Taking “Wine-Pairing” and “Knowing The Winemaker” to a whole new level.
Josh Carlsen has a long history of beverage pursuits – beginning with clandestine brewing and distilling operations in high school, to under-the-table ‘assistant brewer’ positions, boutique wine shop-keeping, bartending, beverage managing, and somm-ing at really cool places like the Stonecat Café and F.L.X. Table. Currently, Josh is lucky to be part of an amazing team of restaurant ninjas preparing to open the latest F.L.X. Hospitality venture in Corning, NY. Josh has also spent an un-godly amount of time reading about wine in preparation for the Court of Master Sommeliers Master Sommelier examination – he would appreciate kind words and understanding of his scattered brain. On top of all of this, Josh has the pleasure of witnessing (and hopefully helping) his outrageous 19 month old daughter experience the world. He also enjoys talking about himself in the third person.
Growing up in the Finger Lakes region, I have always felt a strong connection to the land, lakes, and vines. Wanting to learn more, I made the leap, and moved to NYC, 16 years ago. My journey took me through culinary school at ICE, wine classes at WSET, & countless culinary adventures. During this time, I have had the most humbling experience of working alongside passionate wine educators, distributors, mentors, writers, restaurateurs, Chefs, and incredibly hard working restaurant professionals alike. Recently, I held the title of Wine Director, at the Beatrice Inn, in Manhattan, owned by Chef Angie Mar. Feeling the “pull” to move back, I am excited to again, be a part of the Finger Lakes community. I believe strongly, this is a great time for the Finger Lakes. There is incredible talent here amongst, Chefs & growers, distillers, brewers, and winemakers like Paige and Kim at Three Brothers. Thank you all for embracing me. This has been a true homecoming.
Etinosa Emokpae went from milkshakes to Merlot. It was her first restaurant job, Shake Shack, that taught her the value of what true hospitality meant. She worked her way up through Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality, backserving at Untitled at the Whitney and Maialino, where she was introduced to the amazing world of wine. She left to open Lafayette and Little Park as a Captain and became a “cellar rat,” learning all the while. In the hopes of a change from busy New York City, Emokpae moved to Philadelphia. She worked at a.kitchen and served as Head Sommelier at Walnut Street Café while achieving her advanced wine certification through the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). She currently serves as the wine Director of Friday Saturday Sunday.
Erika is a certified sommelier and wine educator based in the Boston area. She is the assistant manager and wine buyer for a boutique wine shop called Winestone. Erika’s wine education began in the Finger Lakes at Cornell University. Since then she has earned the WSET Diploma along with about 20 other certifications in wine, spirits, and saké. As an educator, Erika teaches wine classes and certification programs of all levels from beginner to professional. Her favorite grape variety is Riesling, and she has a particular passion for the wines of the Finger Lakes and of Georgia (the country). Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery is a special place that brings these 3 things all together. Follow Erika’s wine journey @winewitherika.
Tom Gannon was the wine director at Rothmann’s NYC for a decade while pursuing his playwriting career. Now living in both NYC and Nashville he covers NY, NJ, NH, ME and TN for the Spire Collection . He holds the Advanced Certificate from the CMS, is a guest sommelier for the Nantucket Wine Festival and occasionally for special events at the private Italian gun club in NYC Tiro a Segno. He still apparently writes from time to time and can be found on Instagram or Twitter.
Caleb Ganzer’s first official sommelier position was at the Dinex Group at DB Bistro Moderne, followed by posts at DBGB and Daniel in NYC. From Boulud to Humm, in 2013, he became a sommelier at three Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park. Two years later, he seized the opportunity to become the head sommelier at the New York outpost of La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels. Since taking over as managing partner, the wine bar has become known for Ganzer’s approachable wine list and service. Ganzer’s style and knowledge have earned him numerous accolades including Food and Wine’s “2017 Sommelier of the Year” and “Best New Sommelier of 2016” in Wine & Spirits Magazine. In 2020 during the pandemic he and his team opened Supernatural Lake, a wine bar, bistro, cottages with live music in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
Photo Credit: Kypo Karamas, Heneli Heritage Photography
Bill Jensen is the Owner and Beverage Director of the Michelin-starred Tail Up Goat and recently opened Reveler’s Hour in the Adams Morgan enclave of Washington, DC. Bill believes that eating and drinking should be an act of replenishment, renewal, and discovery, and that wine functions best when it is not only about what’s in the glass but becomes the sum of the place and the people who produce it. Above all, Bill loves telling these stories and teaching his staff and his guests to appreciate drink in a new light. His eclectic wine program has received national nods for its celebration of old wine out of big bottles from Bon Appetit and for being one of DC’s game changing sommeliers by The Washington City Paper. When not at the restaurants, he loves nothing more than spending down time with his beautiful wife Meredith and adorable dog Beadie.
Miguel de Leon
Miguel de Leon is a wine professional of color in New York City, currently the wine director of Pinch Chinese in Manhattan. He’s worked in some tough dining rooms, like Casa Mono, Momofuku, and Per Se in New York City, and Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. He would like to remind you that MSG won’t kill you. Black Lives Matter.
Chef Charlie Marshal has always been a huge advocate of eating locally, harvesting responsibly, and supporting local farmers, wineries, and producers. Having grown up on his parents’ farm and in their restaurant, today Charlie’s restaurant The Marshal continues their legacy of the farm to table experience.
Born & bred in New York, Thomas studied neurobiology and classical piano at Cornell University, and all the while worked in restaurants to pay-off his student loans. In January 2011, Thomas diverted from his path toward a medical career, and took on the role of Wine Director at Chef Tom Colicchio’s restaurant Colicchio & Sons in New York City, and would soon thereafter join the team behind the world-renowned Eleven Madison Park to create The NoMad in Spring 2012. He opened The NoMad as its Wine Director & helped it achieve its 3-Star New York Times rating, and now has moved into a new role as Executive Wine Director of all of the NoMad properties. Thomas was chosen as one of the Best New Sommeliers of 2012 by Wine & Spirits Magazine, recognized as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2013, and was named one of Food & Wine’s Sommeliers of the Year of 2015. Most recently, Thomas has gotten into the world of winemaking, launching three exciting new wine labels: Terrassen in 2013, Empire Estate in 2014, and VINNY in 2018, all with a focus on New York’s exciting upstate wine region, the Finger Lakes.
Dominick caught the restaurant bug at an early age, his parents, renowned restaurateurs Chef Yono & Donna Purnomo opened Yono’s Restaurant in 1986. Purnomo would spend weekends helping around the restaurant as a busser & host during his high school years. Despite his parents’ strongest discretions, Dominick went on to the State University of New York at Morrisville to pursue a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management. Upon finishing Morrisville in 2000, Purnomo came back to Albany to work in the family business. Dominick took over the day to day operations of running Yono’s Restaurant, it was then that he discovered the wonderful world of wine. Purnomo wanted to bring a world class wine program to Albany, more specifically to Yono’s, which was not the easiest task as a 20 year old. Nevertheless, that December, Yono’s Restaurant unveiled a wine list of 250 wines representing 12 countries. Four consecutive Awards of Excellence from Wine Spectator followed, and the wine list has only grown in scope and passion since.
Sanaz graduated in 2017 as a Sommelier Conseil from the Université du Vin in France. Her graduation thesis was a case study on Fox Run’s terroir and the impact of Seneca Lake on the vines. She was coached by Peter Bell during her internship in 2016, fell in love with the Finger Lakes and came back for the 2017 harvest. She currently lives in Belgium, and has her own wine business with a special focus on Finger Lakes wines.
Donna is the National President of Women For WineSense, a not-for-profit wine education group. Portfolio Sales Manager for Southern Glazer’s Wines and Spirits representing the Jackson Family Wines. WSET Level 3 Certified and have completed the Intro Course with the Court of Master Sommeliers.