The CorkQueen Reigns Over Wine!



Known to her friends and family as Karen, she has embraced the idea of wine and education.

Karen began her involvement in wine while working at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. She started as a bartender and advanced to the Beverage Controller.

Karen enjoys discovering new wines (especially Spanish reds) and sharing those discoveries with her friends.

Karen has passed the WSET 1 and the WSET 2. She has led the monthly event, Wine Down Wednesday at the Centre Club in Tampa, Florida since 2016.

In 2019, Karen started the Bacchus Club of Tampa Bay. This group has the opportunity to taste higher-end wines or enjoy a wine pairing dinner. Sometimes they even get a visit from winemakers from the U.S. and Internationally.

Karen currently serves on the board of Corks 4 A Cause, which is a 501(c)(3) that holds wine events to raise money for other non-profits in the Tampa Bay area.


🍷 Private Events 

CorkQueen’s mission is to educate you about wine.  We know that when our guests know more about what they are drinking, they not only have a better experience, but they are more likely to try new wines.

Are you celebrating a Birthday, Anniversary, or another Holiday Event? CorkQueen offers Wine Theme Private Events. At a Wine Theme Private Event guests will sample 4 to 6 different wines from around the world that the CorkQueen has personally selected or that you have chosen. You will learn about the Wine Region, the Winery, the Grapevine, the Climate, the Soils and how the wine is made and Aged. 

Wine Theme Private Events are for parties of two (2) to twelve (12). They can be held at a location of your choice within a 20 mile radius of downtown Tampa, or remotely via Zoom Video. 

Contact Karen via the Private Event Contact Us Button below to schedule a chat about Your Personalized Wine Private Event


My first introduction to wine, besides a really bad choice of sampling some Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill, come during five years at The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Starting as a bartender and advancing to the Beverage Controller, I was tasked with learning about wine and food pairing. Back then it was a job, today it is a passion.

That is difficult to answer because on any given day, it could change. I definitely prefer red wine over white. Spanish is usually my go to, although I also enjoy a good Italian, as well as California Cabs. I am just getting more familiar with French wine. If I had to pick one right now, it would be Arzuaga Gran Reserva from Ribera del Duero.

My favorite place is, of course, CQ’s Wine Works in Tampa, FL.

Try wine! Try reds, try whites, try roses’! Don’t always stick with what you like or know – be adventurous and try different types of wine. Who knows, you might find a new favorite!

I don’t know as I don’t refer to myself as a wine expert. I prefer to describe myself as a wine enthusiast and there are many classes and certifications you can get.

Yes, currently I have passed my WSET1 and WSET2.

‘WSET’ stands for ‘Wine and Spirit Education Trust’. The training and testing were originally started in England, but now there are classes and certifications from the Napa Valley Wine Academy.

My short and sweet answer is if floor service in a restaurant is your plan, take Sommelier classes. Sommeliers are held to a standard of excellence that you would expect in the finest restaurants. WSET is more about education including theory and history.

I am not a fan of stemless wine glasses if I have a choice. I understand that certain events or areas may call for stemless and I will comply if given no choice.

I always hold my wine glass by the stem. If someone serves it, holding the bowl of the wine glass I am not happy. The same holds true when a friend asks to taste my wine and they grab the bowl! (But most of my friends already know this!)

My reason is twofold. First and foremost, you put fingerprints on the bowl, which does not allow a clear view of the wine. The second reason is that a hand on the bowl could have an adverse effect on the wine, warming it sooner than desired, especially white wines.

My favorite thing is discovering new wines and sharing wine with friends.



Lucille Koch

 ‘Momma’ as everyone called her, has alway been my #1 ‘Angel’ Supporter not only in life but in starting my CorkQueen Wine Business.

Sharon & Kenneth Young

Idea To Growth LLC (IdeaToGrowth.com) – Sharon and Ken have been supporters since I decided to start CorkQueen.com. Ken has helped as both a business coach and builder of the CorkQueen.com website.

Beth & John Socoski

Socoski Design & Consulting/The Socoski Foundation – The Socoski’s provided much needed assistance in the area of graphic design. John designed awesome business cards as well as punching up the current CorkQueen Logo and creating the CQ’s Wine Works Logo. Beth, as always have provided whatever help was needed especially encouragement and the promise to buy lots of wine.

Kristi and Jon Campbell

Home Instead Senior Care/RF Campbell Charities – Kristi has made it possible for the CorkQueen to get better connected. As a super networker, Kristi has introduced the CorkQueen to two of the organizations she really thinks would be beneficial. That would include The South Tampa Chamber of Commerce (#STCOC) and Working Women of Tampa Bay (#WWOTB). Besides the introductions, Kristi, like Beth provides the CorkQueen with encouragement and support, along with the occasional “SCORE” when major milestones are met.


Brian K. Hershberger, CFA, CPA/PFS, CFP®
President, Financial Advisor
Omni Wealth Advisors, Inc.

Business Coaching & Strategy
Kenneth Ervin Young, CEO
Helping You BUILD Your Business Stronger!

John Socoski, Chief Graphic Designer
Socoski Design & Consulting

WPSiteTeam.com  [subsidiary of IdeaToGrowth.com]

Kenneth Ervin Young, CEO

Website Design  Development  Hosting  Maintenance  Support  Security – SEO


CorkQueens’ mission is to educate you about wine. We know that when our guests and members know more about what they are drinking, they not only have a better experience, but they are more likely to make a purchase.

At each event you will taste a different set of wines from around the world that the CorkQueen has personally selected. You will learn about the Wine Region, the Winery, the Grapevine, the Climate, the Soils and how the wine is made and Aged.

Contact the CorkQueen for your own personal tasting.  Price person is based on theme or selection of wines.



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