learning the secrets of a Master Sommelier

March 14, 2011 § 2 Comments

Every week I do this project I find more and more reasons to love Boulder. Recently Bon Appétit named it the foodiest city in America. Last week the Denver Magazine made me aware of another compelling accolade. Boulder has more Master Sommeliers per capita than any other city in the United States (yes, that includes NYC, SF and LA). Out of the little more than 100 Master Sommeliers in the country, 10 are in Colorado.

This week, master of masters, Bobby Stuckey, has invited me to come learn more about the life of a Master Sommelier at the award-winning restaurant, Frasca, his brainchild with partner Lachlan Patterson. To say I’m excited would be a major understatement.

Bobby earned his Court of Master Sommeliers Certification in 2004, a title held by just over 100 people worldwide. He’s had an incredible career in food & wine. He began his career as a sommelier at The Little Nell in Aspen where in his 5-year tenure he received considerable recognition for his expertise from Gourmet’s “Best Wine Service” Award to a nomination for The James Beard Foundation from “Best Wine Service”. For those who don’t know what James Beard Awards mean, they’re like the Oscars of the food & wine industry. To put it into further perspective Bobby would be up there with Tom Hanks & Sean Penn in numbers of nominations and awards.

In 2000, Bobby joined world-renowned chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry (a food & wine Mecca I’ve still yet to make it to). Within the first year Bobby received the James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Wine Service” award. During his tenure The French Laundry also received the award for “Outstanding Restaurant Service”.

Awards and recognition aside, it’s easy to see how important service is in Bobby’s philosophy of being a sommelier and running a restaurant. Apart from enjoying some of the best food & wine I’ve ever had, at Frasca you are equally dazzled by the service. Bobby and his team make it seem effortless.

This week I have a feeling I’m going to end up with  a greater understanding and appreciation for the amount of work that’s behind that seamless service. As a wine lover, I hope to not only learn more about what it’s like to be a sommelier but also how I can improve my own enjoyment of wine.

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