The SommSelect Team
Ian Cauble, Master Sommelier & Co-Founder
Ian Cauble launched SommSelect in 2014, seeking to deliver sommelier-curated wines directly to consumers. Ian leads an expert team in selecting wines for SommSelect’s Daily Offers, while regularly traveling to the world’s great wine regions in search of new discoveries and deeper wine knowledge. His career in wine began in the early 2000s when he worked a harvest in Portugal, and continued through sommelier posts at a host of top restaurants, including the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA. In 2011, Ian won the “Best Young Sommelier in the World” competition in Athens and, that same year, took first place at TOP SOMM in the United States. He was then featured in the cult-classic wine documentary, SOMM, in 2012, which chronicled his quest to become a Master Sommelier.
David Lynch, Editorial Director
Award-winning sommelier and author David Lynch is SommSelect’s Editorial Director. He oversees the website’s content, writing and editing the Daily Offers and the SommSelect blog. Perhaps best known for his seminal book, “Vino Italiano” (and for his seven years as Wine Director, then GM, of New York’s Babbo Ristorante), David has a unique skill set: He was a Senior Editor at “Wine & Spirits” magazine and, more recently, a columnist for “Bon Appétit”; on the restaurant side, he was Wine Director at San Francisco’s Michelin-starred Quince, and later his own restaurant, St. Vincent. He’s one of the few people to win James Beard Awards for both Journalism (2001) and Restaurant Wine Service (2004).
Mark Osburn, Wine Team Writer & Editor
Mark Osburn comes to us from Nashville by way of Los Angeles, combining his experience as a sommelier and screenwriter to help craft what lands in your inbox on the daily. He caught the wine bug while working at Wally’s Wine & Spirits in L.A. and now contributes his expertise and prose to the SommSelect Wine Team.
Connor Howard, Concierge Services & Events
Connor is a hospitality industry pro and a Certified Sommelier who wears many different hats at SommSelect: He is now heading up Concierge Services for the company, offering wine cellar consulting services and sourcing hard-to-find wines. He also coordinates SommSelect events across the country and manages a burgeoning outside sales operation.
Lisa Schmidt, Customer Experience
Many SommSelect subscribers know Lisa’s voice, and it’s a knowledgeable one: Lisa is a Certified Sommelier with a passion for Italian wines. She came to SommSelect from the Reno/Tahoe area importing her experience from restaurants and wine bars in addition to owning her own Private Events and Cellar Consulting business, Gather.
Master Sommelier Chris Miller started his wine career in Washington State, working as a sommelier in Seattle while also commuting to Walla Walla to work part-time in wineries. He later moved to California to take over the wine program at Spago Beverly Hills (while continuing to apprentice at wineries). With the 2014 launch of Seabold Cellars in Monterey, CA, he traded a suit and tie for jeans and boots to concentrate on winemaking full-time. His smart, savvy voice has been a great addition to our Daily Offers.
DLynn Proctor has been in the beverage & hospitality industry for 20 years. He has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; retail/web sales; fine and rare wine brokerage; and corporate sales, marketing, and strategy. He is now an ambassador for Fantesca, an estate on Napa’s Spring Mountain, where he oversees winery education programs, media relations, and international communications. Named one of the “Best New Sommeliers in America” by Wine & Spirits Magazine in 2008, DLynn was also a finalist in The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Société Mondiale du Vin “Best Sommelier in America Competition” in 2008 and 2009. He has been featured in publications such as GQ, Decanter, Wine Spectator, Everyday with Rachel Ray, Huffington Post, The New York Times, and others. He was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top “40 Under 40” Tastemakers for 2014. DLynn has been featured in the UPSCALE TV series, and is one of the featured subjects in the globally acclaimed “SOMM” documentary series.
Master Sommelier Matt Stamp is a seasoned sommelier, an accomplished writer, and the Education Director of the Guild of Sommeliers. He worked at The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant in California’s Russian River Valley and at The French Laundry in Yountville, and finished first in the inaugural TOP SOMM competition in 2010, earning the title America’s Top Sommelier. He passed the Master Sommelier exam in 2011 and now owns the Napa, CA, wine bar and merchant, Compline.
Anyone who’s seen the “SOMM” films or been in the wine trade knows Fred Dame—one of the first Master Sommeliers in America and a mentor to many others. Fred first gained fame as the Cellar Master of the famed Sardine Factory in Monterey, CA, where he assembled an enviable wine collection that earned the restaurant the Wine Spectator “Grand Award.” He is now Global Wine Ambassador for Daou Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles, CA.
OPERATIONS & MANAGEMENT
Karen Roche, CEO
In 2019, SommSelect added wine industry expert and process specialist Karen Roche as CEO. Roche is well-regarded in the wine industry for her role as COO of The WineTasting Network (WineTasting.com; Ambrosia.com), one of the earliest online wine e-commerce and fulfillment operations developed for Napa and Sonoma wineries.
The Operations Team
Our wines don’t make it to your doorstep without the considerable efforts of Warehouse Manager Robert Payan and Accounting Manager/Direct Import Specialist Magali Forsyth. It’s one thing to find great wines, but another thing entirely to actually acquire them, pack them, and ship them!