Paolo Barbieri, Old World winemaker
An alum of Le Cirque and Osteria del Circo at Bellagio, as well as Alex at Wynn, Paolo Barbieri is now the sommelier at Scarpetta in the Cosmopolitan, where he not only pushes the tony restaurant’s bounty of Italian labels, but he’s one of the few sommeliers in town who produces his own wine.
Corey Nyman, New World winemaker
Corey Nyman’s day job as a hospitality consultant in his family business, the Nyman Group, gives him a unique perspective over other winemakers. “Not being in the wine business is almost a benefit,” he says. “I launched a brand completely backward. I knew where my vision was—I just needed to prove to myself and everyone else that I could do it.”
Les Kincaid, host of Wines du Jour
Breaking into the world of wine is not an easy thing for a fledgling oenophile to do. Which is where a seasoned but down-to-earth expert such as Les Kincaid comes in handy. Ebullient and affable, Kincaid is willing to answer any questions about wine or cooking, without snobbery. In fact, he calls himself a “chef, wineau and professional bon vivant” in his bio on his website.
Joanie Karapetian, ItalianWineGeek.com
Joanie Karapetian is Italian-American by birth, an Italian-wine peddler by trade. And her hobby is ItalianWineGeek.com, the blog site she launched in August to share her endeavors, tastes and travels as a manager for importers of the wines she holds close to her heart.
Eric V. Orange, LocalWineEvents.com
Sometimes it’s better when wine drinking is a group effort. But how to track down these gatherings? More than a decade ago, Eric V. Orange began the calendar for every event having to do with wine around the country. Today, Local Wine Events is an incredibly useful tool not only for those who are looking for like-minded souls to discuss their favorite grapes, but also for restaurants and shops who use it as a way to reach new clients.