Best of Boston

BEST Sommelier

2013 BEST Sommelier

Theresa Paopao, Ribelle


We first fell in love with Paopao when she was the bubbly sommelier at Oleana, in Cambridge—and then, as is often the case with talented hospitality folks, she split for New York, for a prestigious gig as the sommelier for… read more»

2012 BEST Sommelier

No. 9 Park


For the past two decades, Barbara Lynch has relied on sommelier Cat Silirie for all things wine—and for good reason. No. 9 Park is one of the city’s most rewarding places to order, sample, drink, and think about vintages and… read more»

2011 BEST Sommelier

Kai Gagnon, Bergamot


Don’t underestimate Kai Gagnon because of his soft-spoken gentility. The man knows his wine, and better yet, he knows what the palate wants. At Bergamot, he’s crafted an adventurous, not-so-typical list of bottles that leans on France but can also… read more»

2010 BEST Sommelier

Cat Silirie

Most sommeliers keep their servers so oenologically clueless, it feels like a job-security scheme. Not so with Silirie, who arms every associate in Barbara Lynch’s multi-restaurant gastro-empire with knowledge that extends far beyond by-the-glass pours. Ask about any esoteric bottling… read more»

2009 BEST Sommelier

Grill 23 & Bar


Where others might lean on ‘steak wines’ like big California cabs (yawn), Grill 23′s DeWinter is likely to suggest a Paolo Bea Rosso 2000, from the little Umbrian town of Sagrantino, for your bone-in filet—he’s just that excited about the… read more»

2008 BEST Sommelier

Geoffrey Fallon, Les Zygomates


Paying zero attention to point ratings, Les Zygomates’ wine wiz fills the extensive list and hosts tastings of wines that range from grocery-aisle discoveries to rare and exotic imports. read more»

2006 BEST Sommelier

Erik Johnson, L’Espalier, Sel de la Terre


Every sommelier in town will tell you that wine isn’t about snobbery, it’s about fun. Only Erik Johnson, a self-proclaimed ‘cork dork,’ makes us believe it. Johnson tastes 1,000 wines each year to build the lists at lavish L’Espalier and… read more»

2005 BEST Sommelier

Cat Silirie, No. 9 Park


A good sommelier knows wine. A great sommelier enlightens all the rest of us. That’s what makes No. 9 Park’s Cat Silirie the best in town. Each evening her servers are treated to “wine word” classes—”it’s grassy, not bright!”—during the… read more»

2004 BEST Sommelier

Cat Silirie, No. 9 Park


Whatever you do, don’t call Cat Silirie a sommelier. That title conjures up a tastevin-toting snob stealing sips of your wine. Silirie is too modest—and tasteful—to affect such hauteur, preferring instead to work behind the scenes, where she has created… read more»

2003 BEST Sommelier

James Flynn, The Federalist


One hundred seventeen pages long, with upwards of 32,800 bottles, the Federalist’s wine list is a tome to be reckoned with—if not downright feared. But as inaccessible as the list may seem, sommelier James Flynn navigates it with cool confidence… read more»