Dustin Wilson, MS
Dustin Wilson (@dustinwilsonms) is a Master Sommelier. At the time of this recording he was the Wine Director at Eleven Madison Park. Currently, he is the Co-founder of Vallin Wine & Anvil Wine and an advisor the PerUs and Mason Pacific. You may know him from the wine documentary, Somm and Somm: Into The Bottle, where we witnessed part of his journey to becoming a Master Sommelier.
In this episode, we talk about:
-Currently the wine director of Eleven Madison Park (EMP)
-He loves wine because it is one of the most interesting things to dive into in the world. It is so complex
-Wine is history, geography, geology, and much more.
-A lot of the great wines of the world draw on history
-You can never know everything about wine, but that is the fun of it.
-You have to fully immerse yourself in the Master Sommelier program to master it.
-The MS is like a general practitioner. You have to know a little bit about a lot of wine.
-The MS exam is broken into three pieces: Knowledge, Service, and Tasting
-It took Dustin five years to go through the program and pass the MS exam
-He would spend 3-4 hours of studying before work
-On days off, he would spend 8-10 hours studying
-Less than 10% of participants in the MS program actually pass
-To become and MS it is all about discipline
-It has changed his life by affording him more opportunities than a non-MS sommelier
-At EMP, the wine program is challenging, but a lot of fun!
-Their wine program involves the classic wines and wines from off-the-beaten-path
-A good wine program should have perspective and voice
-They try to make wine service fun
-They serve New York wine on glass spoons
-Vallin, Dustin’s personal wine label, is the name of a street in Cote Rotie
-They wanted to make sunshine in a bottle
-You can find Vallin in California, New York, Florida, Colorado, Boston, Hawaii, D.C., Maryland, and Delaware
-Justin Willett is Vallin’s winemaker. Justin also owns Tyler Winery in Santa Barbara
-Working in the wine industry, you have to maintain yourself. Watch what you eat and exercise.
-Dustin’s favorite wine
-Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage: His family started making wine on their property in the 1400’s
-The sign of a great winemaker is one that can make great wines year in and year out