Best Sommelier - 2005
Todd Lincicome, Al Biernat's
A city of high-maintenance winos needs a few good sommeliers. For uninitiated inebriates, sommelier is just a French word for guy who brings you wine. Anyone can mumble "very good, sir" and trot out the bottle of swill you ordered. Lincicome excels at the delicate art of pairing wine with menu items and individual tastes. Love big, bold cabernets but prefer fish? No problem. We've even challenged him to find a bottle to suit a table of four with distinctly different and two very adamant drinkers, one wanting a sweeter wine and one demanding dry. He found a perfect solution. After more than a decade of experience, he still studies fermented grapes from each region, so he's able to recommend the usual French and California varietals, but also bottles from Australia, Argentina, Oregon, etc. Keep in mind there are other talented sommeliers in Dallas with similar pairing skills and a strong aptitude for guzzling. We mean sipping, of course. But Lincicome manages it all with a great depth of knowledge. He's a stickler for tradition, shunning wines produced with artificial "oaking." Yet he's no snob. For us poorer folk, he's quite willing to select a, shall we say, modest bottle and will discuss cheap but decent wines at great length.