A few decades ago, consulting with a sommelier at a restaurant was an intimidating proposition: Would you be talked down to? Was he (and it was almost always a "he") going to try to upsell you? Thankfully, the stereotypical snooty somm is now mostly a relic. In fact, for many of today's top wine stewards, like Justin Timsit
of New York's Gramercy Tavern
and Swati Bose
of Washington, D.C.'s Flight
, approachability and education are paramount. But consumers are also more wine-savvy than ever before, and they often know exactly what they're looking for and how to find it on the wine list.