To find our Best New Sommeliers each year, we ask thousands of America’s working sommeliers to pick the brightest new members in their ranks. What qualifies them? Attributes like grace under pressure, poise in the face of disaster, and the talent of taking a dining experience from mundane to extraordinary. They also must be mentors who treat others with dignity and respect. We believe this to be an essential quality in the next generation of wine industry leaders.
Wine & Spirits developed this award in 2003 to acknowledge the professionalism of talented new sommeliers. This year, when Anthony Cailan was nominated by his peers, our research showed him to be of upstanding character. However, after reviewing the allegations reported against him, we have decided to withdraw his name from this year’s Best New Sommelier winners.
Last year, Spirits Editor Rachel DelRocco Terrazas reported on bartenders raising harassment issues and launching support and awareness programs like Safe Bars and Outsmart NYC. “Drinking can be a catalyst for an enjoyable night out,” she wrote, “but it can also inspire inappropriate conduct on both sides of the bar.” Although a cultural change may not come quickly, “one way to start,” Terrazas wrote, “is to notice and speak up.”
Wine & Spirits is committed to continuing to notice and speak up, encouraging diversity in the wine industry and a dialogue around respect for all members of the wine community.
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