Instead of a list solely made of sommeliers from the most expensive restaurants in town, the magazine dug deeper, highlighting people who are trying to change the scene. That’s definitely true of the two Chicagoans who made the list, Derrick C. Westbrook and Shelby Allison.
Westbrook graces the cover of the issue, and is the first image on Wine Enthusiast’s website. He works as a wine buyer and sommelier with 57th Street Wines in Chicago, but that’s just the beginning. He also owns DerrickCWestbrook LLC, which consults with restaurants and hosts wine pop-up events. While Westbrook has worked at some very expensive restaurants, including Elizabeth and Next in Chicago, he never imagined getting this kind of recognition: “I never thought a kid from the South Side would make it in Wine Enthusiast.”