To mark Andy Myers and Jared Slipp’s ascendance as the Washington area’s newest master sommeliers, I asked some of their colleagues in the Court of Master Sommeliers program to recommend special wines to celebrate with.
Kathryn Morgan, a master sommelier (2010) and sommelier at Range, suggests a progression of celebratory magnums, starting with the 1998 Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill Champagne. The association with Churchill “inevitably reminds us of incredible strength, wisdom, confidence and diplomacy, all of which are necessary for the successful completion of the journey” to become a master sommelier, she says. She would follow that with a 1971 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese from the Saar River area of Germany’s Mosel region and a 1978 Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino.
“I don’t know where we’d go from there, but I’m sure there will be Fernet!” she adds, referring to the amaro digestif favored by many sommeliers.
Riesling seems to be a theme with somms. Matthew Carroll, an advanced sommelier who heads the wine program at Brabo in Alexandria, also recommended a Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, in this case the Josephshöfer Grosses Gewächs, or the Tegernseerhof Riesling Smaragd from the Kellerberg vineyard in Austria’s Wachau region.
“Andy is one of the most passionate advocates for Riesling and always eager to share his love of the grape,” Carroll says. “For Jarad, who’s a huge Burgundy lover, I would suggest something special, like G. Roumier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses.” Or if cocktails are in order, “a Vieux Carré, Jarad’s favorite, followed by a few classic G&T’s would be perfect.”
Michael Scaffidi, advanced sommelier and former wine director at Plume in the Jefferson Hotel, recommends a magnum of 1972 Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Burgundy for Myers. “It is plush, elegant, giving and full of life — the opposite of death metal but perfect for Andy,” he says. For Slipp, he recommends 1975 vintage Krug champagne. “He should drink it out of a Viking-size goblet. It would represent the hard work, dedication and sacrifice it takes to pass this test.”
Carlton McCoy, master sommelier (2013) and wine director at the Little Nell in Aspen, Colo., recalls late nights after service at CityZen with Myers.
“Andy was my first wine mentor, and we spent many a hazy night together,” McCoy says. “After everyone departed, Andy and I would sit alone looking for that last nudge into fog, and there was one guilty pleasure we both shared: old California cabernet. So for our celebration wine, I would share a bottle of 1987 Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow. One of our favorites, and a great vintage to boot.”