For the past decade, Marika Vida has been one of the most in-demand, highly respected wine professionals in the business. She has served as Wine Director of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park; Sommelier of the top-rated Laurent Tourondel Bistro BLT Market; Sommelier for the Philadelphia Ritz Carlton with ‘Top Chef’ Winner Kevin Sbraga. She also developed the opening wine program at 10Arts with Chef Eric Ripert and Chef de Cuisine Jennifer Carroll. Under the auspices of her new consulting firm Vida et Fils, she most recently consulted as the Wine Director of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park. Her most recent project there was the critically acclaimed Phenomenal Femmes Program, which featured female winemakers from around the globe, including a popular dinner series. Marika also consults for Architectural Digest and Wines of Provence. She was recently the Consulting Sommelier for The Essex House JW Marriott New York. Marika is currently a Wine Educator for the famed Argentine Winery Catena Zapata and she is a member of the Full Circle Sommelier Network, working with Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein on projects for Wines of Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Soave and Monterey programs. She has served on Eric Asimov’s Tasting Panel for the New York Times and been featured on Barrons.com for romantic wine picks.
Marika’s work as Wine Director and Sommelier includes much more than simply developing, managing, and selling the wine programs. Her enthusiasm for wine, unique ability to convey knowledge to consumers, and background in broadcast journalism have lead to the creation of some of the most popular, enjoyable seasonal programs to which consumers have access. These include The Ritz Carlton’s wine and chocolate pairing course “Chocolate Takes Flight with Marika Vida,” the Viking Culinary Center’s “Pairing Wine with Tricky Ingredients,” and a number of charity events, notably a highly successful, 5-course pairing menu with Chef Laurent Tourondel for the charity “Autism Speaks to Wall Street: 4th Annual Celebrity Chef Gala.” She also has served as a judge for the Starchef Sommelier Competition and Wine Director for the James Beard Foundation Book Broadcast and Journalism Awards. She is a Member of Les Dames d’Escoffier New York.
In addition to her hotel and restaurant work, Marika is passionate about enhancing the wine education of consumers and colleagues alike. To that end, she has instructed for the American Sommelier Association in New York and the French Wine Society. She holds titles of Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and the American Sommelier Association. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators and holds the Advanced Certificate for the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. She is currently enrolled the WSET Diploma program.
Marika is that rare wine professional who has successfully worked in nearly all aspects of the business. She started her career in the competitive wine-auction world, honing her skills and knowledge as Marketing Director for prestigious Sotheby’s and their then retail partner Alden Cellars and was Cellar Manager for premier New York retailer, Morrell & Company. She also works with corporate clients, aiding them in the development of menus and wine pairings for special events. Clients include Glaxo-Smith-Kline, NYSE, Prologis, IMG, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCoy, R.R. Donnelley among many notable others.
With her highly regarded reputation and unique ability to connect with everyone she encounters, Marika continues to work at the forefront of the wine industry, helping to shape it for other professionals and connect it more intimately to consumers. It’s an all too rare combination in this highly competitive industry.