After a long academic journey that included a BS, an MS and nearly a JD, Richard 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. He co-founded his first wine label Betts & Scholl in 2003 and also co-founded Scarpetta Wines and "cc:" Wines. Today, Richard is guiding his highly-regarded mezcal project, Sombra, as well as this wine project which includes “Saint Glinglin” from Bordeaux and "my ESSENTIAL" from California and Provence. Richard is also the author of The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert, a kids’ book for adults.