Dionysus Lives On: Top 50 Sommelier and Master of Wine Blogs and Posts
Everyone loves a good glass of wine, but it is sometimes hard to figure out when you are drinking quality wine. In order to ensure that fine wine is being served, many restaurants across the world put faith in their chosen sommelier for the wine selection process. Sommeliers are world-class, highly educated wine connoisseurs. They are an elite group whose training and credentials merit the utmost respect. These top 50 Sommelier and Master of Wine Blogs and Posts stand out amongst the rest, and provide an abundance of information on how to choose a great wine. Also included are a few Master of Wine blogs and posts that give superb recommendations.
Teams: The Team category is comprised of various bloggers contributing to a site or organization devoted to wine. These respected wine writers and sommeliers collaborate with their peers and fellow wine lovers to learn and teach simultaneously.
1. Secret Sommelier – Secret Sommelier is an interactive community for wine lovers around the world. Written by an entire team, this blog has anything and everything about the best wines. Introducing wines both old and new, these seasoned sommeliers do an excellent job of pairing wine with the appropriate delicacies.
2. Decanter – Decanter.com is a wine-lover’s site with an excellent blog written by a team of editors. While the site offers anything from courses to event planning, the blog features specific wines that should be tasted ASAP!
3. Savvy Company – The Savvy Company is a team of sommeliers who are also creative marketers. The Savvy Team will help you from anything to picking wines for a party to the best wine vineyards to tour.
4. Wine Couch – Full Circle Wine Solutions is a wine and spirits educational firm based in San Francisco. Each client’s tastes and needs are put into consideration when their program is customized. Each program is lead by sommeliers, and all programs are directed by Master Sommelier, Evan Goldstein.
5. The Blend Blog – The Blend is written by a team of writers, one being a Master Sommelier from Texas. This blog emphasizes the love of wine with some southern charm. Getting many opinions from all of the different writers, this blog is always up to date with the latest trends in wine.
Restaurants: The Restaurant sommelier category is made up of restaurant sommeliers and wine masters who contribute to their restaurant’s blog. These experts know their wine lists front and back.
1. The Cliff House – The Cliff House’s blog, Wine Flights of Fancy, is written by the restaurant’s sommelier and gives superb recommendations for wine pairings. Focused on restaurant wines, the sommelier teaches readers how to order wine at restaurants.
2. The Blue Collar Sommelier - The Blue Collar Sommelier is a blog written by a self-taught sommelier (technically not certified, but definitely knows his stuff) who focuses on the “noteworthy and usually under-valued” details of wines.
3. Jonathan Charnay – Jonathan Charnay is a Chilean-born New York City resident who now directs three NYC restaurant wine-programs. This year he has begun his Master of wine program, in order to become s Master Sommelier!
4. Wine Cheap – Wine Chap: Restaurant Wine Lists Unraveled is a media-based blog that explains wine lists in further detail. While many people see daunting wine lists and choose a wine at random, this blog shows the average person to go about ordering wine at a restaurant.
5. Eatocracy – Eatocracy, of CNN, features anything food/drink related, but has a special post on sommelier, Paul Grieco. Grieco runs a restaurant (Hearth) and 2 wine bars (Terroir and Tribeca) in New York City, and has a knack for picking out great wines from the lesser-known parts of the world.
Female: The Female sommelier category consists of a small group of women who have ventured into a previously male dominated industry.
1. Sharron Peterson - Sharron Peterson is both a sommelier and a future graduate of the UC Davis Winemaking/Enology program. Her ultimate goal is to educate wine lovers in a “snob-free zone” throughout the country,” emphasizing fun and positivity to those willing to learn.
2. Wine By Alia - Alia Personal Sommelier is a blog written by Alia, who fell in love with wine in Paris while on sabbatical. As she has now dedicated her life to wine, she has a “services” section where she will organize tastings, food pairings, and consultations for interested customers.
3. The Savvy Sommelier - A self-proclaimed “Wine appreciation teacher,” Jennifer Ayre is a certified sommelier in Mountain View, CA. She is the owner of Savvy Cellar Wines, and Savvy Cellar Bar and Wine Shop.
4. Red Carnations - Being both a French and a female sommelier, Lia Povedo has found her job to be challenging, yet exciting. In an industry dominated by men, Lia blogs about her career at the Red Incarnation Hotel, from the female sommelier’s point of view.
5. Sarita the Wine Gal – Serta Moreno, author of The Wine Gal, is a certified sommelier here to teach wine lovers at all levels. “What’s in my glass?” is a section dedicated to the rankings of various wines where she provides the “smooth rank,” personal rating, and ultimately, the price of each bottle she tries.
6. Business Week – This Business Week article shares the story of an unlikely girl turned Wine Master. As Korean woman, she shares her uphill battle of overcoming stereotypes in order to become a top masters.
INTERNATIONAL: These international sommeliers have a worldly background and have traveled far and wide to taste and critique the best wines.
1. Robert Giorgione – Robert Giogione is a Wine Consultant and Social Media Resource for any and all wine lovers. Based in London, he has worked for many high-profile restaurants, as well as served as an award-winning consultant with fine diners in other major.
2. Magan – Magan, from Just Magan, is a sommelier and blogger who blogs about many aspects wine, life and the universe. He is from India, and gives the perspective of a unique, Indian sommelier.
3. Dermot’s Wine Blog - Dermot Nolan’s Wine Blog is a simple and tasteful blog from one of Ireland’s most esteemed Wine Masters. Nolan has worked in wine retail and consultancy, but enjoys teaching, and hopes to encourage interested students to take a wine course!
4. Emmanuel Delmas - Emmanuel Delmas is a sommelier from Paris whose goal (and other blog’s title) is to “make wine accessible to all.” He is currently in the process of launching the first TV channel solely dedicated to wine, ENDONYS, set for 2011.
5. Pino Bruno – Pino Bruno is an Italian sommelier with a scientific background. He has studied everything about wine, from its tiniest components to its best food pairings.
EDUCATIONAL: The educational category is composed of blogs whose main purpose is to teach anyone, amateurs to professionals, to love and appreciate wine.
1. Andreas Larsson – Winner of many awards, including Best Sommelier of 2007, Andreas Larsson is worth a visit to get the expert’s opinion. Constantly traveling, touring, and speaking, Andreas Larsson is always contributing useful wino-information his blog.
2. Doug Frost – Doug Frost is one of three people in the world to hold the title of both Master Sommelier and Master of Wines. Frost is an esteemed writer and lecturer, who has won many prestigious awards, and is still on a quest to learn more.
3. Dr. Vino – Dr. Vino, Tyler Colman, has studied wines for most of his life, and now teaches classes at NYU and in Chicago. He has written many acclaimed books, and wrote his PhD’s dissertation on the political economy of wine in France and the United States. Well-read and well taught, he is certainly an expert.
4. Elevage Wine – Elevage, the French term for the process of nurturing and guiding wine from the vineyard to the bottle, is an educational site for all wine enthusiasts written by two sommeliers from Seattle. While they give professional advice to restaurants and businesses they also provide informative to civilians for choosing great wines to all patrons.
5. James the Wine Guy – James the Wine Guy, written by James Melendez is an avid poster, who also has blogs about food, spirits, restaurants, and travel (all titled James the _____ Guy). Informative and educational, James contributes many “Best-of” lists of wines that are not to be missed.
6. Fermentation - Fermentation The Daily Wine Blog is a blog written by Tom Wark that has a unique spin on wine and public relations. While his topics are all focused on wines, he is able to bring the media’s perspective to the blog, making this blog stand apart from the other wine-recommendation blogs.
7. Uncorked Love – Uncorked Love: a wino’s journey to sommelier is a blog written by a university graduate who has enrolled in a Sommelier Program. Michelle, the author, has chronicled her journey from start to finish, and has done a great job “uncorking” her love affair with wine.
Master of Wine:While different from the Sommeliers, the Masters of Wine are also experts when it comes to wine. This group of Master of Wine bloggers provides insightful and helpful advice for anyone looking to enhance their wine knowledge.
1. Debra Master of Wine – Debra Master of Wine is a blogger (and Wine Master, obviously) who left her wine-country home in Sonoma County to be a wine expert in Hong Kong. As a respected professor and master, she has earned her title by doing everything from the harvest, to writing a weekly column for the South China Morning Post.
2. Tim Atkin – Tim Atkin, Master of Wine, is an award winning wine writer who regularly gives a review of a particular wine each week. While he has a sophisticated palette and great recommendations, his outstanding writing skills make this blog shine.
3. Jancis Robinson - Jancis Robinson is a daily blogger (who also has a team of writers) that gives her up-to-date recommendations and tips for any curious wine lover. This interactive site has videos, articles, and a forum for anyone to inquire about Jancis’ daily posts.
4. Wine Styles – The Masters Wine Panel at WineStyles (a boutique wine retailer) provides excellent guidance by providing wines from boutique wineries around the globe. Their system of rating each wine in the store lets the customers know exactly what they are purchasing.
Sommelier Guest Posts: These guest posts specialized in sommelier-related issues and stood out within their own blogospheres.
1. SF Gate - Based out of the wino-central San Francisco, the Wine Blog of the San Francisco Chronicle has daily features of the West Coast’s and Napa’s greatest picks. With a multitude of wine bars to choose from, this blog’s recommendations are always a must for places to get wine.
2. Diner’s Journal – The NYT Food and Drink Blog researches the role of the sommelier at restaurants. Are they there to pressure you and take advantage of your amateur taste buds?
3. BBC Good Food – An interesting and thought-provoking blog post about talking wine with a sommelier. While the sommelier’s job is to remain wise on the topic, there is the suggested notion that they are also there to intimidate the customer.
4. Gender Across Borders – This gender feminist blog highlights the fact that most sommeliers are men, members of the “old boys club.” While it is becoming more frequent that women are joining the club, author Emily Heroy gives many historical examples of as to why this is the case.
5. Nudges – This interesting article on the iPad apps for wine suggests that the digital age’s recommendations may trump your local sommelier’s choices. Whether or not that is true, the article provides many apps for seasoned winos or for those interested in the topic.
6. Curious Wines – The Sommelier Wine Awards 2010 are not big deal for anyone who enjoys the occasional glass of wine. For those who know wine, study wine, and love wine, these are the biggest awards of the year. This article gives all the details of the wino’s Oscars.
7. Le Sommelier – Le Sommelier, Inc. is a Canadian wine agency dedicated to bringing the finest of wines to the Canadian market. While they suggest wines from all ranges, they have a nice section for superior wines from independent, boutique wineries.
8. Notable Wine – For those that are confused about the differences between the Master of Wines and Master Sommeliers, have no fear; this blogger goes into thorough detail. Whether you are a MW or a MS, you certainly know your wines!
9. Sommeliers International – A great site for all things sommelier-related, this article talks about the first component of wine, the vineyard. While most sommeliers are not actually growing grapes, this instructs any gardener on how to maintain a top-notch vineyard.
10. Chron – David Stout, Master Sommelier to the Texas winos, directs beverage education for the Dallas-based Glazer’s wholesale distributors. This particular article focuses on Stout’s ever-curious palette as he tries an array of restaurants ranging from a “hole-in the wall” to the city’s best.
11. SF Gate – Once again the debate of Sommelier v. Master comes to the surface, and is hashed out by two long-time friends. The co-authors of “Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World’s Top Wine Professionals,” was published in October 2010, and takes a deeper look into the issue.
12. Tasting-Wine - This article carefully scrutinizes the difficulties in become a sommelier and/or master of wine. After understanding the tests, trials, and necessary experience involved in obtaining such titles, you will likely pay more attention next time you are ordering wine.
Sommelier Groups: These are groups of sommeliers who get together to discover the wonders of wines. Tune in!
1. Sommelier Society – The Sommelier Society of America is the nation’s oldest wine-teaching institution. While they offer higher-level courses, they hope to make the art of teaching and studying wine available and easy to anyone willing to learn.
2. US Sommelier - The United States Sommelier Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching the wine culture to wine lovers and industry professionals. They also are trying to promote the art of drinking wines, to any and everyone.
3. Guild – The Guild of Sommeliers hopes to network wine connoisseurs all over the world. Their interactive, online community is a great place for members to get involved regardless of where they might live.
4. Food and Wine - This short article gives a nice description of the seven featured sommeliers from Food and Wine this year. From seven separate parts of the country, each sommelier did an outstanding job bringing a new, innovative, and profitable wine list to their respective restaurants.
5. Master of Wine - The Institute of Masters of Wine currently has 289 members, and ranges from anyone that is a winemaker to senior executives. While this is a prestigious and elite group, there is always room to join if you are qualified.
6. International Wine Guild – The International Wine Guild’s blog focuses on wine education, wine schools, and wine classes/tastings. While novices are encouraged to learn about wines, this blog is dedicated to those who want to pursue a wine-related career.