Where are the Stars of SOMM Now?

Where are the Stars of SOMM Now?

mv5bmtu0ndq4mty1of5bml5banbnxkftztcwmtmzmtgwoa._v1_sx214_al_Like child actors, the silver screen made them known and then they disappeared from our lives. What are the SOMM stars up to now that they’re “all grown up”? SOMM, a documentary film directed by Jason Wise and released in 2012, follows the lives of four men striving to become Master Sommeliers, one of the most prestigious titles in the wine world and one of the most difficult to obtain. Upon the film’s release, the four stars of SOMM--Ian Cauble, Brian McClintic, Dustin Wilson and DLynn Proctor--immediately became known in the wine world, and each has benefited from the exposure, whether or not they passed the test (we won’t spoil the suspense for you). Read on to find out what each sommelier is up to now.

Ian Cauble, the former U.S. Brand Ambassador for Krug Champagne, recently co-founded a direct-to-consumer website with friend Brandon Carneiro. SommSelect.com, which launched at the end of April, offers daily selections of wines at all price points ($15-300+) chosen by Cauble himself.

Brian McClintic also went the entrepreneurial route, co-founding the Santa Barbara Les Marchands Wine Bar and Merchant with wine pro Eric Railsback. Offering a fascinating selection of mostly European wines to purchase and to taste, as well as small plates to pair, it has quickly become a staple of the Santa Barbara wine community.

DLynn Proctor, named the “Best New Sommelier in America” by Wine & Spirits Magazine in 2008, became the Winemaking Ambassador for Australian legend Penfolds last year. He now spends his time traveling through North and South America, teaching people about Penfolds’ history and wines.

Interestingly, Dustin Wilson is the only somm to remain “on the floor” as a sommelier in the traditional sense. He has been the Wine Director at New York City’s Eleven Madison Park since 2011. Wilson has also teamed up with Brian McClintic, Eric Railsback and winemaker Justin Willett to found Vallin, a syrah-focused winery in Santa Barbara.

Read on to see The Daily Sip’s interviews with these somms on their thoughts about the film, wine and their futures.  

Ian Cauble
TDS: How weird is it to watch yourself go through such personal struggles on screen?
IC: Pretty weird. Having 3 years of your life cut into 90 intense minutes is strange to watch. For obvious reasons, they took every intense or emotional moment during those years and put it in the movie and it created a lot intensity in the movie. Life was intense, but not as constant as it seemed on film since those intense times of the movie might have only been a few minutes within a week of my life.

TDS: What is the best part of being a Master Sommelier now?
IC: Teaching the next generation. It is always said that once you pass the exam you must "pay it forward" which all of us do as much as much as possible. If anybody reaches out for help or guidance we gladly assist.

TDS: How do you feel about the new popularity of the term somm?
IC: The term somm has been used for many years in the industry, but it seems the film has really helped spread the word. I am glad the term has been exposed to more people because I believe most people now know about our profession. It seems more consumers are now familiar with what a sommelier does and how much time we spend learning about our craft so we can create great learning and tasting experiences for guests.

Brian McClintic
TDS: How has starring in SOMM changed your life?
BM: It is amazing to me how many people have seen the movie. Eric Railsback and I opened up les Marchands on August 6th and rarely a day goes by that someone doesn't bring up the film. It has been a blessing for our business and I am so very happy for Jason Wise, the director of SOMM, for his tireless hours making this world come to life on screen.

TDS: Would you get involved with film again in the future?
BM: Sign me up for SOMM II: The Uprising

TDS: What, if any, was the most fun part of studying to become a Master Sommelier?
BM: Honestly, the relationships you develop. There is a deep bond with any friend who goes through a big trial with you and all of us who were subjects in SOMM are still very close for that reason.

DLynn Proctor
TDS: How weird is it to watch yourself go through such personal struggles on screen?
DP: Pretty weird. It is the constant reminder of failure that pushes me to continue. I remember every moment of the film, as though it were this morning. I remember what I called the wines, I remember the theory questions from both years, and the service scenarios from the year before.

TDS: Would you get involved with film again in the future?
DP: Absolutely, as long as it highlights and covers wine in a way to excite and inspire people of our craft.

Dustin Wilson
TDS: How weird is it to watch yourself go through such personal struggles on screen?
DW: Not really weird at all. It was such a meaningful and impactful part of my life. It's awesome to be able to relive it when I want to.

TDS: What, if any, was the most fun part of studying to become a Master Sommelier?
DW: The most fun part is traveling. To have to go visit vineyards and taste wine to be better at your job is pretty great!

TDS: What have you learned about wine that you didn't know before co-starting your own wine label, Vallin?
DW: That getting label approval through the TTB is not a fun process…

Photo Credit: SOMM.

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