Penfolds x GQ's Best Dressed Somm [Event]


As a woman who loves to be in the company of impeccably dressed men and copious amounts of wine, it was a pleasure to attend Penfolds and GQ’s #BestDressedSomm event in New York. Now in its second year, the #BestDressedSomm competition calls to find the best-dressed sommelier in the United States. The month long search garnered a plethora of social media entries from over 100 sommeliers across the nation, which were evaluated on their ability to exhibit effortless style. The top five finalists included Taylor Grant from Scopa Italian Rootsin Los Angeles, Nico Snyman from Joel Robuchon at the Mansion in Las Vegas, Kyle Ridington of Piora in New York City, Matt Bostick from Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, and Elphin Murren from Kingside Restaurant in New York City.

Judges for this year’s competition included chef Marcus Samuelsson, fashion designer Rachel Roy, and GQ Executive Stylist Brett Fahlgren.

The event was held at Stephen Weiss Studio in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. The space was transformed into “Penfolds House” for two days, hosting wine tastings and education seminars, along with special social events by the Australian winemaker. The premiere event, #BestDressedSomm not only presented the winner of the contest, which was awarded to the incredibly dapper Kyle Ridington of Piora, but served as the U.S. debut of the 2015 collection of Penfolds wine.

This unveiling included the 2011 Grange, which is one of the most-collected wines in the world. Paired with a special short film narrated by Russell Crowe, attendees were given a short history on the Grange wines, as well as the opportunity to taste the coveted blend firsthand.

Still considering myself a newbie to the wine space, it was interesting to see how it can be paired in realms that are familiar to me; fashion, film, and hyper-focused special events. It made me realize how effortless this combination be, and dispelled my previously conceived notions that the wine space was stuffy and standoffish. We’re creating and shaping the future of wine for the Modern audience by defining it as a lifestyle to pair with fashion, film, food, and music.