David Keck MS

Master Sommelier and Owner at Stella14 Wines, VT

Master Sommelier David Keck discovered his love for wine while pursuing a career—and traveling the world—as an opera singer. He has a Master of Music Degree from Rice University, an undergraduate degree in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and attended Juilliard for opera performance.

After years of bartending and working in hospitality between operatic gigs, David took his first sommelier course with the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2010 and decided to make the career change. David was named one of Food & Wine’s Sommeliers of the Year in 2016, and passed his Master Sommelier exam later that year, making him the 149th American Master Sommelier and the 233rd in the world. He was awarded the StarChefs Rising Stars Restaurateur of the Year award in 2019. 

David has presented seminars for the Court of Master Sommeliers, GuildSomm, Vine Society, and numerous other educational organizations. He is a featured presenter at events such as the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, TEXSOM, Nantucket Food & Wine, and many others and is a sought-after wine judge for competitions both nationally and abroad. He founded the Houston Sommelier Association and created LoireFest, a Texas-wide celebration of the Loire Valley. 

Since going full-force into the hospitality field, he has worked in every aspect of the beverage industry: He has opened restaurants, wine bars, honky-tonks and retail shops, worked in sales and directed wine programs for distribution companies. Fate finally brought him back to the Northeast where he now farms a vineyard and makes wine with hybrid grapes in the mountains of his home state, Vermont.

Meet the other judges

Christian Shaum

Lead Sommelier at Bazaar Meat & Bar Mar Chicago & CMSA Advanced Sommelier, Chicago