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.

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.

Jake Cerese

Jake Cerese

Sales – New York and Brooklyn

We are sad, yet excited to say that Jake is off on a new adventure for the next year or so. We wish him the best and hope to welcome him back to the BWI family one day. For assistance regarding any of Jakes accounts or any questions, please contact our new Sales Manager – Michael Whidden michael@bonhomiewine.com

Benjamin Stewart

Benjamin Stewart

Sales – New York and Brooklyn

Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Benjamin ventured to New York in 2010 to study music after a tremendously formative experience traveling in India. While completing his MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College he took a job in the cellar at Tribeca Wine Merchants where he had the opportunity to interact with many of the worlds great wine makers and regions. Gradually Benjamin came to understand the profound depth of experience attainable in the world of artisanal wine and the company in which it is shared. His passion for music and the arts commingles with his concern for environmental protection and thirst for continued learning in his reverence for terroir. He is excited to have the opportunity to stitch together these common threads, each integral to his worldview, in the fabric of his daily work!

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.td>

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 recently celebrated the birth of her twin boys and is excited to continue work with Bonhomie Wine Imports while balancing new 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.