Best Sommeliers In DC

October 24, 2012 6:00 AM

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winebar Best Sommeliers In DC

(credit: Thinkstock)

A glass of refreshing sparkling wine, crispy white wine or rich red wine is often the best accompaniment to your meal when you are dining out. There’s nobody better to select your beverage, or help you find your favorites, than a sommelier. As a certified, trained wine expert, a sommelier knows how to help you pick the perfect wine to compliment your food. Below is a list of some of the most highly regarded sommeliers in the district. Even individuals not likely to order wine may find themselves becoming an oenophile after receiving a recommendation from the following wine stewards.

Joseph Quinn
775 G St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 737-7663

As sommelier of one of D.C.’s most popular wine bars, Proof, Joseph Quinn’s No. 1 goal is  to ensure patrons have the opportunity to appreciate “the sheer pleasure that a great wine and a great meal work together to bring.” In his opinion, wine is an essential part of the dining experience. His lengthy wine list aims to represent “the best of the best from everywhere; from multiple vintages of revered Bordeaux to a mad genius in Slovenia,” so there is a wine to compliment every dish served at Proof. Quinn’s dedication to finding the highest-quality wines that best enhance the flavors of the food at Proof helped lead the restaurant to its popularity, as has his own reputation as one of D.C.’s finest sommeliers.

Michael Iglesias
401 7th St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 628-1005

In the 2.5 years since becoming general manager of Oyamel, sommelier Michael Iglesias has completely revitalized the wine program at this trendy Mexican small plates restaurant. Using the skills he honed while working at Michael Chiarello’s restaurant in Napa Valley, Iglesias has introduced a global wine program at Oyamel with an emphasis on “aromatic white wines such as rieslings and Gewürztraminers” that contrast the spicy flavors of Mexican cuisine. As a part of his program, he teaches wine classes to all of the wait staff at Oyamel, so guests may receive an educated wine recommendation from any staff member. By offering distinctive and exciting wines by the glass, flight and bottle, he said he hopes patrons will appreciate how flawlessly the taste and aroma of certain wines highlights the delicious ingredients of the cuisine at Oyamel. Iglesias’ expertise as a sommelier is illustrated in his ability to showcase the complimentary relationship between wine and a cuisine not traditionally known for being conducive to wine pairing.

Todd Thrasher
Restaurant Eve
110 S. Pitt St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 706-0450

Known for his gregarious and enthusiastic personality, Todd Thrasher is the general manager and sommelier of the highly acclaimed Restaurant Eve in Alexandria. He provides the wine pairings for Restaurant Eve’s famed five-, seven- and nine-course tasting menus, which change with every season. He also compiles the wine lists for Eve and its sister restaurants and lounges. A winner of numerous wine professional awards, you may sample Thrasher’s wine selections at Restaurant Eve, Majestic, PX Lounge and Society Fair.

Related: Best Tasting Menus in D.C.

Kathryn Morgan
3000 M St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 625-2150

What sets Morgan apart from other sommeliers is that she has obtained the coveted title of master sommelier. There are only 197 master sommeliers in the world, and all undergo a rigorous, multi-course program with exams developed by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Find her at Citronelle, one of D.C.’s most famous high-end restaurants. The diverse wine list that she has developed at Citronelle, featuring wines from as far away as South Africa to as close by as Virginia, speaks volumes to her talents as a sommelier.

Ed Jenks 
1900 M St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 659-1990

With nearly 250 individual wine labels available at Vidalia, many of which are offered by the taste, glass and half bottle, Ed Jenks has made sure there is something for everyone at Vidalia. After starting at Vidalia nearly five years ago, Jenks focused the restaurant’s wine list on “small producers from around the world. Wines that people actually buy and drink.” As a sommelier he said he hopes to encourage patrons to venture out of their comfort zones. Jenks’ goal to assist diners in discovering varietals and flavors they can enjoy demonstrates his own appreciation and understanding of the world of wine and the pleasures it has to offer.

Related: Best Romantic Restaurants in D.C.

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at

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