We're thrilled to reveal the 2015 Sommeliers of the Year. To celebrate, all week we're spotlighting their favorite bottles and places to drink, along with a complete wine pairing guide, the best snacks and tips on wine travel.
Dana Frank, Ava Gene’s, Portland, Oregon
Why She Won: She has amassed a remarkable collection of wines from natural and organic producers all over Italy. In fact, she is so committed to Italy that she won’t even serve the Oregon wines she and her husband make under their Bow & Arrow label.
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Molly Wismeier, Restaurant R’evolution, New Orleans
Why She Won: An exceptional talent scout, she stocks her 10,000-bottle cellar with impressive old vintages from lesser-known talents as well as superstars.
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Richard Hanauer, Rpm Steak, Chicago
Why He Won: He raised the bar for the modern steakhouse wine list, allowing guests to drink decades-old California Cabs and older-vintage Bordeaux for less than $100 a bottle.
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Steve Wildy, Vetri Family Restaurants, Philadelphia
Why He Won: Not only does he create some of the most brilliant Italian lists in the country, but he also oversees exceptional beer lists. Plus, he’s just as excited as guests are when they choose a bottle he thinks they’ll really love.
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Taylor Parsons, République, Los Angeles
Why He Won: He creates a new wine list every day, based on the dishes that chef Walter Manzke puts on the menu. The wines are geared precisely to the food.
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Thomas Pastuszak, The Nomad, New York City
Why He Won: He has the same amount of respect and enthusiasm for a current-release Riesling from New York’s Finger Lakes (in fact, he’s collaborating on a wine there) as he does for a 40-year-old bottle from a star Burgundy producer.
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Vilma Mazaite, LaV, Austin, Texas
Why She Won: Although she’s excited to introduce customers to obscure grapes like Fendant, she’s a master of Burgundy, sourcing wines from all the best crus.
More on Vilma Mazaite