Meet one of the most stylish sommeliers in the business; DLynn Proctor. You may know him by his role in the documentary Somm but where did this swaggering wine celebrity get his start? What does he drink after a long day of wine tasting? What wine gadget can he not live without? Find out in our exclusive interview with the Dlynn.Q: How did you get into the wine business?
A: I worked my way through the front of the house (host, server, captain, floor manager, dining room manager, Sommelier, Wine Director, GM), as well as back of the house training (in all areas), with vintage and winemaking stints around the world thrown in between.Q: Why did you want to be a Somm?
A: There was an incredibly well-versed gent, who ran a restaurant impeccably and represented fine dining to the tee. He was business savvy, well-dressed, knew how to run service, and always knew every guest by name. I observed and studied everything he did.Q: Explain your first ‘Aha’ moment with wine.
A: A group of collectors took a liking to me back in 2003. Bordeaux from the 40’s through 60’s, Burgundy from the 60’s, and Grange from the 70’s and 80’s. I was overwhelmed but honestly tried not to act like it was my first touchdown.Q: What’s the best part about your job?
A: Bringing consumers, young sommeliers (age irrelevant) and trade / distributors, and anyone willing to learn on my journey of Penfolds and great wine.Q: What’s your best advice on how to (or how not to) engage a Somm at a restaurant?
A: Honestly, let the sommelier DO THEIR JOB. Give a few hints, ask a few questions, and let them work their magic with their eagerness and training. Very rarely do they miss (Michael Jordan missed).Q: Most humiliating wine spitting story?
A: I sneezed rose in a great friends face, Jason Heller MS. Does that count? He recounts that, “It was a fine mist of Txakoli”!Q: Favorite wine gadget?
A: These fun little black lycra blind wine tasting sleeves with colored question marks on them.Q: What wine region are you excited about right now and why?
A: Derwent Valley and Coal River Valley Tasmania. Beautiful sparkling wines, chardonnay and pinot noir are coming from there. One of the world’s greatest French producers recently took a trip there to see only one vineyard!Q: What’s in your glass?
A: 2011 Magill Estate Monopole Shiraz. Absolutely epic. 5.1ha of energy, nervosity and pepper.Q: What’s the craziest bottle of wine you’ve had?
A: I’ve been fortunate to have more than a few. 1828 Blandy’s (I think) Boal. A lot of the chalk paste had worn from the bottle. Quite sure it was though. Started it in a lounge and finished it the back seat of the black car.Q: What do you drink after a long day of tasting wine?
A: Campari Soda.
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About DLynn Proctor
DLynn Proctor has been a figure in the wine industry for over 10 years. He comes to Penfolds with extensive experience working with the best in the fine dining business, retail/web sales, fine and rare wine brokerage, and international education. DLynn, a passionate Penfolds Ambassador, is instrumental in Penfolds education programs, media relations, radio, and Re-corking Clinics across the United States and Canada. He often contributes to food and wine content and to TV shows and print magazines. In addition, he travels extensively to speak publicly and represent this iconic brand to customers, consumers, journalists, and distributors in a variety of global forums. DLynn has been involved in widespread sensory testing, winemaking, and training with top winemakers in California, Washington, Texas, South Australia, and Italy and is an adjunct lecturer and wine show judge at some of the world’s most famous universities and wine shows.