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Laura Lawson, sommelier 

Certified wine sommelier Laura Lawson leads listeners through the world of wine on the nationally syndicated radio show Wine Crush (www.winecrush.com), which she hosts in Concord with Michael Ambrose. Lawson is one of only 250 nationally certified female sommeliers in the country. By October, she hopes to become the 14th internationally certified female sommelier in the world.

Creative Loafing: How did you get involved with Wine Crush?

The president of the Performance Racing Network had been asking around for females in the wine industry ... he kept getting my name. When he called me, I thought it was a joke! I thought someone in the wine industry was playing a trick on me. So that first conversation we had, I wouldn't get serious with him. I love the show's attitude toward wine: "drink what you like, not what you're told."

What is the process like to become a certified wine sommelier?

It's a series of four exams that took me five years to get through. I had an advantage being in the wine business; drinking for a living really helped me to move along faster. But it can take some people a lifetime.

Favorite wines?

It changes by the season, I'm a chardonnay and champagne drinker. Taittinger champagne and Dutton-Goldfield chardonnay are always in good supply at my house.

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