Master sommelier Fernando Beteta, 32, is wine director at the Chicago Hyatt’s NoMI restaurant, managing its 10,000-bottle, Best of Award of Excellence–winning cellar. The wine business runs in his family, back to his great-grandfather, a winemaker who opened a wineshop in the colonial city of La Antigua in Beteta’s native Guatemala more than 100 years ago. At 18, Beteta enrolled at L’Ecole Hotelier de Lausanne in Switzerland, and cultivated a love of wine while working in Florence, Sardinia and Rome. He talked with freelance writer Tina Benitez about the Italian red that changed his life, the duties of a sommelier, and how his travels to wine regions keep his job fresh.
For the full article, check out the new issue of Wine Spectator, on newsstands September 22, 2009.