Born and raised in Monterey, California, it was only natural that Alpana Singh would develop an interest in wine.
Her family owned an ethnic grocery store in Monterey where she worked at an early age; a life experience that she credits for her present day work ethic and ease with people of all ages. While waiting tables in college, she discovered her love for wine and found that it combined her varied interests of traveling, history and food. At the age of 19, Alpana landed her first job in the wine business as a sales clerk at Nielsen Bros. Market in Carmel, California. In 2000, at the age of 23, she became the sommelier for the highly acclaimed Everest Restaurant in Chicago. Three years later, Alpana would go on to pass final level of the Master Sommelier exam. In 2011, she teamed up with restaurateurs Matt Fisher and John Ward to embark on her first restaurant venture, The Boarding House.
For the past nine seasons, Alpana has also served as the host of the Emmy Award-winning restaurant review television show, Check, Please! which airs weekly in Chicago on the PBS station WTTW Channel 11. She also appears frequently on the station's nightly news program, Chicago Tonight where she answers viewer questions regarding wine and spirits in her segment, Ask Alpana. Nationally, Alpana has appeared on The Today Show and Food Network's Iron Chef America as well as numerous publications including Newsweek, Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Bon Appetit and The New York Times.
When Alpana is not on the hunt for delicious wines, she enjoys cooking from her vast collection of cookbooks, taking photographs, traveling and spending time with her husband, novelist Charles Blackstone and their much indulged Pug, Haruki Murakami.