Not long ago, sommeliers were little more than bit players in the theater of fine dining. These days, however, many “somms” are among the marquee players in the world of food and wine. They have become winemakers, authors, subjects of documentary films, YouTube stars, key market influencers and, in some cases, powerful brands in their own right. Demand for seats in sommelier-certification courses far outstrips the supply as interest in the profession has never been higher.
This evening, four established stars shed some light on the profession’s history and current popularity. Jeff Porter, wine director for Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, is one of country’s leading buyers of Italian wine. Amanda Smeltz is a sommelier at the high-profile Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud, New York. Eduardo Porto Carreiro oversees beverage operations for the Ford Fry group of restaurants in Atlanta. Moderator Taylor Parsons, a Los Angeles-based sommelier, has managed wine programs for the likes of chefs Wolfgang Puck, Nancy Silverton, and Walter Manzke.
They share stories from years spent “on the floor” and in the world's great wine cellars. In the process, they'll try to demystify some of wine's more inscrutable facets. Come with questions and stay for a guided tasting.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)