| 18.04.2021

Somm-antic Drift

With a career in hospitality spanning 20 years, Chris’s first restaurant job was a means to an end—a way to pay his bills while attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He immediately loved the challenge of serving tables—the fast pace, the attention to detail, and the demand to continue to learn about food and wine. His passion and curiosity for wine led him to apply for—and receive—a coveted wine internship at The French Laundry. Here, Chris went from having a mere interest in wine to being devoted to wine. He moved to San Francisco to work as a Sommelier at Spruce and from there went on to be the Wine Director at Restaurant Gary Danko. After stints at Sociale, Michael Mina and Octavia, Chris got the opportunity to open Ungrafted with his wife, Rebecca Fineman.

Despite the long days at work and a wife who wanted his attention (Rebecca), he continued to set aside time for his studies. He is a Master Sommelier candidate and has passed two out of three sections of the exam. He hopes to pass the exam in full in 2021.

Chris’s accolades are numerous and include: 2012 Best New Sommeliers (Wine and Spirits Magazine); 2013 Top New Somm Competition Winner (Guild of Sommeliers); 2013 Zagat 30 Under 30. Chris is also an adjunct instructor at the San Francisco Wine School.

When he is not at work, Chris enjoys dancing, running, and making silly faces with his four-year old.