Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Food & Wine 'Bestows' Top Honor, Then Takes It Away From Local Sommelier

Photo of Jason Wagner via Facebook.

According to Jason Wagner—who recently left RM Champagne Salon to take over the vacant somm position at The Gage/HenriFood & Wine had named him one of the "Top Sommeliers of 2012." The announcement was set to happen in an upcoming edition.

The sudden job switch, however, likely created some confusion at the magazine, which probably was going to feature a glowing write-up about the Jason Wagner experience at RM Champagne Salon. The writer didn't have this experience at The Gage or Henri. I'm thinking that a fact-checker called up Wagner to verify some info and that's when he told him he left.

When Wagner was informed that the story was pulled, he griped about the situation on Facebook late Monday night:

"Food & Wine magazine named me one of the Top Sommeliers of 2012. Then they re-neged on it since I changed jobs. It wouldn't matter to me much, but it was one of the two career goals I set for myself. I guess all the hard work, creativity, blood, sweat, tears, heartbreak, sacrifice, soul, time, and thought that went into it means nothing now that I decided to leave.

"I guess the award is not for 'top sommeliers' but for top 'venues,' in which case they still deserve the award. What is it then, Food & Wine? Did my work in 2012 suddenly become null and void for the 2012 top sommelier award when I changed jobs in 2013?"

That's too bad because Wagner does have an awesome resume, which includes a stint as wine director at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in the Four Seasons New York. He's also certified by the American Sommelier Association and is an advanced candidate in the Court of Master Sommeliers.

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