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YOU NEED A PRETENTIOUS French word that means wine expert? Look no further, sommelier is the answer to your Friday edition crossword. Sure, the word may be a little snooty, but Your Personal Sommelier, aka Ms. Courtney Cochran, is not. (Well, no more than she has a right to be.) Her concept was simple yet novel: to make wine, wine tasting and everything wine-related accessible to a generation that has no reason to fear screw-top wine bottles.

Courtney gave us delightful parameters: her favorite colors, favorite shapes, favorite Brady. Then she told us to get to work.

First came the identity, which was designed to merge characteristics of both personal and corporate visual identity. Nothing too trademark-like, but nothing to handcrafted, either. Then came the website, which was to be Courtney’s primary point of contact with a waiting world. With limited time and startup resources, she opted for a clean and lively sight that gave her the ability to write and change all her own content at any time and to push as much downloadable material to her visitors as her throbbing pink heart desired.

Courtney now is a maverick Bay Area freelance sommelier, known for producing wine tastings that have essentially replaced the raves of the last century. Check out her other Mitchel Design-produced venture,
Hip Tastes.