New York’s Best Sommeliers
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New York City has a reputation for being a world leader in the culinary arts, and with that brings an exquisite collection of sommeliers and wine-loving people. There are hundreds of qualified individuals around the city who can provide you with an excellent bottle at any of the high-quality, upscale restaurants throughout the boroughs, but this list is just a few of the people we found most interesting as some of NYC’s best sommeliers.
Kimberly Livingston Prokoshyn
Kimberly Prokoshyn was named one of Wine & Spirit’s Best New Sommeliers of 2015, and currently resides at Rebelle as their head sommelier. Although her career goals didn’t initially involve wine, her experiences working in restaurants as a 20-something opened the door to the world of a sommelier. At Rebelle, she is responsible for curating their wine list, providing beautiful experiences for their customers. Her favorite wines come from France, particularly the Burgundy region. You can follow her on Instagram at @winekimberly.
Jack Mason started out as a budding chef at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He began his career simply just wanting to cook, until he took a wine class and started the track to becoming a master sommelier. At 27 years old, he is now the MS at Marta, an upscale pizza restaurant near Madison Square Park, helping to manage their 9,000 bottle collection. Although wine is now his living, he still loves to cook, and makes an effort to whip up meals for his friends and family often.
A native Frenchman, Michael Engelmann is one of a small group of individuals to ever pass the master sommelier exam on the first try. He began his career in Michelin-starred restaurants in France, and moved on to other legendary locales around the world before landing in New York City at The Modern, another of the Union Square Hospitality Group alongside Jack Mason. He’s known for his high quality, global tastes, and currently has a thing for South African wines. Over the last decade, Engelmann has won multiple awards like Best Sommelier in America, and one of the top five Best New Sommeliers, both in 2009.
Juliette Pope has been an institution at the Gramercy Tavern. For well over a decade, she has been carefully selecting and cultivating a wine list that dazzles customers, and places high standards for vintners. She started at the bottom as a line cook for the famous Tom Colicchio and worked her way up as the sommelier for the celebrated restaurant. Pope is known for her love of local and organic wines, but only if they meet her extremely high bar. In May of 2016, she announced her departure from Gramercy Tavern, so we look forward to seeing where she goes next.
Similarly to others on this list, Pastuszak started out in a field completely unrelated to the culinary arts. His love for food and wine began while he was bartending as a student at Cornell in Ithaca, New York at a restaurant called Stella’s where he went on to be the general manager. In 2011, he moved back to the city to work under Tom Colicchio and is now the wine director at The NoMad Hotel, working towards his Master Sommelier certificate.
And if you think these restaurants sound delicious don’t miss the Ironbound Wine & Food Expo in October – featuring food just like this! Taking place October 7th and 8th in Newark, New Jersey’s Ironbound District. Learn more here.