Lindsay Drew, 9.21.18
Lindsay Drew is the current Sommelier and Assistant General Manager of Guild Restaurant in Austin. Lindsay placed second in this year's annual Texsom Conference in Dallas, TX, an achievement that has been obtained by some of the most respected sommeliers in the industry. Go Lindsay!
How many years have you been in the business?
In wine since 2013, so five years now. I started in restaurants when I was 16, straight out of the gate.
Did you have a particular “aha!” moment that propelled you into wine?
Yeah, I was working for Leslie Higgs and her ability to teach people was really inspiring. She fostered that in me and when I would go down super nerdy paths she was into talking about things on a deeper level.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I think it’s seeing other peoples ‘aha!’ moments, be it a guest or a staff member that has an epiphany about wine because of the program here and working with it.
Can you describe any prejudices or setbacks you experienced in this industry in regards to being a woman?
I think I’m lucky that we live in a more progressive community, and I think we are in a wave of women doing really well now. I can say that I've experienced the usual guest that doesn't think I know what I'm talking about, but in general we live in a supportive community.
When it comes to wine, what benefits do you think we’ll see as a community by better supporting women?
I think that were just going to see better growth, [more] well-thought out wine lists, and larger discussions about wine. Not to say that guys don’t write great wine lists, but [we’ll have] a broader look at things, more perspectives. And there’s a bigger discussion when we include everybody.
What change do you hope to see in regards to women in the wine industry in the next five years?
I guess more growth, more equality. I mean it's so great to see all the women rise in the ranks of the Court. With that community, if we could start getting those numbers up, that would be great. Seeing more women at the helm of restaurant groups.
What message do you have for women entering the wine profession?
It’s all about loving what you’re doing. It's about getting dirty and enjoying yourself. It’s a really awesome journey and it's worth it. Get into it. Get nerdy and don’t let people tell you you’re silly. It’s worth it.
What ways would you say you are contributing to the overall empowerment of current and future women in wine?
I think just being active in general and being a voice in the community. I have always loved, and had, entire female study groups, but I think it’s about being a mentor to younger somms that are looking to do more and just working hard and giving our community a good name.
What are some defining characteristics of a wonder woman of wine to you?
Someone who just keeps going and keeps working at it really hard. Someone who is goal oriented and willing to work for it. I think that’s what's most inspiring about women in our community.
What women of wine do you admire and why?
Certainly the three ladies I worked with before including Mandi Nelson. J.R. Ayala was my original wine study partner and her passion for wine is really inspiring to me.