Best of Boston

BEST Sommelier

2015 BEST Sommelier
Photograph by Webb Chappell

Colleen Hein, Eastern Standard


A wine list heavy on bubbles, burgundy, and cru Beaujolais could be a bit overwhelming for the casual tippler. But Eastern Standard virtuoso Colleen Hein has a hands-on approach to demystifying wine, and a crack team of servers she educates… read more»

2014 BEST Sommelier

Todd Lipman, Bistro du Midi


Not to diminish the importance of knowing your Rhône from your Rheingau, but technical expertise is but a fraction of the wine steward’s craft. What separates wonky savant from sommelier superstar is, quite simply, knowing how to read your audience…. read more»

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»

2007 BEST Sommelier

Brick Loomis


Loomis is the anti-sommelier (a fact that may or may not be rooted in his past as a punk rocker). He’s not patronizing, despite knowing all the details on 600 labels and more than 6,000 bottles; his favorite wines are… 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»