Wine on Starchefs

Featured Sommelier Caitlin Stansbury
By Jim Clarke

Caitlin Stansbury learned about two aspects of food from her mom, a chef, while she was growing up: food as hedonistic pleasure, and the chemistry of food – as in, “Why did my soufflé fall?” Her uncle also kept an extensive wine cellar. So she developed an appreciation and understanding for culinary matters early on, but when she first joined the restaurant industry, it was not a calling; waiting tables was simply a day job while she was attending college and acting. Nonetheless, wine began to take hold of her.

As a server at Café del Rey, Caitlin found she had a sharp palate for wine, and a knack for blind tasting. Her mother’s training about what held recipes together – the balancing and blending of flavors, texture, sweetness, acidity, etc., also stood her in good stead. Encouraged by her boss, she enrolled in the International Sommelier Guild program to test the waters. It wasn’t long before she was hooked.

Nowadays, Caitlin is the Wine Director at Beverly Hills’ The Lodge Steakhouse. She also has her own wine consulting business, helping private clients and restaurant groups (Gaucho Grill, among others) alike develop their cellars or wine programs. She has been honored as Angeleno Magazine’s 2005 Runner-Up Sommelier of the Year, and can be seen on the WE network program “Savvy” as “The Wine Professor.”


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    Published: June 2006