Featured User: Shengli Hu

Shengli Hu has been an AI research scientist with Dataminr Inc in New York City since she received her PhD in wine tasting from Cornell University in Ithaca, in the beautiful finger lakes region in upstate New York. Her research experience and interests are interdisciplinary, bridging social sciences, computational linguistics, computer vision, and speech. She has published in top conferences and journals in natural language processing, computer vision, speech, and applied statistics including Association of Computational Linguistics (ACL), Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), InterSpeech, and Annals of Applied Statistics (AoAS). She is also a wine professional with credentials including Certified Sommelier by The Court of Master Sommelier, Diploma in Wine by Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), Certified Specialist of Wine by The Society of Wine Educators, and Certified Specialist of Spirits by The Society of Wine Educators. She is currently finishing her new book about AI for wine professionals which examines the essential qualities of sommeliers through the lens of AI, identifies components of the wine industry where AI greatly improves upon human sommeliers, solves challenging problems that have shaken the sommelier circles in recent years, and lays out future plans to build an ultimate sommelier-in-the-loop AI system for the wine industry. Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Shengli Hu: Coming from a traditional Chinese family, I had never tasted any alcoholic beverage until my first wine tasting class at college, and the years studying away in Ithaca in the middle of nowhere made me realize what I had been missing out on all along. Blind tasting quickly became my favorite game of all time. Or the fact that the wine world is an ever-expanding web that spawns history, language, geology, culture, and more… D: What wine region are you wild about right now? SH: Over time my palate evolved quite a bit but aged Alsacian Riesling , Riesling or Gruner Veltliner Smaragd from Wachau , and aged Savennieres have always been among the favorites. Currently I have been excited about the potential of Armenian wines and wine regions like Vayot Dzor and Ararat , where ancient vine growing and winemaking traditions are being revived. D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? SH: I was at a GuildSomm dessert wine tasting led by the former Delectable editor Bryce Wiatrak who scored us the 1948 Fondillon Solera from Alicante and the Angelica from Swanson Winery in Amador California. D: What is your golden rule for wine? SH: Not unlike many other things in life, wine study is a humbling experience through which you never stop learning... D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine, what is your second option? SH: Freshly brewed fruity coffee from home-roasted coffee beans and brewed Japanese tea. D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine SH: As a theater fan: Hadestown with a Gruner Veltliner Smaragd from Wachau : starts bright and peppery with the acidity racing up and down like a roller coaster over time, only to strike a resounding finish of a phenolic bite. D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? SH: Muscadet or Aligoté perhaps: searing and rasping acidity, non-aromatic, and bitter sometimes with a phenolic grip. D: What is your favorite bottle you’ve opened recently? SH: 2008 Felsina Vin Santo Chianti Classico : deep amber with an orange hint, it was nutty, spicy, yeasty, slightly chocolaty, and figgy. Through its long lingering finish, its sweetness is well balanced by the racy acidity and fruit nature. Not unlike Vin Jaune, old white Rioja, or a fine Madeira, sweet or dry.

Albert Mann

Hengst Grand Cru Pinot Gris 2017

Medium straw. Off dry, white peach, yellow apple, Asian pear, Meyer lemon, peach blossom, allspice, cinnamon, musk, curry spices, honey, and crushed stone. Linear zesty medium level acidity. Creamy and round mouthfeel. It was a lovely pairing with Japanese curry 🍛 we had for dinner 😋. — 3 years ago

Drew, Peter and 5 others liked this
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The Royal Tokaji Wine Company

5 Puttonyos Furmint Blend 2013

Medium amber in color. Ginger candy, dried mango, dried pineapple, lemon candy, powder sugar, salted caramel, maple syrup, lemon curd, toasted hazelnut, stony minerality, a whiff of VA. Luscious/sweet, high acidity, 11% abv, long finish with a hint of phenolic bitterness. — 3 years ago

Josh, Paul and 4 others liked this


Origins Méthode Traditionelle Brut Sparkling Blend

First time doing outdoor dining thing since Covid and found this curious Armenian sparkling on the menu: granny smith apple 🍏, lime curd, Asian pear, crushed stone, and bread dough. Zesty acidity with medium+ finish and medium body. Sunday brunch bubbly of excellent value!! Old vines of 60% Voskehat and 40% khatouini on limestone. 18 months on lees. — 3 years ago

Alex liked this

Monte Tondo

'Casette Foscarin' Soave Classico Garganega 2017

A Soave Classico cru. The vineyards in Casette Foscarin are situated to the north of the Soave Classico area. In calcareous soil of volcanic origin. Multiple passes through the vineyard for picking, soft pressing with low temperature maceration, and aging in barriques and tonneau for 6 months. The signature cherry blossom jumps out of the glass, CHERRY, CHERRY, CHERRY, stony minerality, hefty salinity, mushroom, dried herbs, cherry pith, yellow apricot, and Meyer lemon. Medium+ finish. Elevated acidity. — 3 years ago

Josh, Paul and 7 others liked this

Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga

Vin Santo Chianti Classico Sangiovese Blend 2008

Deep amber with an orange tint. Marcona almond, bruised apple and green apple, baked pear with cinnamon, marmalade, allspice, bread dough, prune, fig, dried cranberry, Japanese plum wine, caramel. High acid, long finish. 15% abv. — 3 years ago

Josh, Trixie and 4 others liked this


Oberhäuser Brücke Auslese Riesling Goldkapsel 2010

Pale yellow in color. Dried apricot, honey, petrol, lemon custard, lemon pie, vanilla cream, banana peel, and bread dough. Piercing acidity, 7.5% abv, medium length, finishes on the creaminess hmmm... — 3 years ago

Josh, Paul and 5 others liked this

Château Guiraud

Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend 2005

Deep gold verging on amber. Sweet vanilla, a healthy dose of coconut, Xmas spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice..., Graham cracker, butter cookie, passion fruit candy, lemon candy, honey, saffron, VA- geranium, creme brûlée, caramel, gravelly minerality, forest floor. High acid and long finish. — 3 years ago

Josh, Paul and 13 others liked this

Domaine des Baumard

Quarts de Chaume Chenin Blanc 2005

Medium yellow. Beeswax, musk, chamomile, curry spices, white pepper, chalky minerality, golden raisin, petrol, yellow fig, yellow peach, fresh and dried apricot, bruised apple, and honey. High focused acidity, sweet/med sweet, medium+ length. 12.5% — 3 years ago

Josh, Paul and 8 others liked this

Alois Kracher

Cuvée Auslese Burgenland Chardonnay Welschriesling 2017

Pale amber. Fresh and dried mango and pineapple, golden raisin, yellow fig, marigold steeped in black tea. Crushed white stone. Strong olong tea, fresh herbs... Medium dry to medium sweet? Medium intensity on the nose up a notch on the palate. Medium+ finish. Elevated acidity at 12% abv. — 3 years ago

Josh, Peter and 4 others liked this

Domaine des Roches Neuves (Thierry Germain)

L'Insolite Saumur Chenin Blanc 2015

Honey, brewed green tea, chamomile, ripe yellow pineapple and mango, juicy apricot, medicinal notes/petrol, slightly white pepper, bread dough, marmalade, precise chalky minerality (though I think it’s grown on limestone/schist?). Piercing high acidity, finishes tart and citrusy. Long finish. 😋 — 3 years ago

Peter, Alex and 1 other liked this