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Steve Morgan

Steve is currently the Midwest Regional Manager for the importer The Sorting Table, but he began working with wine seriously in 2004 under the tutelage of Belinda Chang at Osteria Via Stato and instantly fell for Italian wine.  This love and serendipity led to an internship with Elisabetta Foradori  at Foradori winery in Mezzolombardo, Trentino.  Learning the inner workings of the winery as well as being a part of the shift in farming from organic to biodynamic left an indelible mark.

Steve moved to New York in 2008 to pursue a career in comic books but instead began his official sommelier career officially under Morgan Rich at Del Posto.  Looking to expand his knowledge he worked at The Dressler, Ai Fiori, and landed at Tribeca Grill where he was lucky enough to be head sommelier under David Gordon of its Wine Spectator Grand Award winning list.  During the 2012 vintage he worked harvest with Larkmead in Calistoga, California. 

He made the move back to Chicago in the winter of 2013 to join the sommelier team at the three Michelin star Alinea.  In 2015 he moved to become the opening wine director at Formento’s for which he would win Best Of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator and the Best Medium Sized Wine List in the World from World of Fine Wine. 

During his time in Chicago he co-founded Squire Wine Company which helped introduce small artisanal California producers to the Illinois market.  He has been part of the sommelier team for La Paulee and La Fete du Champagne and was the head sommelier for two different Paulee events in Chicago.

If you can’t find Steve drinking or working with wine he is either making dinner for his wife, in his garden, playing with his dog, watching the cubs, or reading comic books.

Garth Hodgdon

Garth began his career in hospitality on accident. In 2000, in order to sneak in to a Deftones album release party at a bar in Santa Monica, he volunteered to barback. Having never stepped behind a bar, that first night was an adventure. He was never officially hired, but he just kept going back.

 

In 2008, after stops in a few different cities as a server before becoming a sommelier, Garth was hired on at Thomas Keller’s one Michelin starred Bouchon Restaurant in Yountville, CA. In 2009 Garth passed his Advanced Sommelier exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers and placed second in the National Chaîne de Rôtisseurs Young Sommelier Competition. In 2010 he was honored by Wine & Spirits Magazine as one of “Best New Sommeliers in America.” Garth then made the move to work as a sommelier at The French Laundry. He spent the next three and a half years working alongside some of the best and brightest sommeliers, winemakers and hospitality professionals in the world. Staying under the Thomas Keller umbrella, Garth made one more move this time to Per Se in New York City. On December, 31 2013 Garth hung up his sommelier shoes and joined Krug Champagne as National Brand Ambassador. New York threw him a great going away party that night.

 

For Krug, Garth travelled the United States extensively. He taught, lectured, drank, learned, and fell deeper in love with Champagne. For five years he was anywhere someone was opening a bottle of Krug Champagne. Now Garth is the National Sales Manager for Accendo Cellars in the Napa Valley. He is based in Chicago, IL.

 

Garth has spoken to groups of consumers and trade alike in all 50 states and visited Champagne on countless occasions. Garth has been a featured panelist for Food and Wine festivals across the country including, Aspen, Pebble Beach, Los Angeles, Hawaii, and Charleston. He has been featured in Wine Specator, Wine & Spirits, Decanter and Elle Magazine as well as many other regional publications.  He spent about fifteen seconds on screen during the documentary film “SOMM.”