After spending a great evening at Canlis with new friends Michael Madrigale and his lovely wife Norma, I was struck by how much a sommelier enhanced our experience. Now that chefs have been elevated to celebrity status, sommeliers and mixologists are the up and coming rock stars of the restaurant scene. So I'm going to shout out a Somm when I hear of someone awesome. There are so Many doing their thing:

Brian McClintic: Viticole wine

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Brian McClintic is a Master Sommelier and documentary film star of the feature length SOMM and the follow up SOMM: Into the Bottle. After 15 years in hospitality, spanning wine destinations such as the Little Nell in Aspen, Brian co-founded Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant in Santa Barbara, where he was named “The Wine Guy to Hire” by Departures magazine and among the “40 Under 40 Tastemakers” by Wine Enthusiast.

Bitten by the travel bug in recent years, McClintic launched Viticole in 2016--an online wine club and travel blog, focusing on organically-farmed domestic and import selections. By the 1st of every month, Brian travels to vineyards all over the world and offers out special bottlings directly from the winery door in real time.

 

 

Patrick Cappiello: La Paulée

Patrick Cappiello is the Chef Sommelier for Daniel Johnnes "La Paulée."

With over 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry, his wine career has given him access to three of the world's greatest wine cellars. All have been recipients of Wine Spectators "Grand Award," including TriBeCa Grill, Veritas, and GILT (he achieved the award as Wine Director in 2011). Additionally he was named "Wine Person of the Year 2014" by Imbibe Magazine and was nominated for Wine Enthusiast "Sommelier of the Year" in 2012.

He has been featured in the New York Times, Men's Journal, the New York Post, Martha Stewart, and many additional times in Wine Spectator issues. Mr. Cappiello resides on New York City's Lower East Side. He is an avid video game player and bicyclist, enjoys traditional Mexican tacos, beer in a can, and Irish whiskey.

 

Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen: RN74 (Seattle, WA) and wine maker extraordinaire

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Sommelier Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen’s passion for wine and fine cuisine has taken him around the world in pursuit of the ancient art and craft of winemaking. He has worked the harvest in Burgundy, New Zealand, Washington and Oregon. In 2007 Jeff took his passion to the next level founding WT Vintners and is currently crafting small lot, single vineyard wines in Woodinville, WA. Joining the team at RN74 Seattle and working with celebrated Wine Director Rajat Parr represents the next step in his pursuit of all things vine. Jeff has had the opportunity to work alongside several of the Pacific Northwest’s best chefs, restaurateurs, and sommeliers while honing his craft. His resume includes a laundry list of Seattle’s top restaurants in including Cascadia, and James Beard Award winning Lampreia and Cafe Juanita. Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen holds an "Advanced Sommelier Certification" from the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Sommelier Diploma from the International Sommelier Guild. In 2008, he won the Pacific Northwest Super-Regional Best Young Sommelier Competition and competed as a finalist in the national competition hosted by La Chaine des Rotisseurs International Food & Wine Society. He is amidst the rigorous process that is the Master Sommelier examination.

Nelson Daquip: Canlis (Seattle, WA)

 

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Canlis Sommelier Nelson Daquip has been the most rapidly promoted employee in Canlis’ history, rising from server assistant, to server, to assistant sommelier, to wine director in only four years. We weren’t the only ones to notice – Food and Wine Magazine featured Nelson in their June 2005 profile of national up-and-coming sommeliers. The following year, Wine & Spirits Magazine named Nelson one of the “Best New Sommeliers” of 2006, and in 2008 he was recognized as Seattle’s “Best Sommelier” by Seattle Magazine.

After earning a culinary degree from Kapiolani Community College through the University of Hawaii, Nelson served at the prestigious Alan Wong’s restaurant in Hawaii for three years. He found Canlis in the summer of 2002 and within the year, Nelson had earned his place in the coveted six-month Canlis “Vinternship” program, aimed at developing young sommeliers within the Seattle wine community. Under master sommelier and Canlis Wine Director Shayn Bjornholm, Nelson learned how to run a world-class wine program. Shortly thereafter, he became a master sommelier candidate by passing his advanced course for the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Nelson expanded his horizons on his first trip to Champagne, France in order to assist with the second bottling of Jean Milan “Canlis Cuvée” Brut. He later led the Canlis Wine Team to the Walla Walla Valley to bring the 2006 and 2009 Buty “Peter Canlis” Syrahs from vineyard to bottle, and to Austria for the creation of Kracher Vineyard’s “Christopher Alois.”

Nelson brings his aloha spirit to the table – a welcoming tradition where he shares a piece of his life with each guest. As Queen Lililuokalani stated in her last message to the people of Hawaii, “Kulia I ka Nu’u” – strive for the highest.