Best Sommelier - 2010
Paul Einbund at Frances
The best thing about San Francisco being such a tightly knit restaurant town? When a respected chef like Frances' Melissa Perello opens a new place, she can pick off prime talent, which is how Frances landed one of the city's best, least intimidating sommeliers. An ex-partner in Daniel Patterson's Coi, Einbund made the leap from fine dining to American rustic. At Frances, Einbund has assembled a globe-spanning list every bit as well proportioned as the dining room, yet priced for the Castro. Working with Dave Corey of Core Wine Company in Santa Maria, Einbund blended the house red and white — they're served in pitchers, $1 an ounce. One night he steered us from a $30 Oregon Pinot Noir to a more expensive Beaujolais, charging us only the Pinot price. It added up to the nicest sommelier experience we've ever had.