Originally from Alsace-Lorraine in eastern France, Michaël Engelmann is a Master Sommelier who counts more than 20 years of experience working in restaurants and hospitality across the world. In 2009, he won the title of Best Sommelier in America and went on to pass the Master Sommelier Diploma Examination on his first try, thereby winning the coveted Krug Cup.


Engelmann is a recipient of the Johnston Medal and was named a Rudd Scholar, as well as one of five “Best New Sommeliers” by Wine & Spirits magazine. Engelmann has worked as the wine director at award-winning restaurants like Rockpool Bar & Grill in Sydney, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group in NYC, which includes the Michelin-starred The Modern, and Wine Spectator-affiliated WS New York and The Tavern in Hudson Yards. In addition to serving as a guest speaker, educator, and judge, Engelmann consults on wine programs across the globe.

Where are you working currently and how has being a MS supported you in your current role, and where were you working when you passed?

I’m a wine consultant. I was working the wine director Rockpool Bar & Grill in Sydney.


What made you want to become an MS?

I’m competitive and liked to push myself.


What advice do you give those who are pursuing certification?

Do it because it is something you really want to do; have no regrets, go all the way with your studies and understand that getting the pin is not the end of the journey and it is not what is going to allow you to feed your family. While it helps you becoming a better professional, it remains a personal goal, you still got to perform your daily job.


What is your desert island wine, or what wines/beverages are you currently excited about?

Rum is my beverage of choice on a desert island, partly because I just got back from Barbados but I also think that most wines just don’t show/taste that great in a tropical environment.