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They include Rick Rubel and Andrew Marshall of Charleston Grill, Maverick Southern Kitchen’s Patrick Emerson, and most recently, Social’s Brad Ball.
For perspective, according to the Court of Master Sommeliers Portland, Oregon, has three advanced somms and Nashville and New Orleans each only have two.
And while passing the rigorous exam is a feather in one’s cap, these locals’ reasons for taking the test go beyond resume building. “It’s an intellectual battle against myself,” Marshall explains.
“There are many people out there who can say they know a lot about wine,” adds Emerson, “but those who really know wine will tell you they actually don’t know anything at all.”
Ball perhaps sums it up best, saying, “Ultimately, we’re just a bunch of wine dorks.” We’ll raise a glass to that—to our city’s savviest wine dorks!