Sommelier John Filkins of Potomac Selections - Biography

Landover, MD

October 2014

A native of Washington, D.C., John Filkins didn’t grow up in a wine or food centric family. It wasn’t until college that he found the hospitality industry, starting first as a server in a small bistro and then in a wine shop near his grandparents’ home, north of Baltimore. Wine and beverage quickly grew from a part-time job to a passion and eventually, to an obsession.

Filkins quickly moved up the ranks and was managing the wine shop by the time he graduated from Loyola University-Maryland with a degree in finance. In November 2010, he achieved the Certified Sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers, and later landed at the historic Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel, as a captain, helping to manage one of the largest wine cellars on the east coast with more than 2,600 selections and 19,000 bottles.

In 2011, he was lured away by the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore to oversee the wine program  at Michael Mina and Raj Parr’s Wit and Wisdom, thus solidifying hospitality as the career that chose him. From cellar sommelier to wine buyer, Filkins has overseen the award winning bar and wine program in the James Beard-nominated PABU. In April of 2013, he passed the Advanced Sommelier exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers. After three years with Michael Mina, Filkins left the floor to continue his education by representing Maryland and Washington, D.C. for Potomac Selections, a boutique importer and distributor of fine wines.

Filkins has competed both locally and nationally in Sommelier competitions and is the 2013 and 2014 Best Young Sommelier in the Mid-Atlantic and finished 3rd nationally at the 2014 Best Young Sommelier Competition, sponsored by the Chaine des Rotisseurs. He was also a regional finalist for TopNewSomm. Filkins is currently preparing for the Master Sommelier exam.