Best Sommelier - 2013
Adele Corrigan of 13 Celsius
13 Celsius is a favorite among restaurant industry employees, and especially among sommeliers, not just because it's a cool place to hang out but because of sommelier Adele Corrigan, who serves as the bar manager and co-curator of the wines served there. With a penchant for selecting wines that are not well known, Corrigan has the innate ability to choose them for every palate, pouring unexpectedly exciting wines that you wouldn't expect to love but do. Her claim to fame is her ability to source out-of-the-way, lesser-known wines from obscure regions. This spring, she cited the Grosjean Freres Torrette Petite Rouge, from Vallee d'Aoste, in the farthest northwestern corner of Italy, as one her favorites. She was also one of the first to bring the Frank Cornelissen natural wines from Mount Etna in Sicily to Houston. To this end, Corrigan is helping to expand the palates of wine lovers all over the city, teaching us to look beyond the Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, to think outside that box of Chardonnay or Pinot Gris. This is what every sommelier should aspire to, and Corrigan does it impeccably well.