Wine experts have achieved a following throughout the community. Their profound knowledge of wines, plus understanding of foods has made them indispensable to restaurants and patrons alike. Not only is this appreciated but also rewarded. Get to know Libby Burk today, the current holder of the Best Sommelier Award by Connect Savannah.
You can find Libby, a native Savannahian, at Common Thread 122 E. 37th St. It’s a good bet that Libby has not only selected every bottle on that list, she has probably curated each bottle to fit the menu as well. So if you have an exceptional menu and someone to help you with understanding of wine and how it pairs best with food. Why not take advantage? Make your reservation today and enjoy a memorable night filled with delicious cuisine made better with the perfect pairing of wine. The best part is, you won’t pay more than at a comparable restaurant but your experience will be elevated. Keep reading to find out more about Libby plus her love of small producers and low intervention wine.
Tell us what influenced you to become a wine expert?
About 5 years ago, I was working in a fine dining restaurant under the most amazing Wine Director. He was truly inspiring. The way he talked about wine and being in the industry is ultimately what encouraged me to pursue it.
What is your favorite part of being a wine expert?
My favorite part of being in the wine industry is being able to meet small winemakers and wine professionals from all over the world. Having access to rare and limited wines is also a major perk.
If Scout stopped by your home for a glass of wine, what do you currently have on repeat and where can people find it?
My home selection is pretty diverse. I tend to drink something different every night, but if I had to choose a go-to, it would be sparkling. I get pretty much all of my wine from Savannah Wine Cellar and Le Chai. Both Bridget (SWC) and Christian (Le Chai) are passionate about small producers and low intervention wine the way I am.
What do you love about Savannah?
I love Savannah because of its history, charm, and how it’s constantly evolving. The people here really take care of their community. Not to mention, Savannah is absolutely breathtaking.
What makes you feel most accomplished?
I feel most accomplished after I sell a bottle of wine to someone who definitely wouldn’t have ordered it otherwise. Yes, knowing the wine you’re selling is a huge part of the job, but you also have to read your crowd in order to choose something that hopefully your guests will enjoy. Seeing someone take a sip and have an almost out-of-body experience is truly why I do what I do.
Walk us through your idea of the perfect order with wine at Common Thread?
At Common Thread, we source almost 100% of our ingredients from local farmers and fishermen. The menu is constantly changing for that reason, I try to adhere to that ethos with my wine list as well. Almost every bottle you’ll find on my list is from a smaller family-owned operation that doesn’t use chemicals or machinery to make the wine. I also focus on sourcing balanced wines that compliment, rather than overpower, the food on our menu. Wine and food together really is where the magic happens.