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Meet Our Educators


Sara Malik

Originally from the United Kingdom, Malik studied Institutional Management and Hotel Catering at Manchester Metropolitan University and earned a Master’s Degree in Business from Oxford Brookes University. She has worked for Hilton International and Queens Moat Houses as a Food and Beverage Director, Bass Charrington Breweries and West Midland Taverns as a General Manager. Studying in Switzerland with Don Smith and the pioneering menu-engineering program for a summer developed into a five-year assignment, where she was involved in educating students in hotel management. As a visiting professor to Johnson & Wales University in Providence R.I., she realized this was where she wanted to settle and raise her family.

Sarah worked as a general manager running two hotels in New England and then returned to Johnson & Wales University where she has worked for twenty two years as a wine and spirit educator. She received Teacher of the Year at Johnson & Wales University in 2004.

Sarah is a WSET (Wine Spirit Education Trust) Diploma (Merit) recipient and a member of the Society of Wine Educators where she has Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS) and the Certified Wine Educator (CWE) awards. Sarah has also earned a Diploma from the International Sommelier Guild. Sarah regularly appears on television presenting segments on wines and spirits.

Cheers to Sarah!

Raj Sabharwal

WSET Level 3 Spirits, Certified Educator, Certified Whiskey Ambassador, Founding Partner Glass Revolution Imports.

Raj was born in England, grew up in Toronto, Canada and so far has lived in 18 cities in 5 countries. 

After 25 years in the corporate world Raj decided to follow his passions for fine wine and spirits and in 2010 started Purple Valley Imports USA LLC, known today as Glass Revolution Imports. “The new name reflects our focus to revolutionize what is in the consumer’s glass” says Raj.  

He is an avid wine and spirits collector and has spoken at Whisky and Spirits Conferences around the world.  In close to 10 years Raj and his two partners have grown their company from representing 1 brand in 3 states to today representing 10 brands in over 45 States. Glass Revolution is an importer specializing in world class spirits from independent distilleries. Raj personally selects the brands and selections offered.     

Glass Revolution has been recognized as “Whisky Importer of the Year” for 2013, 2014 and 2015 by Whisky Magazine’s Icons of America Whisky.   In 2017 Whisky Magazine recognized Raj as World Whisky Ambassador with their American Icon’s of Whisky Award.

John Szymankiewicz

We are so thrilled to have John in the house! John Szymankiewicz has one of the best jobs in the world.

John is an attorney that works almost exclusively with breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Helping small and independent craft alcohol producers start and grow is John’s business. Finding great craft beverages is John’s passion.

John has been an avid homebrewer for more than 20 years and has brewed – literally – hundreds of different beers.

From deep, rich German doppelbocks, to effervescent and strong Belgian Tripels, to English milds and porters, to American West Coast IPAs, John has cultivated a palate and a passion for all things beer-y.

Steeped in the literature and culture of craft beer for decades, John dedicated his legal practice to craft alcohol beverages more than 10 years ago and hasn’t looked back.

When John hears “I don’t like beer,” he takes that as a personal challenge and sets out to prove to you that there is, in fact, a beer out there that you’ll love. He is currently undefeated in converting people to beer drinkers, often hearing “Wow, I didn’t know I liked beer!” His passion is as strong as the rest of our team.

Get ready to have a blast at his beer classes coming soon.

Questions? Contact Us Today!

We welcome you to contact us for more information!

Raleigh (Main House)

1053 E Whitaker Mill Rd #115
Raleigh, NC 27604

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