Sommelier Andrew Algren - Biography

May 2018

Andrew Algren attended the University of Kansas to pursue a degree in music theory and composition but left with a passion for food and beverage. To boost job prospects, he earned his Sommelier Certification, but as it turned out, demand for beer and wine geeks wasn’t all that high in Kansas. Algren packed his bags for Chicago in 2010 with the intention of attending the Siebel Institute. But it was juice, not suds that ultimately won the day and Algren’s heart. 
Algren roved the floors and cellars of some of Chicago’s most beloved restaurants, opening Owen & Engine, running the wine program at The Purple Pig, and moving onward and upward to Brendan Sodikoff’s Maude’s Liquor Bar, and then Alinea, where he was part of a collaborative team of sommeliers for more than two years. During that formative time, he found mentors in Conrad Reddick, Craig Sindelar, and Steve Morgan.

As head honcho of wine for Land and Sea Dept.’s Cherry Circle Room, Algren managed a 1,400-label list that included some of the city’s deepest stock of Champagne and Riesling. Under his direction and care, Cherry Circle Room became a destination for oenophiles and his sommelier peers. He died in late 2018 at the age of 32.