The Little Nell, Aspen's premier hotel recognized nationally for its stellar wine program, named 28 year-old Carlton McCoy as its new wine director.
The sommelier arrived at the Little Nell in November 2011, determined to tap into the property's reputation as a training ground for master sommeliers. The Little Nell has had more masters come through its wine program than any other establishment in the country, with 10 masters having worked on property.
McCoy, who was admitted into the Court of Master Sommeliers this year on May 22, is one of the youngest people in the world to become a master sommelier and the second African American to do so. In his class this year, there were only three others, Christopher Bates of Hotel Fauchere in Milford, PA, Emily Pickral-Papach of Chappellet Winery in Napa, CA, and Christopher Tanghe of RN74 in Seattle, WA. The exam that led to this title, which can be taken by-invitation only, was attempted by 63 individuals from 19 states and three countries.
The title of Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities, and professionalism in the hospitality trade with education being at the core of the Court's charter. There are 133 professionals who have earned the title of Master Sommelier as part of the Americas chapter since the organization's inception.
Of all the Master Sommeliers around the country, thirteen are in Colorado with two of them, McCoy, as well as Sabato Sagaria working at the Little Nell. This gives Colorado the second highest concentration of master sommeliers after California Up until last week, master sommelier Jonathan Pullis also worked at the Little Nell.
· Frasca Food and Wine Receives James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Service [EDen]
· Court of Master Sommeliers [Official Website]
Carlton McCoy [Photo: C-CAP]