Sommelier Carl York of Craigie on Main - Biography

Cambridge, MA

October 2014

When Gettysburg College French-major Carl York spent a semester abroad in Avignon, France, he found a new use for his language skills: the discovery of fine wine.

A Southern Maine native, York had worked restaurant jobs during school breaks, but post-graduation (and post experiencing life in one of the greatest wine regions of the world) he moved to New York City and began taking classes at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust while also working as chef de partie at Soho House. During his time there he achieved the Trust’s Advanced certificate and Diploma, leading him to become the wine buyer for Tribeca’s Devin Tavern.

In 2007, York took his first sommelier position at the Michelin-starred SHO Shaun Hergatt, where he eventually rose to the level of beverage director. There he managed a 550-bottle wine list centered on vintage Bordeaux. The position also allowed York to begin buying wine at auction and training his own staff.

Relocating to Boston with his family in 2011, York joined the team at Craigie on Main as sommelier, ultimately rising to the role of director of operations for both Craigie On Main and The Kirkland Tap & Trotter. While his role has evolved, he continues to be heavily involved in creating the wine lists at both restaurants, reflecting Executive Chef Tony Maws’ “next hill over,” exclusively Old World philosophy. York will approach a popular varietal like Pinot Noir from a unique terroir perspective, meaning he’ll choose a bottle from Switzerland, as opposed to the more expected regions of California or Oregon.

In his off hours, he’s thinking of his son’s future, and using his auction skills and wine aptitude to build his own modest wine cellar. Though, at only 4 years old, it might take a few years before the wee York begins to appreciate his father’s efforts.