Jason Wagner Named— And Unnamed?— To Food & Wine Top Sommelier List


It should have been good news all around— Jason Wagner, who launched the wine list at Nellcôte and RM Champagne Salon, was moving to The Gage and Henri, while his equally acclaimed colleague Shebnem Ince left those restaurants to go work for Perman Wine Selections. But the onward and upward progress of somms hit a snag: apparently along the way Wagner learned that his job-hop would cost him the honor of being named one of Food & Wine’s Top Sommeliers. Since the list for 2013 doesn’t come out until April, we only have Wagner’s tweets for verification of the story, but apparently the honor is awarded to a somm in a specific post— which means, evidently, that you can’t switch jobs between something like December and April if you’re up for the award. (If they did that in advertising, where we once toiled, nobody would ever collect any award.) Wagner’s unhappiness is pretty clear from his tweets, which include some directed at Food & Wine (which did not respond responded here): “it’s been a career-long goal 4 me n its heartbreaking to see what I poured my heart into is now not recognized… apparently it’s the venue, not the somm that gets the award. Creating 2 beautiful wine lists not enuf.” [Twitter, 312 Dining Diva]