The Wine Experience Sommelier Team

A team of world-class sommeliers screens every bottle served at the Wine Experience seminars
The Wine Experience Sommelier Team
The 2018 New York Wine Experience Somm Team (Shannon Sturgis)
Oct 24, 2018

One of the Wine Spectator New York Wine Experience's most important behind-the-scenes teams reports at dawn, uniformed in white jackets, and armed with a waiter's key and a well-trained palate. They're the Wine Experience Somm Team, and each year they come from around the world to taste every bottle backstage before it is poured at the seminars and ensure that no bad bottle hits the table during the event's many seminars stocked with trophy wines.

This year's team included more than 20 sommeliers, nearly all of them from Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning programs.


2018 Wine Experience Somm Team

  • Brahm Callahan, from Grand Award winner Grill 23 & Bar in Boston, Mass.
  • Harley Carbery, from Grand Award winner Aureole Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Theresa Carbery Trujillo, from Best of Award of Excellence winner Fleur by Hubert Keller in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Kimberly Cavoores, from Award of Excellence winner Marta in New York, N.Y.
  • Shawn Dore, from Sommelier Services LLC
  • Jennifer Foucher, from Best of Award of Excellence winner Fiola in Washington, D.C.
  • Juan Gomez, from Grand Award winner HMF at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla.
  • David Gordon, from Grand Award winner Tribeca Grill in New York, N.Y.
  • Jill Gubesch, from Award of Excellence winner Frontera Grill/Topolobampo in Chicago, Ill.
  • Crystl Faye Horton, from Grand Award winner Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse in New York, N.Y.
  • Joshua MacGregor, from Best of Award of Excellence winner DB Bistro Moderne in New York, N.Y.
  • Jon McDaniel, from Second City Soil
  • Brad Nugent, from Best of Award of Excellence winners the Grill, the Pool and the Lobster Club in New York, N.Y.
  • Alessandro Piliego, from Grand Award winner Ai Fiori in New York, N.Y.
  • Virginia Philips, from Grand Award winner HMF at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Kimberly Prokoshyn, from Best of Award of Excellence winner Scampi in New York, N.Y.
  • Rory Pugh, from Grand Award winner Jean-Georges in New York, N.Y.
  • Ashley Santoro, from the Standard in New York, N.Y.
  • Sabrina Schatz, from Best of Award of Excellence winner Bobby Flay Steak in Atlantic City, N.J.
  • Erik Segelbaum, from Starr Restaurants, which includes 16 Restaurant Award winners in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.
  • Robert Smith, from Grand Award winner Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Houston in Houston, Texas
  • Adam Sweders, from Award of Excellence winner Siena Tavern and Best of Award of Excellence winner Prime & Provisions in Chicago, Ill.
  • Nina West, from Republique in Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Hristo Zisovski, from Grand Award winner Ai Fiori in New York, N.Y.
  • Mason Zhizuo Sun, from Best of Award of Excellence winner Café Boulud Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Fla.

Back of the House Team

  • Michael Bernales, Eau Resort
  • Stephanie Schrankel, Sea Star
  • Gillian Ballance, Treasury Wine Estates
  • Catherine Larsen, Larsen Wines
  • Jesse Rodriguez, Montage Resorts

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