GBCC Hospitality Students Learn from Industry Pro’s During Wine Expo NH

04/19/2018

Students in Great Bay Community College’s hospitality management program will work side-by-side with wine professionals at Wine Expo NH, a festive wine-and-food event on May 2nd at Portsmouth Harbor Events Center in the Portwalk. This walk-around grand tasting will raise money for hospitality student scholarships.

Wine Expo NH, hosted by Horizon Beverage Company, will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on May 2nd and will showcase hundreds of wines.  These wines will be available to order the night of the event, with an exclusive 15% discount off 6 or more bottles. Students in Great Bay’s hospitality management program will work alongside industry professionals, while seacoast chefs will be featured at stations offering: New England cheeses, charcuterie, dim sum, pasta, and passed hors d’ouevres.

This is the second year Great Bay has partnered with wine broker Horizon Beverage Company. Horizon hosts a trade expo for industry personnel in the afternoon and opens it up to the public at night. In addition to the wine and food, The Zach Lange Trio will provide live entertainment.

"I can't say enough about what a high-quality and fun event this is and how much the students' enthusiasm adds to it,” said event planner Michele Duval. “With hospitality such a large part of downtown Portsmouth's economy, we are really lucky to have Great Bay Community College in our midst. Event sponsor Horizon Beverage is proud to support their efforts with student scholarship monies from this event."

Dawn Comito, program coordinator of Great Bay’s Hospitality Management program, said the opportunity for students to learn from industry professionals is valuable because it offers real-world, practical experience. 

The students who are primarily involved in the Wine Expo are taking a hospitality marketing and sales class. The expo is a perfect example of how a New England spirits and wine distributor like Horizon builds long term business relationships, Comito said. “Food and beverage is such an important segment of the hospitality industry. By actively participating in this expo our students not only gain some hands-on experience in proper pouring and tasting techniques, but they’ll also have the opportunity to begin building their own professional network with others in the industry. They’re also learning how to apply many of the marketing and sales strategies they’ve been studying all semester by experiencing things like personal selling and branding in action,” she said.

Rachel Robillard, who will graduate from Great Bay’s Hospitality Management program next spring with an associate degree, said she and her classmates are “extremely excited” about Wine Expo NH. “My role will mainly be working alongside wine representatives in both serving wine and explaining variations in the different wines,” she said. “I'm excited to gain hands-on experience in serving wine to guests, and I am excited to meet all of the wine representatives and network with all of the other hospitality professionals.”

Tickets to the expo cost $40, or $30 for students over 21 with an ID. For tickets and information, visit WineExpoNH.com

Great Bay Community College is a comprehensive postsecondary institution offering quality academic and professional and technical education in support of workforce development and lifelong learning. Great Bay Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire, a public system of higher education consisting of seven colleges in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Concord, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth.  The colleges offer Associate degrees and career training in technical, professional and general fields, including transfer pathways to baccalaureate degrees. The college’s second campus, the Advanced Technology & Academic Center is now open in Rochester offering academic courses and a degree program in Advanced Composites Manufacturing.   For more information on Great Bay Community College, visit www.greatbay.edu.