Anyone who’s seen the SOMM Films (a third installment of which is headed to theaters this fall) or spent any time working in the wine trade knows Fred Dame—one of the “O.G.” Master Sommeliers in America and a mentor to many who’ve gone through the MS program since (including our own Ian Cauble).

Fred was one of the first Americans to pass the MS exam and founded the US branch of the Court of Master Sommeliers in 1986. As Cellarmaster of the famed Sardine Factory in Monterey, CA, he assembled an enviable wine collection that earned the restaurant the Wine Spectator “Grand Award,” and he personally has been given just about every wine-related honor imaginable.

The forthcoming third installment in the “SOMM” film series includes this British-American summit with UK wine icons Jancis Robinson and Steven Spurrier. Photos courtesy of Forgotten Man Films

Fred is the latest, and most legendary, sommelier to add his voice to our offers at SommSelect. Over the last year and a half, we’ve brought in peers we admire (Matt Stamp; Richard Betts) to present wines to our subscribers—because as SommSelect continues to grow, so does our network. Our aim, as always, is to be the most authoritative and entertaining purveyor of wines on the internet: Having Fred on board as a regular contributor will help ensure that! His first offer—Caraccioli Cellars’ 2010 “Brut Cuvée”—goes live TODAY. Stay tuned for many more from one of the great minds in wine!

Champagne: The Year In Review

Chances are, given the season, you’re drinking more Champagne than usual. And with one of the biggest Champagne occasions of them all right around the corner, we’ve found ourselves not only re-stocking our own supplies but reflecting on a year chock full of delicious Champagne offers. In addition to myself, the SommSelect team includes another […]

“It’s Like Those French Have a Different Word for Everything”

A refresher on some of the more heavily used winespeak in our rotation. One of the formative experiences of my adolescence was my receipt, at the age of 13 or so, of Steve Martin’s comedy album, “A Wild and Crazy Guy.” I’m assuming most of the SommSelect demographic knows this album (and, for that matter, […]

Burgundy’s Game of Inches

When our offer of Boyer-Martenot’s 2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru “Le Cailleret” came up in the queue recently, I was prompted to rummage around in my photos from our visit to Burgundy back in March. And, boom, there is was: A picture of Ian Cauble standing on the narrow path that separates the Grand Cru “Le […]

A Master Sommelier’s Napa Valley Favorites

All of us at SommSelect are thrilled to welcome back our buddy Matt Stamp, MS, who’s not only a great sommelier but a great writer. We asked Matt, a longtime Napa resident, to share some of his favorite spots with our subscribers—read what he has to say below: Some autumn days, Napa Valley feels like […]

SommSelect Tour de France: Day One!

  We’re excited to report that we just landed in France and are about to embark on a barnstorming tour of the Loire Valley, Burgundy, and the Rhône with our friend Bill Elbring of North Berkeley Imports—one of our go-to distributors of French wines (Elbring, by the way, is Gold Watch material at North Berkeley; […]