The SOMM Journal

August / September 2017

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Page 84 of 148

84 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 { q & a } How did your passion for wine begin? I have always been obsessed with food and found wine to be a natural pro- gression of that. I took an Old-World Wine course at UNLV, and that cultivated my appreciation and love for wine. What made you choose being a somm as a career? I was attending school for anthropology and was experiencing an existential crisis, as many college students do in their final year. I knew that if I continued with anthropology, I would inevitably need to get a Ph.D. I imagined my life studying the indigenous population out in the vast jungles of some country and came to a sober- ing realization: I have never been camping and I would die in the bush. I decided to take an Old-World Wine course as an elective. I thrived in the class and enjoyed studying for wine more than anthropology. I asked my professor how I could pursue a career in wine. I took his advice and here I am. What was your experience prior to becoming a somm? I worked a few interesting jobs before being a server at Jardin [at Wynn Las Vegas], because I didn't have much direction for my career before I found wine. I was previously a busser at Trevi [at Caesars Palace] and Lakeside [also at Wynn] and a cook at one point. Most of my experience was in food, so it was an organic transition to becoming a somm. How long have you been a somm? Nine months! Is it what you expected? For the most part, it is. What is your favorite part of working at Eiffel Tower Restaurant? The opportunity to work with this wine list is the reason I chose to work here. SOUTHERN GLAZER'S WINE & SPIRITS' JESSICA WAUGH INTERVIEWS RISING STAR SOMMELIER NINA BOONCHERD FROM EIFFEL TOWER RESTAURANT AT PARIS LAS VEGAS photo by Mona Shield Payne The ranks of the sommelier profes- sion continue to swell with talented, ambitious and directed young men and women who bring their passion for wine to the floor and the cellar, providing restaurant guests with new experiences and breaking the mold of preconceptions. This time, we speak with Nina Booncherd, the new somm at Eiffel Tower Restaurant, about her love of wine and how it informs her working life as a sommelier in one of Las Vegas's busiest hotel dining venues. Interviewer Jessica Waugh (left) with Sommelier Nina Booncherd at Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris Las Vegas. An ORGANIC Transition Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q:

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