Michael Shearin




Sommelier Michael Shearin

formerly of DJT at Trump International Hotel | Las Vegas

Not many people have the chutzpah to pair sake with a strawberry soufflé, but Michael Shearin is a different kind of sommelier. For one, Shearin was also the Trump’s Beverage Director, so it was his job to know not only everything about wine, but everything about sake, beer, and spirits, too—and his breadth of knowledge was impressive. Shearin’s pairings took us on a world tour from French micro-Champagne to New Zealand Riesling to Oregon micro-brewed beer to California Syrah to Japanese sake; each finding flavors to enhance and contrast in the accompanying dish. For all of Shearin’s wine-smarts and beverage know-how, he turns what could be an intimidating situation into a relaxed and friendly one with an easy-going dialogue.

Wine Tips

  1. Relax and enjoy wine for what it is! And make it accessible to everyone by presenting it in terms and descriptions that everyone can understand. Don’t get me wrong—I prefer Grand Cru Burgundy to your average pinot, but I never want a guest to be intimidated.

  2. Don’t be afraid to guide your guests toward wines they may not be familiar with. And if you’re a guest, let the sommelier guide you to some unfamiliar wines! There are so many great things that you’ve never heard of—and often the lesser-known but stellar wines can offer the best value.

  3. Always use proper glassware—and as a diner, insist on it, no matter the price of the wine!

  4. Think outside the box (or the wine crate) when it comes to pairing. In a past restaurant we would eagerly pair beer, sake, cocktails in addition to wine—we even took it so far as to pair sodas from our extensive boutique list, not to mention pairing a Scottish water with the palate cleanser for one excited guest.

  5. Seek out the small producer. Chefs have been seeking out the family owned businesses for years—and I think there is more heart, soul and care put into a product that is 1 of 500 than a product that is 1 of 25,000.

  6. In the same vein as enjoying small producers, I think we should drink more Grower Champagne! There are very few large-house Champagnes that I would prefer more than a nice Pierre Peters or Gaston Chiquet. Of course, I would gladly drink Krug for the rest of my life—but I love drinking a wine that is not on every wine list that I see.

  7. To answer the one question I get asked the most by restaurant guests: YES, I DO LOVE MY JOB! I could think of nothing better than getting paid to drink, learn about what I drink, and to share what I drink with others. So have fun!



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   Published: October 2008