Leading Ladies 2019

Leading Ladies 2019: Elisa Wybraniec

Wine Director, The Coast Guard House

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Elisa Wybraniec, Wine Director at THE COAST GUARD HOUSE, has been a key part of the incredible success and evolution of one of Rhode Island’s most iconic dining establishments. The oceanside restaurant continues to further invest its commitment to excellence and premier customer service through the education of their employees, specifically with Elisa’s staff wine training. “It’s been an incredible journey with plenty of challenges along the way,” Elisa says. “I’m so grateful that throughout it all I had the full support of the restaurant, to implement an extensive wine program and a terrific team to execute it.”

The Coast Guard House is celebrating the five-plus years of Elisa’s viticultural studies, and the lasting impact on its dining experience.

Elisa earned the coveted Diploma of Wine and Spirits (DWS) from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), and recently became a WSET Nominated Educator. She is also a certified sommelier, awarded by the Court of Master Sommeliers (the leading authority on wine service) and a CSW per studies through the Society of Wine Educators.

Elisa began her wine studies with the WSET at Johnson & Wales University, in Providence, under the instruction of her mentor Ed Korry; Department Chair of Dining Room & Beverage Services. To prepare for the WSET’s Diploma, Elisa enrolled with Adam Chase, a certified instructor from Boston’s Grape Experience: Wine and Spirit School. She tasted wines every week for nearly three years with a study group to refine her pallet, as well as gain knowledge of vintage, appellation, and varietal wines. All six units of study – from sparkling wines to fortified wines – ended with a written exam and a high-stakes taste test. The certified sommelier examination, which focuses on service, puts the student on the spot to recommend wine pairings, answer detailed questions, and serve wine flawlessly. “The training was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I’m simply thrilled to share my knowledge with the staff, patrons, and wine enthusiasts.”

This past fall, Elisa continued her education in working as a harvest intern for Alan Viader at Viader Vineyards in Deer Park, California. During her time in Napa Valley, Elisa was schooled in grape sorting, leaf pulling, manual punch downs, Brix readings, and many other processes in the winemaking trade.

Now an instructor herself, Elisa teaches WSET at Johnson and Wales University and at University of Rhode Island’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Elisa also enjoys sharing her passion at The Coast Guard House, holding classes for the staff and invited guests. Her willingness to teach her colleagues provides them with the confidence to provide patrons with thoughtful suggestions for their wine selections, and introduce new favorites.

Elisa’s curated wine list has over 350 bottles available and 30 selections by the glass. The list favors domestic wine producers, but there are also organic, vegan, biodynamic, and raw wines available as well as other countries represented.

The Coast Guard House features a vigorous wine pairing dinner schedule, hosting a wine dinner a month from October to June. (The restaurant also hosts beer dinners throughout the year.) Elisa selects the wine first, and then joins Chef Angel Cardona and his culinary team to have a tasting session to create a complimentary food menu.

“The wine pairing dinners really highlight our amazing cuisine and hand-selected wines, and the high level of dedication this staff puts into serving our guests. It’s a celebration for all of us.”

The Coast Guard House Restaurant is open seven days a week, serving lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday, and brunch and dinner on Sundays. Reservations suggested. Follow Elisa on Instagram at @girlandherglass and The Coast Guard House on Facebook and Instagram for Chef Angel’s food creations. 

The Coast Guard House

Narragansett | 401-789-0700