Wine news

Who is Aldo Sohm? A Closer Look at one of the 2017 James Beard Award Semifinalists

Last week, the 2017 James Beard Award Semifinalists were released. And like prior years, there are two categories honoring wine: Outstanding Wine Program, and Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional.

One nominee with a particularly interesting story is Aldo Sohm. As we dug into his accomplishments, we became increasingly impressed. This man is a powerhouse of the wine world!

While this is Sohm’s first personal nomination, he was actually behind a 2009 James Beard win for Outstanding Wine Program. Manhattanites may also know him as the owner of Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, recently opened in 2014.

Here are a few more interesting facts to know about Aldo Sohm:

  • Sohm is a somm. Sohm built his name as Chef Sommelier at Le Bernardin. In the process, he also helped build Le Bernardin’s name by guiding the restaurant to a 2009 James Beard Award win for Outstanding Wine Program. Despite his multiple pursuits now, he continues to serve as their sommelier.
  • He’s a winemaker. In partnership with his friend Gerard Kracher, Sohm has produced four organically grown Austrian Gewurtztraminers. Many of these have received over 90 points from Robert Parker.
  • He’s been crowned “Best Sommelier” — twice. Prior to striking it big at Le Bernardin, Sohm was already big. He is a two-time winner in the Best Sommelier in the World contest held by Association de la Sommelerie Internationale. Sohm won on behalf of Austria in 2002, and then the United States in 2007.
  • He represents Zalto glassware. You know those super-slick looking angular wine glasses that make traditional wine glasses look… well… traditional? Sohm is the face of that brand, Zalto, in the U.S. The cool thing about these glasses is that they are crafted according to the tilt angles of the earth – 24°, 48° and 72°. Clearly, an extremely scientific way to make the wine tasting experience better.

The James Beard Award winners will be announced on Monday, May 1st at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.


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