet. Learn what makes each vodka unique and why they have such distinctive flavors. You'll be surprised at the differences once you're an expert! Light fare provided.

7pm @ the war memorial

vodka varieties

june 8th

Yes, vodka varies — a lot! Experience six very different versions of the most popular spirit on the planet. Learn what makes each vodka unique and why they have such distinctive flavors. You'll be surprised at the differences once you're an expert! Light fare provided.

7pm @ the war memorial

vodka varieties

june 8th

Yes, vodka varies — a lot! Experience six very different versions of the most popular spirit on the planet. Learn what makes each vodka unique and why they have such distinctive flavors. You'll be surprised at the differences once you're an expert! Light fare provided.

7pm @ the war memorial

Next

The Experience

Michael did a personal wine tasting / teaching lesson at our home in Lakeshore Ontario. We had a phenomenal time together that was both entertaining and informative. The wines selected and the "run through" of the wines was outstanding. I would definitely recommend Michael to anyone looking to expand their knowledge of wines and at the same time looking to have a really fun experience!

- David Wiskel
- President and CEO at The Plasman Group

Laugh and learn are what my members do when Michael conducts his classes. His classes are informative, entertaining and fun. I've had the pleasure of knowing Michael for six years during which I retained him to teach wine and spirits for our club members. Above all, I'm impressed with his ability to entertain while educating. His engaging style and sense of humor de-mystify the world of wine, beer and spirits. He instantly "reads" his audience and quickly connects with each of them. From "Bordeaux v. Meritage" to the "Best of the Boot" to "Bourbon's Back", his classes are fun and chock full of content. Michael's knowledge and communication skills are a rare combination. I'm looking forward to continue to working with him. We always have a great time and continue to learn about pairing food with wine, beer and spirits.

-Daniel Vallone
-Executive Chef at Oakland Hills Country Club;
President Val-One Culinary Placement Services, 2013 ACF Michigan Chef of the Year

I have had the pleasure of listening to several presentations that Michael has given about wine. He is an educator first and then an entertainer, two different skills that he mixes well. The result? A great way to learn! Michael really knows wines and seeks out every opportunity to learn more, all the better to bring the best information to his clients. He has a great palate and a passion for wine and food that shows through in his work.

-Charles Edson
-Owner, Winemaker, Bel Lago Vineyards and Winery

We hosted a special private scotch tasting at the Grosse Pointe Public Library. Michael was a pleasure to work with during the planning stages of the event, and the gentlemen who attended found him knowledgeable and entertaining.

-Jennifer Bingaman
-Executive Director at Grosse Pointe Library Foundation

I have worked with Michael for many years in my leadership role with the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. He is very knowledgeable about wine in general and certainly knows his stuff when if comes to Michigan wine. Michael is an entertaining presenter for a wide range of audiences.

-Linda Jones
-Former Executive Director of the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council

My sales team often entertains clients, may of whom like wine. Michael provided an educational and genuinely enjoyable experience for my sales team. He demystified wine and embraced the joy in experience of selecting, tasting, and pairing. I'd highly recommend Michael to others and will be likely to have him provide a refresher training in the future.

-Scott Johnsen
-Vice President, Customer Strategy at RouteOne

Michael has probably forgotten more about wine than most people will ever learn in their lifetime. Besides being an excellent writer on the subject, he is an entertaining and engaging presenter, and all around bon vivant. He should write a book.

-Ed Peabody
-General Manager at Hour Custom Publishing and Momentum Books

I have had the pleasure of working with Michael while he taught classes for our programs at the Culinary Institute of Michigan. Michael Schafer is a true professional with a passion and love of sharing his expertise and knowledge with everyone. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of wine that is truly impressive and he has a rare ability to articulate that knowledge in a meaningful and effective way whether he is delivering a lecture, a seminar or workshop. His love of what he does shines through and engages his students. Michael also makes learning fun be it wine, spirits or beer. He can craft a lesson that keeps his students engaged and attentive. He is also simply a great person and we really enjoy having him on our team.

-Thomas Recinella, CEC, AAC, HGT
-Dean of Culinary Arts, The Culinary Institute of Michigan

If you want to impress your clients and give them a memory that will be remembered each time you connect, I recommend that you take them to one of Michael's events or hold a private party. Additionally on several occasions I have retained Michael to select wines at restaurants where I take clients. It is up to you whether you share with your client the effort you made for an enjoyable evening or let them think you are the wine expert. Enjoy.

-Karl Hannum
-Hannum Law Firm
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Teaching & Training

  • professor at Baker college
  • Oakland Hills Country Club
  • Creator of the Dorsey Schools Beverage Program
  • Zingerman's
  • Whole Foods
  • Great Lakes Culinary Center
  • Grosse Pointe War Memorial
  • Instructor for IWish…lessons.com: Wine 101/Whiskey 101/Single Malt Scotches/Complex Beers/Beer & Bacon/Whiskey & Cupcakes
  • Birmingham Community House
  • Bayview Yacht Club
  • Walnut Creek Country Club
  • United States Bartenders Guild
  • Travis Pointe Country Club
  • professor at Oakland County
  • Community College
  • Cellar Door Wine Academy
  • Grand Rapids Community College Secchia Institute for Culinary Education
  • Macomb County Community College
  • Forte Belanger: training of leadership & staff
  • Epoch Catering: team training
  • Co-instructor: Le Petite Cordon Bleu School of Haute Cuisine
  • The Culinary Institute of MI @ Baker College: Introduction to Wine/Beer Styles & Service/Liquor Identification & Liabilities:Food & Beverage Management
  • The International Culinary Schools @ The Art Institute of MI: Exploring Wines/ Management of Food & Beverage Operations/ Enology & Viticulture/ Legal Concepts and Theory/Property Management/ Culinary Concepts & Theory/ Nutrition/Enhancing Student Success/Sustainable Purchasing & Cost Control