Our Team

 

Charles Woods

Charles Woods

Owner

After years of cooking in New York City restaurants and notable jobs with importers Vineyard Expressions and David Bowler Wines, Charlie set out to create his own company. Founded in 2008, Bonhomie focuses on the concept of terroir and pouring this philosophy into the glasses of wine lovers across the country. One look through the Bonhomie portfolio and you can see that Charlie’s heart lies with Burgundy, Champagne and German Riesling. He now resides in Millburn, NJ with his wife, 2 boys and dog.

Noel Sherr

Noel Sherr

Director of National Sales and Media

Noel first fell down the wine rabbit hole in college while working as a barista in a West Hartford café. Trading free cappuccinos for free tastes with the wine shop next door, he began learning enough to be dangerous. Years later, after returning to his native New York to pursue a music career, Noel turned to wine as a day job that rapidly evolved into a full-time career. Noel went on to manage well-known retailers such as Chambers St. Wines, Slope Cellars, and Heights Chateau, and to sell for David Bowler Wine and Polaner Selections. After moving to North Carolina in 2010 Noel opened Cave Taureau Wines in Durham. Although nationally acclaimed and beloved by regulars, Cave Taureau closed its doors in 2016. In August of that year Noel joined Bonhomie as Director of National Sales and Media. When he’s not traveling the country slinging wine, Noel can be found walking his two dogs or playing the saxophone.

Benjamin Stewart

Benjamin Stewart

Sales – West Coast

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Ben began his wine career working in fine and rare retail in New York before joining Bonhomie Wine Imports, desiring to develop a closer relationship to the culture of wine and the people who make them. His love of the industry, which can be often so challenging and extremely competitive, is fueled by its dynamic and ever-changing landscape, which is a constant source of intrigue and fascination. Having relocated to the Bay Area in the spring of 2017 to launch Bonhomie’s efforts on the West Coast, he is energized at the opportunity to bring the wines he believes in to a new audience.

Michael Whidden

Michael Whidden

Sales Team Manager – New York and Brooklyn

Michael found his way into wine after, among other things, three years in Japan as a naval officer and eight years in NYC as a corporate lawyer (plus four overlapping years attempting to invent a wine glass). He loves the meditative and exhilarating and transcendent moments that wine can conjure but the best aspect of his work is bringing together great wine with great friends and clients. Favorite wine-food pairings include Barolo and finanziera, Champagne and hot dogs and Riesling and fried duck neck. Michael lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.

Icy Lui

Icy Liu

Sales – New York and Brooklyn

Icy hails from the great street food city of Taipei, Taiwan and her pursuit of adventurous food experiences is still very much in effect after first moving to New York City to study at Columbia University.  A love of food, travel (she has visited all 7 continents!) and natural curiosity lead her to the world of wine following a career in real estate finance.  Volunteering for Astor Center’s wine classes lead to her enrollment in the International Culinary Center’s Intensive Sommelier Training Program where she received her Certified Sommelier certificate and she is now a WSET Diploma student.  Icy kicked off her wine career at Crush Wine & Spirits and Eastside Cellars, where she was able to learn from several experienced and very accomplished industry veterans.  In her free time, Icy helps organize Rieslingfeier, volunteers for Riesling Without Borders and Wine on Wheels, and walks dogs.  Icy is thrilled and couldn’t be more excited to work with Bonhomie’s incredible roster of small family wineries.

Alexa Karstaedt

Alexa Karstaedt

Sales – New York and Brooklyn

Alexa always loved food and was fortunate to travel a lot as a child, to visit her family in South Africa, England, and Israel which exposed her to different cuisines and cultures and gave her a more global perspective than she might have had growing up in Jacksonville, Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida with a psychology degree (where she drank a lot of wine but didn’t think much about it) Alexa pursued her love of cooking, moving to NYC to go to the French Culinary Institute. Her time in kitchens was well spent, but it was her move to the front of house at several restaurants, where she discovered her passion for wine and had the opportunity to learn from and taste with the sommeliers, who encouraged and inspired her to make wine the focus of her career. She began working in wine retail while studying at the International Wine Center and completing the Advanced certificate. She is excited about wines that tell a story, that express the place and time and people by whom they were made, are as respectful to and balanced with nature as possible and are, of course, delicious. It is for this reason that Alexa is thrilled to be a part of Bonhomie and work with a great team and wines that exemplify these ideals.

Ian Duncan

Ian Duncan

Sales – New York and Brooklyn

Originally from Pasadena, California, Ian spent a few years teaching English in Madrid before moving to New York. While in Spain, he gained an appreciation for all the culinary delights the Iberian Peninsula has to offer, along with their accompanying libations. After moving to New York, Ian worked at Vine Wine in Williamsburg before eventually transitioning to Cafe Altro Paradiso, helping open Estela’s Italian follow-up in SoHo. With a degree in International Relations, his passion for other cultures and different perspectives is fulfilled daily through interaction with wine and cuisine. A cinephile and basketball fan, he would love talking with you about Korean barbecue or the Lakers just as much as geeking out on wine.

James Roberts

James Roberts

Sales – Upstate New York and Westchester

After years of working in nearly all aspects of wine retail, from cellar and stock work to shipping and storage logistics to buying and management, James made the move from New York City to Hudson Valley to pursue a quieter life and start a family outside the hustle of the city. Bringing his passion for great wines and spirits with him, he soon found a wealth of opportunities to share that passion. He hopes to both elevate the conversation about great wines, and to help the Hudson Valley come in to its own as a region where both locals and visitors can find fantastic bottles from around the world.

Charles R Ortiz

Charles R Ortiz

Sales – New Jersey

Born and raised in Newark, NJ as the youngest of 3, Charles was surrounded by all the cultures of the world which lead him to see things in a different light from day 1. His time spent was always out of the house whether playing soccer, baseball, boxing or just getting in trouble. Growing up Charles was obsessed with the arts and sciences and he was always attracted to the hidden things in life, looking to make them magnified for himself and all around him. Moving to the suburbs in high school Charles quickly began working in the hospitality industry; from corporate restaurants to private high end establishments all while studying wine and spirits independently. 15 years later and he was in need of completely submerging his life into what became a passion for wine. Charles aims to enlighten all on the fun and casual approach to wine and it’s pairings, believing that all should have an open bottle on every dinner table and to first and foremost, keep exploring!!!

Valerie Corbin

Valerie Corbin

Import Operations Manager

With a theatrical degree from a small TX liberal arts college Valerie naturally became involved with the food and beverage world. The enjoyment of a delicious meal paired with the right wine and the “theater” of dining led her to work in restaurants, event planning, wine retail and ultimately the intricate world of wine importation. Her passions extend into home life where she and her husband take joy in making creative dinners together (perfectly paired with wine of course).  She is now the mother of twin boys and enjoys her work with Bonhomie Wine Imports while balancing motherhood.

Michelle Washington

Michelle Washington

Office Manager and Comptroller

Michelle Washington brings over 35 years of Bookkeeping and Office Administration experience to the Bonhomie team. Michelle’s impressive resume includes positions in finance at several New York law firms, as a legal secretary and in the offices of Saks Fifth Avenue. A desire to move away from the corporate world led her to Bonhomie Wine Imports in 2010 where she keeps the books tidy and everyone in the office in check. When not working on spreadsheets Michelle enjoys cooking, baking and time with her grandchildren.

Eva W Zorad

Eva W Zorad

National Sales Liaison and Compliance Conduit

Eva and her sisters were the fifth generation raised on their family farm on the high plains of Western KS. Spending the first half of her life land locked meant getting to a coast was the next move. Eva moved to NYC with her husband, Ryan, nearly 15 years ago. After several years working late hours managing bars and restaurants, the plan was to see a rock show every night and not end up behind a bar after the money ran out. Her knowledge of spirits and experience as a homebrewer landed her a job in a small Brooklyn Wine shop. Eva discovered a whole new passion in wine. It seemed to perfectly combine her interest in agriculture, food, booze, and humanity. In 2005, after a year of reading and tasting all she possibly could, she joined forces with another couple looking for a new career path and opened September Wines & Spirits on the Lower East Side of NYC. She left that dream job after 8 years to become a mother to two beautiful daughters and moved to West Orange, NJ. That move presented the perfect excuse to further build on her friendship with Charlie Woods. She is now the National Sales Liaison and Office Support at Bonhomie Wine Imports.