Rising Star Sommelier Shelley Lindgren of A16 - Biography

San Francisco, CA

June 2010

Shelley Lindgren does it all: not only does she run two of the most successful restaurants in San Francisco, she’s also their wine director, she co-wrote one of the top cookbooks of 2009, she’s working on SPQR’s cookbook, she teaches wine classes, consults on the side, and—as if that’s not enough—she’s a mother to two kids.

Lindgren’s reputation for seeking out Italian wines made with little-known grapes has earned her recognition as a wine pioneer. After graduating from the University of San Francisco, she spent six years at Hubert Keller’s fine-dining restaurant Fleur de Lys while earning her sommelier certificate. She also earned a culinary certificate at the Tante Marie Cooking School in 2001, where she has been a wine educator ever since.

A 1999 trip to Italy forever changed Lindgren’s wine mission; while there she began to recognize the potential of emerging regions. In 2003, Lindgren, her husband, and her partner Victoria Libin joined forces. Together, they assembled the team that opened A16 in 2004 and SPQR in 2007, where Lindgren is also wine director.

As co-owner and wine director of both restaurants, Lindgren never has a dull moment. She’s on the floor leading guests to their seats and helping with their wine selections; she’s in both restaurants as a manager and mentor; and she’s behind the scenes running the business aspect of two thriving restaurants. With all of these responsibilities and a family, Lindgren still manages to stay involved with San Francisco’s food community through organizations like Les Dames d’Escoffier.

Lindgren has won numerous awards, including the 2009 Gourmet magazine “Educator” Sommelier Award and the 2009 Golden Goblet by Women Chefs & Restaurateurs. She has been named Best Wine Director by San Francisco Magazine, Best New Sommelier from Wine & Spirits, and one of Top Ten Sommeliers by Bloomberg Markets magazine. Additionally, Lindgren’s first cookbook, A16 Food + Wine (Ten Speed Press, 2008) earned two prestigious 2009 IACP Cookbook Awards: Cookbook of the Year and The Julia Child Award. In 2010, Lindgren was awarded StarChefs.com's San Francisco Bay Area Rising Star Restaurateur award. Most recently, A16 received a James Beard nomination for Outstanding Wine Service.