Georgia’s Only Master Sommelier
Georgia Crown Distributing Co., a full-service beverage distributor with wholesale operations in Georgia and Alabama announces that Michael McNeill, MS—a two-time recipient of the “Best Sommelier in America” award—has joined the team. McNeill, who currently distinguishes himself as Georgia’s only Master Sommelier, will serve as Georgia Crown’s Director of Education.
Erik Johnson, Georgia Crown Distributing Co.’s General Manager of On-Premise Sales, says the addition of McNeill will be a boon to company operations. “Bringing someone with Michael’s experience and credentials to the team drastically increases the resources and ability for our company to really engage and take care of our customers and their needs—which is our first priority like never before,” Johnson says.
As the back-to-back champion of the “Best Sommelier in America” award, McNeill represented the U.S. in two world finals: at the Sopexa Gran Prix du Sommelier in Paris in 1994—which entitled McNeill to serve as President of the Jury for the U.S. competition in 1997—and the Concours Mondial du Sommelier in Tokyo in 1995.
More recently, McNeill has been employed by some of the nation’s most prestigious properties including the St. Regis New York and Atlanta’s Ritz Carlton Buckhead. He has also worked alongside numerous five-star top chefs, including Gray Kunz at Lespinasse, Craig Shelton at The Ryland Inn, and Guenther Seeger and Bruno Menard at The Dining Room.
In his new role with Georgia Crown Distributing Co., McNeill will offer a wealth of knowledge regarding wine service, food and wine harmony, as well as regional sales.