A refugee from war-torn Ethiopia, Shemsedin Hassen (Shem) arrived in the United States in 1987 with literally nothing. The son of a politician, Shem was trained as an electrician, but first found work in the U.S. as a bus boy at the Holiday Inn on Rhode Island Avenue. In 1989, he applied for a job as a stock person at Northwest Washington's Morris Miller Wine & Liquors. Then-manager Doug Rosen discovered that Shem was a natural, having the finest palate he had ever encountered and began introducing him to the world of fine wine.
Shem spent more than a decade at Morris Miller, becoming a co-owner of the Washington, DC, institution in 1996. He has combined his passion for and knowledge of wine with a keen business acumen. In 2004, he joined Doug Rosen again; this time as his partner at Arrowine.
Shem has traveled extensively, seeking out quality and value for his wine customers. While he favors no particular country, Shem has a depth of knowledge in wines from California and Bordeaux.