BOULDER, Colo. -- There are currently only 105 Master Sommeliers in North America (90 men, 15 women) and a mere 170 such wine professionals worldwide who have earned that title from the Court of of Master Sommeliers since 1973. Two of them, Wayne Belding (who passed the rigorous exam in 1990), and Sally Mohr (1995, the second woman to achieve that level), are partners in The Boulder Wine Merchant, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary. It is not hyperbole to call this specialty store ahead of its time in showcasing wine -- especially considering that Boulder was dry until the 1960s.
Belding and Mohr are passing the torch, or the corkscrew, to Brett Zimmerman, who became a Master Sommelier in 2007, and his wife Jennifer. They are both Boulder natives, so if they came from families of oenophiles, it's a good bet that they and their parents have patronized The Boulder Wine Merchant for a long time.
After graduating from the University of Colorado, Zimmerman started his sommelier career in Chicago at the acclaimed restaurant Charlie Trotter's, and then moved to San Francisco and Aqua, which is currently closed. Back he came to Colorado as general manager of the fine wines division of Southern Wine and Spirits and more recently at Domaine Select Wine Estates, with a focus on expanding their wine education in this region. Wine retailing is a new step for him.
The Boulder Wine Merchant is at 2690 Broadway, Boulder; 303- 443-6761.
Follow Claire Walter on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ClaireWalter