Vanessa Treviño Boyd "cut her wine teeth" in Chicago and in 2000 moved to New York where she managed wine lists for Japanese and French restaurants—in particular Alain Ducasse at the St. Regis with an 1800-selection list, four Sommeliers, three NY Times stars and two Michelin stars. Her work has been recognized in Food Arts, Santé, The New York Times, The Houston Chronicle, Houston Press and Wine & Spirits where she was a member of the import tasting panel for eight years. In April, 2012 she was awarded ‘Best New Sommelier’ by Food & Wine magazine, and in October was named ‘Houston’s Best Sommelier’ by Houston Press. Vanessa has been a Guest Sommelier at Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, Aspen Food & Wine, the International Pinot Noir Celebration and most proudly at America’s celebration of the wines of Burgundy, La Paulée. She lives in Houston, Texas and is the Beverage Director at Philippe Restaurant and Phil’s Wine Lounge where she has curated a selection of 95 wines by the glass. Vanessa holds an Advanced Certificate with the American Sommelier Association.
What is the greatest wine encounter you can remember having?
"My epiphany happened around ten years ago when a friend BYOed a bottle of '47 Laville Haut-Brion to a Japanese restaurant I was at in NYC. I was working the floor when I tasted it, but when it died down I had to sit down with the rest of the bottle and witness its evolution. Its texture was especially compelling--that typical waxiness you get with mature Bordeaux blanc with layers upon layers of...I still can't explain its awesomeness to this day."
What region do you feel the most affinity for?
"I love Burgundy, and that's only been reinforced by experience working the Paulee every year. Young vintages from stars like Roumier, Grand Crus from the 30s, etc., etc. But my heart lies in Chambolle."
What is your biggest pet-peeve in the wine industry you would like to see change?
"My pet peeve lies squarely with the TABC laws regarding procurement of fine & rare wine. No purchasing directly from auction, consigners, secondary markets. It's ridiculous and it makes developing breadth and depth of a list incredibly difficult and expensive."