SLO Film Fest welcomes Festival Sommelier

Friday, January 12th, 2018

Ali Rush Carscaden photo courtesy of Facebook

– The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLO Film Fest) is delighted to welcome Ali Rush Carscaden as the first ever SLO Film Fest Sommelier. Ms. Carscaden is a Certified Advanced Sommelier and owner of 15 Degrees c Wine Shop and Bar, located in Templeton, California. As the 2018 Film Festival Sommelier, Ms. Carscaden will be responsible for pairing wines and other beverages with film events, themed parties, filmmaker swag bags and daily wine tastings in the Festival’s Hospitality Lounge located in downtown San Luis Obispo.

“Our growing Festival is ready for a Festival Sommelier to bring an exciting and professional approach to the wines and other beverages selected for the SLO Film Fest each year. We are so lucky to have someone who’s not only an expert in this field, but also a local resident with a great reputation and excellent marketing skills,” said Festival Director, Wendy Eidson.

Carscaden loves wine and the wine industry. While studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Cal Poly, she worked in the tasting room at Castoro Cellars in Paso Robles. Upon graduation, she was promoted to assistant marketing manager, exposing her to the sales side of the industry. While learning about the business, Ms. Carscaden gained some insight into the magic of winemaking, motivating her to go back to school, and within a year, she was completing her Master’s degree in Agriculture. Her thesis project for the Paso Robles Wine County Alliance inspired Gary Eberle to hire her for a direct sales management position at Eberle Winery. She then became a Fine Wine Specialist for the Henry Wine Group where she worked for six years.

Ms. Carscaden is now a certified advanced sommelier through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and a certified Somm through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She started 15 Degrees c Wine Shop and Bar in 2007, and recently expanded by moving to Main Street in downtown Templeton. Offering a wide selection of small production Central Coast wines along with over 500 wines from around the world, 15 Degrees c is a local and visitor favorite, with a comfortable and friendly vibe and great food.

Ms. Carscaden is also a mother and enjoys leading special trips to France and Spain to enjoy the fruits of her labor and learn more about the wines she sells.

The SLO Film Fest plans to announce films, special events and wine sponsors in early February, and is currently in the planning stages for another exciting six-day event happening March 13-18, 2018. Movies and events will be concentrated in the City of San Luis Obispo, with several special events being planned for some of the surrounding cities. Festival passes are on sale, with early-bird prices until December 31st. Passes are available at, by calling (805) 546-3456, or in person at the Festival Headquarters, located at 1003 Osos St., in San Luis Obispo, Wednesday afternoons from noon to 5pm.


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