One of the things I like best about the wine industry is being surrounded by creative, passionate people. Often this means working with the vintners, winemakers, cellar-masters, and vineyard managers, but there’s another often-overlooked group who deserve a lot more attention than they receive – Sommeliers!
I’ve been fortunate to meet a large number of them and many are, hands-down, the best in the business. Running the National Young Sommelier Competition for Chaine des Rotisseurs and as the Vintner Liaison for the Naples Winter Wine Festival, means I get to work with them a few times a year.
Here’s an All-Star lineup I brought in to Florida last year for a history-making Haut Brion Tasting with Prince Robert of Luxembourg.
Left to right: Dennis Kelly of the French Laundry, David Singer of Boston’s L’Espallier, Michael Meagher of Heirloom Wine Group, Dustin Wilson – Eleven Madison Park, Alex Lapratt of Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro, Eric Railsback of RN74 in San Francisco, Ian Cauble – US Brand Ambassador for Krug Champagne, Jill Zamorski of Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Matt Carroll at Rogue 24 in Washington DC, Heath Porter – the Greenbriar Resort, Chris Miller of Spago, and Brett Taylor of Soutirage in Napa and NYC.