Sommeliers of the Year

The seven sommeliers honored on these pages have created incredible, forward-thinking lists at restaurants launched in 2009. The eclectic group of men and women includes industry veterans and new talents, ex-chefs, an ex-cheesemonger, and even one beer fanatic.

By Megan Krigbaum

Stephanie Caraway: Chef’s Table, Iowa City, IA

Why she won: Because she finds amazing wine values from southern France.

After working as a cellar assistant for Arizona restaurant impresario Peter Kasperski, Caraway sold wine for distributors in Colorado and Iowa. Realizing she was much happier in restaurants, she came to Chef’s Table.

Favorite value:
2005 Château des Tours Vacqueyras Rouge ($32 at Chef’s Table), a stunning value from Châteauneuf-du-Pape producer Emmanuel Reynaud of Château Rayas. It has spice and a pretty burnt-orange component.”

Favorite pairing:
Fruity 2006 Château du Donjon Minervois Grande Tradition ($25) with chef Eric McDowell’s bison rib eye withmushrooms and root vegetables confit. “The bison has a nice peppery bite