Sommelier Taylor Parsons of République - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

May 2014

Sommelier Taylor Parsons is also a piano player and a scholar. He has a degree in Africana studies from Brown University and lived abroad while pursuing a career as a jazz musician. While working as a server, bartender, and cellar assistant (aka cellar rat), to earn extra cash, it was the wine that preoccupied Parsons’s mind. Back in his native Los Angeles in 2007—after some time in Lake Tahoe in retail wine buying and ski bummery—Parsons  decided to commit whole-heartedly to wine, with his mind, palate, and soul.

He approached his professional pursuits with newfound zeal as wine director at Mark Peel’s trailblazing Campanile, and he followed that up with a gig at another L.A. icon, Wolfgang Puck’s Spago. In 2010, he joined the Mozza Restaurant Group—led by luminaries Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Nancy Silverton—as the beverage director. Parsons oversaw the beverage programs at Osteria Mozza, Spacca, and two Pizzeria Mozzas in Southern California.       

In 2013, he returned to the old Campanile space where he got his start, now transformed by Walter and Magarita Manzke into French, modern République. There he pairs with the spirit and spontaneity of a jazz musician, more concerned with the guest in front of him than with discussing esoteric fruit-basket notes in the bouquet. Parsons just wants his guests to drink and enjoy. He saves the note pulling for the piano in his living room and has earned a 2014 StarChefs Rising Star Sommelier Award for his efforts.