FACES: Michael Engelmann

A few months back, I was invited to a Beaujolais tasting at Jiraffe in Santa Monica by the American Sommelier Association. The tasting was led by their newly named Sommelier of the Year 2009, Michael Engelmann, who is from Alsace, but works at Gary Danko Restaurant in San Francisco.

After the tasting, I got the chance to talk to Michael, and we've stayed in touch. He gave me some incredible advice in choosing which wineries to visit on my recent trip to Austria and Germany, and we've been discussing biodynamic wines lately. I thought he'd be a great interview subject for LA.com's ongoing FACES series, in which I talk to a different food/dining luminary every month.

Surprise surprise, Michael was a great interviewee, and had some interesting answers to the questions I posed. He just turned 27, though, so this is only the start of what is sure to be an amazing career.