October 4, 2022
We feel lucky and proud to introduce Jonathan Lynn as our new wine director! With a passion for wine and pairing a bottle with a favorite dish, we are excited about what he will bring to the restaurant as director of the wine and beer program.
Who is Jonathan Lynn?
Once landing a job at Bouchon in Las Vegas, he knew it was just a stepping stone to what he was meant to do. Jonathan watched the sommeliers with admiration and intrigue and decided that he would one day be “that guy:” dressed to impress, suave, smooth, and incredibly knowledgeable about all things wine. He turned those feelings into motivation and followed the road to his true calling – and we couldn’t be happier that he did. He is now a Certified Sommelier, CMS and the proud new Wine Director at the Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café.
Jonathan is passionate about removing the fear often associated with wine from the process, he’s aware that it can mistakenly come off as snooty and intimidating. He believes that “wine should be fun—It’s not something you have to know a lot about to understand. You should only have to know what you like.”
In addition to managing the sales team and sharing his expertise with the staff, he will be helping guests try new wines they may have never heard of, especially those from the local small producers in the region.
“I look forward to bringing some fun and delicious wines to the menu that guests might not have heard of! I love seeing someone when their mind has been changed about what they thought they loved in a wine!”
If you aren’t a wine club member, you’re missing out, not only do you get discounts every time you dine with us but you’ll also get to experience the careful selection Jon intends to put together each quarter (join here)! In addition to selecting wines based on the seasons, he also wants to ensure that guests are trying something new and expanding their horizons.
Jonathan says he is proud to work at the Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café for many reasons, one of which is the cuisine he gets to work with. “It is a relief to have a menu that I’m proud to recommend. Seeing the fresh vegetables that come in from our farm is incredible!” If you need a pairing suggestion, don’t hesitate to ask him! As a foodie, he knows the importance of choosing a wine based on the dish (or vice versa!).
Let’s Talk Style
When Jonathan was applying for the position, owners Sam and Shawnda Marmorstein thought he stood out, not just because of his friendly, approachable personality and solid knowledge of wine, but because of his tie. Not his actual tie, the way he ties it. Rather than using the same tying method as everyone else, he uses the Eldredge Knot. It is an eye-catching tie with four diagonal bands and one small horizontal band. Want to see what it looks like? You can Google it or just head to the wine merchant and meet Jonathan! If he can master the precision it takes to tie the Eldredge Knot, Sam and Shawnda figured Jon is likely to have the meticulous eye needed to maintain the inventory of 1000’s of bottles.
Becoming a Sommelier
Growing up, Jonathan watched his parents develop their careers in the restaurant industry and was inspired to follow in their footsteps. His roots brought him into the restaurant industry, but it was his love of wine and beer that inspired him to the life of a sommelier.
Jonathan describes his “Aha” moment of wanting to dive deeper into the world of wine as he was enjoying a jalapeño popper pizza and a 2002 Weingut Knoll Riesling Kabinett from Austria. “The sweetness of the wine paired with the spice from the jalapeño and the savory from the bacon blew my mind! I had no idea what a glass of wine could do to a dish and vice versa.”
Jonathan also has had experience in the production side of wine and beer. He previously helped make wine at Foxen Winery and says he doesn’t think he would be where he is today if it hadn’t been for that harvest. During the process, he learned to “appreciate everything that goes into making wine.” He brings that experience into his current role as wine director to ensure the best selection to enhance our cuisine.
With his experience in the realm of beer, he will also add some new and exciting options to the menu for those who are looking for something other than wine.
What is a wine director?
As a wine director, Jonathan is in charge of managing and directing our wine program. His duties include but can go beyond, selecting the wine for the cafe and store, placing orders for wine when the inventory requires it, and leading the team.
As a certified sommelier, Jonathan is also highly qualified to help diners choose a wine for their meal or describe the intricacies of a particular bottle to shoppers. “Sommelier” means “butter” in French and has been used since the 19th century to describe a “wine steward” or “wine waiter.” Jonathan’s responsibility as wine director is to create and maintain our wine list and help ensure visitors select an appropriate bottle or glass for their palate and occasion.
What Fills His Glass
On his own time, Jonathan will often reach for a wine from the Loire Valley in France, such as a Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, or Cabernet Franc, or will try something new.
He is versatile in what he drinks, just as long as it pairs well with his favorite foods. Rather than pairing with the type of meal, however, he will often pair a wine with the sauce in the dish. His favorite pairing is Chenin Blanc with Oysters.
Welcome to the Team, Jonathan!
Please join us in welcoming Jonathan to the team, and don’t forget to say “Hi” to him when you see him around. He’ll likely be carefully selecting the wine and beer list for the store or providing knowledgeable insight to the wine sales team. Regardless of what he is doing, though, you can be sure that he will be showcasing his specialty tie.