Grand Cru Selections

My Essential Wine Co.


After a long academic journey that included a BS, an MS and nearly a JD, Richard Betts finally found his way to his real love: Vino. While traveling in Italy, he fell in love with the country’s dining tradition and came to regard wine “as a grocery and not a luxury.” He was the wine director at The Little Nell in Aspen from 2000 to 2008. In the spring of 2003, Richard passed the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Masters Exam on the first attempt, the ninth person ever to do so.

Today, Richard is guiding two wine projects “my ESSENTIAL,” from California and Provence, and An Approach to Relaxation with his wife Carla Rza Betts. Richard is also the author of The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert and The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All, both kids' books for adults.