Many people consider themselves wine enthusiasts, or knowledgeable about the world of wines, but few can actually call themselves a Sommelier. To become a Sommelier, or even better, a Master Sommelier, a person must study for an extensive period of time and then take an extremely intense exam that tests them on the tasting, serving and history of hundreds of different wines.
Only 230 people in the entire world can call themselves a Master Sommelier and we are very lucky to have a large concentration of them here in New York City. Of course, they are all working in the city’s finest and most expensive establishments, but their knowledge and mastery of all things wine are absolutely priceless.
Aldo Sohm is the Wine Director for New York’s longest rated four-star restaurant, Le Bernardin, as well as his own establishment, the Aldo Sohm Wine Bar. In 2002, he was named Austria’s Best Sommelier, and in 2007 he was named America’s.
Adrien Falcon began his career at the young age of 18 in Savoy France as a Commis Sommelier or assistant sommelier. Now, he is the Wine Director of the acclaimed restaurant Bouley where he oversees a collection of over 40,000 wines.
Michel Couvreux brings over 20 years of experience to his position of Head Sommelier at Per Se. His luxurious career in the city includes institutions like Bouley and Le Bernardin and was recognized as “One of the Great Sommeliers in America” in 2006 by New York Magazine.
Raj Vaidya is the Head Sommelier at Daniel, the shining two Michelin Star by Daniel Boulud. Vaidya has experience in some of the most celebrated restaurants in New York City and San Francisco and has been awarded diplomas from many of the highest sommelier institutions in the country.
John Ragan is the Master Sommelier for all of the restaurants owned by the Union Square Hospitality Group. He has directed wine programs at some of this city’s most renowned establishments like Eleven Madison Square Park and Gramercy Tavern.
Alexander La Pratt grew up in Detroit working under Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon. He’s made his name in New York working for some of the greatest chefs in New York, and in 2011 was named the “Best Sommelier in America” at the American Sommelier Association Competition.
Michael Engelmann is one of only 14 sommeliers in the world to pass his MS exam on his first attempt. Currently, he serves as Wine Director of The Modern, the informal bar at The Museum of Modern Art, owned by the Union Square Hospitality Group.
Jack Mason studied at the Culinary Institute of America and then went on to get a degree in Hotel Administration at Cornell. He was awarded Best New Sommelier of 2015 and currently, serves as Wine Director at Danny Meyer’s Marta.
Kyungmoon Kim is the first Korean to be honored as a Master Sommelier. Before working under Michael Engelmann at The Modern, Kim served as Wine Director at Jungsik, one of New York’s best Korean restaurants.
Laura Maniec is one of only 20 women in the world to hold the title of Master Sommelier. After 20 years of serving as Wine Director all over New York City, she decided to open Corkbuzz Wine Studio, a store and wine school located in Chelsea.
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