The SOMM Journal

August / September 2018

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4 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 ADVANCED SOMMELIER, family man, and handsome devil: Josh Orr is an all-around stud I'm thankful to call a close friend and forever grateful to call a mentor. Josh has sold me wine and put up with me for almost three years now. He's introduced me to wines that have become some of my fa - vorites, and more importantly, he's been the single greatest influence on me as a sommelier. It's tough to become a som - melier on your own—at least, it's tough to become a good one. We taste and study in groups and have friends, colleagues, and partners who push us, drive us, and motivate us. What I'm saying is that no one is out there achieving their goals in this industry all by themselves. We refer to these groups of derelicts and drunkards and brilliant minds as the sommelier "community," be - cause the profession doesn't exist without that key word: community. In 2015, I could barely stumble my way through "The Grid." I've since passed the Advanced-level tasting twice, and my chances of doing that without Josh would have been slim. I cannot possibly put a value on the hours he's spent across the table, counting down 25 minutes at a time, pointing out when I'm tasting like a moron, and then ensuring me I'm actually smarter than I am. Going through the exam process can feel a little like self-inflicted torture, and I couldn't imagine doing it without people like Josh in my corner. { vox populi } Who Do You Admire? Josh Orr, Advanced Sommelier and Fine Wine Specialist for Epic Wines & Spirits in Santa Rosa, CA story and photo by Brandon Boghosian To submit to "Who Do You Admire?", email Managing Editor Jessie Birschbach at Brandon Boghosian, Food and Beverage Director for University Club San Diego, and Josh Orr, Fine Wine Specialist for Epic Wines & Spirits in Santa Rosa, CA.

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