Jon McDaniel Beverage Director, Acanto Chicago

Beverage Director Jon McDaniel Hosts the 2nd Annual Chicago Sommelier Challenge


Talk about hospitality and a sense of community… Respected Beverage Director and Sommelier at Lawless Restaurant Group (The Gage, The Dawson, and more to come soon) Jon McDaniel is humble enough to invite ten of the top Chicago sommeliers- theoretically his competition– into Acanto Restaurant.

They were not gathered here to hob-nob and casually taste wine together. Instead, they willingly spent an evening at the Michigan Avenue dining room for a friendly but fierce food and wine pairing competition. What a night it was, with the sommeliers paired into groups then assigned a single dish, of the five course menu, to match a wine of their choice to. Listen to the details and all about the fun had by all.

The wine choices were broad, diverse and quite surprising. Read my article scheduled to run in the April issue of SommJournal for more details.

In case you missed passed episodes, here they are at your fingertips!

San Francisco’s Mourad Restaurant Sommelier Tara Patrick Joins Us

Sepia Chicago’s Arthur Hon Talks “Pink” Wine

Jean-Charles Boisset on JCB Lounges Opening in 2016

Liz Mendez of Vera, Chicago Takes Top Somm Award at Jean Banchet Awards

Charles Ford, The Bristol Chicago on Wine Inspiration and Teamwork

The Kitchen Chicago’s Shea Zimmerman Talks Sustainable Wine, Keggers and more

Spiaggia’s Top Somm Rachael Lowe Shares Interactive Pairing & Italian Wine Picks

Formento’s Chicago Sommelier Steve Morgan’s Journey from NYC to Alinea to Open This Popular Neighborhood Italian

Joy Sterling on Sparkling Wine at her Family’s Iron Horse Vineyards

Wine Director Ryan Arnold, Lettuce Entertain You

Andrew Mariani of Sonoma’s Scribe Winery Talks Wine, Friends and Community

Belinda Chang on Bending the Steakhouse Paradigm

Sommelier Lauren Helm’s Journey to Harvest Table by Charlie Palmer

Tune in for great interviews with Sommeliers, Wine Makers, Wine Directors and Top Chefs- SommTalks is your weekly podcast for the inside scoop on the restaurant and wine scene. Please subscribe Please subscribe here, on iTunes or on TuneIn Radio or on Stitcher.



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