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Birth of a Great Lunch


Baby Shower for a Sommelier

Normally I try to avoid baby showers. They tend to be rather staid affairs with tea, crumpets, and lots of baby clothes. Actually, they’re not that hard to avoid, since I never get invited. But recently I did, and it was one I wasn’t going to miss: the baby shower for Paul Roberts, wine director for all of Thomas Keller’s restaurants, including the French Laundry and Per Se.

Paul (in the striped shirt) is a master sommelier and a beloved figure in the SF wine world (also, like me, from Texas and  a UT graduate—Go Horns!). So it’s not hard to imagine that he got a good turn out of SF’s top wine people at a lunch last week at SPQR, with the likes of importer Martine Saunier, Masa’s wine director Alan Murray, Nectar’s Matthew Turner, Michael Mina’s Rajat Parr, Range’s Moke Berg, winemaker Andy Peay, and many others in attendance.

Great, great wines were brought by all, including a 1985 Barolo, Burgundies from Roulot and Leroy and, oh, lots of other things. The lunch at SPQR was great—the food there is lively and delicious, and it’s served with the kind of warmth and sweetness that you’d expect from a Shelley Lindgren (A16)-run restaurant. But most importantly, it was another great illustration of the camaraderie and friendship among the sommelier community in this city—a group mentality, which, I assure you, is unheard of elsewhere in the world and is good for the restaurant industry here.

Most of all, we wish Paul and his wife Katie congratulations for the little one on the way.