About Us



Vindicated, LLC is a play on words, and is a response to the people who may have thought I was a bit crazy to leave the practice of law for the wine industry. After 15 years practicing law, I decided to study wine, earning three certificates from three different trade organizations, including becoming a Certified Sommelier. I discovered that I love teaching people about wine and helping them to more fully enjoy and appreciate the experience of drinking wine, and I formed a company so that I could realize this passion.

Certified Sommeliers teach wine education courses for our wine events which are short. Our wine education events are lively, interactive, and always include wine tasting. We do all the event planning if you want us to, including sending invitations, reminders, booking the venue, selecting food, and all other necessary requirements for your special event. Our wine education events have been held across the country (see Upcoming Events ). Please visit the Testimonials tab to see what participants and sponsors have to say about a Vindicated event or tour. If you are looking for something different for your corporate events, or your corporate networking events, contact us! Our Certified Sommelier bio’s appear below.


Christy Davis, Esq.
Certified Sommelier


Certified Sommelier

Christy grew up in Seattle, Washington, and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Psychology. For several years, she worked as a program manager in university settings, then decided to go to law school and earned her Juris Doctor degree. She practiced law for 15 years starting out as a prosecutor, then turned to public defense, and during the last ten years of her law career worked as a City Attorney practicing municipal law. In 2013, she moved to New York and began the process of becoming licensed to practice law there, but also began studying wine and never looked back! She has now earned three certificates from three different industry trade organizations, including becoming a Certified Sommelier in 2014, and WSET Level 3 in 2016. Although she never would have imagined herself working in the wine industry in her 20’s, she has thoroughly enjoyed her life journey and believes that doing what you love is the key to happiness. As Owner of Vindicated, LLC, she is now doing what she loves!

Christy’s love of wine began in Washington State where she had ample opportunity to wine taste every year on her way to and from a family reunion in Eastern Washington – supplemented by visits to Walla Walla and the tasting rooms of Woodinville near Seattle. In 2011, she attended a family wedding in France, and began a self-study Sommelier program in preparation for this trip. While in France, she took the opportunity to go wine tasting in the Burgundy wine region, and stayed in Beaune – the heart of Burgundy. The history of the region, the food, the culture, and the great wines made a deep impression. Now, wine tourism is Christy’s primary reason for vacations. Although the trip to France was the impetus for beginning the formal study of wine, Christy has also traveled to Spain, Germany, and twice to Italy, where she had the opportunity to absorb the culture and experience what it means for wine to be considered an essential part of a meal.

In 2015, Christy formed her company, Vindicated, LLC and devotes her time to Vindicated LLC’s wine education, event planning activities and educational tours. Vindicated events have been held across the country, and she has had many repeat engagements with sponsors that love the courses.

Feel free to email Christy with your wine related questions or to inquire about booking a Vindicated event!


Certified Sommelier

Laura Burgess is a Certified Sommelier with extensive experience in the food and beverage industry. Originally from Massachusetts, Laura fell in love with wine during her college years in New York City, while selling wine in both retail and restaurant atmospheres. Inspired by the incredible diversity of the wine, she launched her website, Laura Uncorked, in 2011 hoping to demystify wine for herself and others.

And demystify she did! Since starting Uncorked, Laura has traveled and worked in some of the world’s most esteemed vineyards, including Bordeaux’s Mouton Rothschild and Portugal’s Herdade do Esporão. From planting grapevines in the Sierra Nevada to pouring Champagne on antique sailboats, and hiking Germany’s Mosel river valley her experience in wine is as varied as the business itself.

A writer at heart, Laura’s work has been featured in publications such as Vine Pair, Palate Press, The Kitchn, Vivino, Shape Magazine and Snooth, as well as in regional campaigns for areas such as Alto Adige and Rias Baixas.

Though classically trained in wine analysis, Laura brings a fresh take to the wine industry that is approachable and entertaining. Her combination of broad training in winemaking and years in the hospitality industry give Laura an acute sense of the topics that matter to both industry veterans and budding oenophiles.



Certified Sommelier

Courtney Schiessl is a sommelier, freelance writer, and wine professional based in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently a full-time Sommelier at Dirty French, a lively Lower East Side restaurant specializing in French bistro-style food and wine with a modern twist. Courtney is a weekly columnist for VinePair and a partner sommelier for Vivino, and her writing has also appeared in Drink Me Magazine, The Daily Meal, ABC News online, Food & Wine online, and additional publications.

Previously, Courtney was a Sommelier at Marta, Union Square Hospitality Group’s Roman-style pizzeria, where she specialized in both Champagne and Italian wine, spearheading new and exciting educational initiatives for staff and guests alike. A strong believer that hands-on experience is essential to understanding and appreciating wine, Courtney has also spent time in Europe working the 2013 and 2014 wine harvests in Portugal at Esporão Wines’ Alentejo and Douro estates, as well as the 2014 and 2015 harvests in Bordeaux at Chateau Carsin.

Always a lover of food and travel, Courtney discovered her love of wine through her work at wine public relations agency Cornerstone Communications. There, she managed national PR campaigns for international wineries and wine regions, also gaining experience in social media and events management. Courtney continues to act as a social media and events consultant on a freelance basis.

Courtney is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, currently working towards her green pin and Advanced Sommelier certification. She also earned her Advanced Certificate with Distinction through the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and holds a BA in Communication and Media Studies from Fordham University.