Sommelier and Consulting Firm Partner Michael Juergens on Wine Mistakes and More

Sommelier and Consulting Firm Partner Michael Juergens on Wine Mistakes and More


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #135 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Michael Juergens. He is a senior partner with a Big Four consulting firm, where he runs the Winery Solutions practice, overseeing the portfolio of services the firm provides to wineries. 

He is also a certified specialist of wine, a certified sommelier, and a Stage 2 candidate to become the 59th American to qualify as a Master of Wine, if he can “pass the damn exam” as he says on his website.

Michael is also the author of two books in the “Drinking & Knowing Things” series (under his pen name, Michael Amon).

He is the founder of the Bhutan Wine Company, and is leading the development of the wine industry in this magical Himalayan country. 

He owns the award winning SoCal Rum Company, which was recently awarded the highest point score in history for any silver rum (95 points).

Michael also is a professor at the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California Irvine. He's a punk rock drummer and an adventure race addict

In today's episode, Michael answers the “what is your favorite mistake?” question a little differently. He draws a bit on Buddhism to question whether anything is really a mistake, if whatever happens was meant to be. That said, he thinks that drinking certain wines is a huge mistake. So we talk about that in a wide-ranging and fun conversation.

We talk about questions and topics including:

  • You failed the tasting portion of the Master of Wine exam four years in a row, would you be upset if you failed again?
  • You also started the entire wine industry in the Kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayas — tell us about that…
  • Failing forward in Bhutan — Buddhist influence?
  • What is “winedouchery” and why are you so opposed to it?
  • Snobbery? Average price under $10? People who don’t like wine?
  • Champagne just for celebrations? 
  • Starting the distillery??
  • COMMON THEME —> “Self-limiting beliefs”
  • What sparked that passion about wine?

Scroll down to find:

  • Video of the episode
  • Quotes
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript

Find Michael on social media:

Watch the Episode:


"I actually think one of the attributes of successful entrepreneurs is the ability to fail enthusiastically."
"I think that when people say, 'I don't like wine,' what it means is 'I have not yet found a wine that I like, but also I'm too intimidated to try a bunch of different stuff.'"
"If you truly could get out of your own way, what could you accomplish? And not just in a sense of being entrepreneurial, but just living a richer, more full life."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.