The West Shore Cafe is proud to showcase the talent and portfolio of our in-house sommelier: Lisa Small. Lisa provides our restaurant with in-depth knowledge and understanding; this in-turn provides our guests with an elevated level of dining service season after season.
To offer the best wine selection possible, Lisa works closely with the Executive Chef to assure they effectively relate the two menus. Thanks to this symbiotic relationship, both our seasonal menus and wine lists have continued to grow side-by-side in terms of price, pairings, and underlying theme. For example, they have both recently been revamped to include descriptions of which product selections reflect certified organic, biodynamic or use green practices.
Next time you visit, be sure to seek a wine suggestion from our sommelier. Whether you’d like a recommendation of which wine will best pair with your entree, or simply a suggestion of wine bottle to gift your loved one, our team would be enthusiastic to assist you.
The level of craftsmanship in our ever-changing and expansive wine list hasn’t gone unnoticed, either. Our sommelier’s efforts have earned us Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” for the last four years running. This award is given to restaurants who offer at least 90 wines to choose from, as well as a thematic match to the menu in terms of price and style.
Since 2014, Lisa has pioneered our wine list strategy and creation; this list is curated to feature a well-rounded, world-encompassing offering with an emphasis on boutique and small case production wines that are biodynamic, organic, SIP Certified, and embody green practices.
“Our guests can expect staple varietals, but if they’re open to trying new, unique products, our intention is to make them available whenever possible. We believe a high-quality wine program includes popular, as well as new to market or small batch offerings,”
If you’ve met Lisa, you’d understand why she is such a valuable member of our team. Her passion for her work shines by her experiences with our guests.
“One of my favorite things about wine is how it brings people together. I can go up to a table of complete strangers with the bottle of wine they ordered and begin talking about either the producer of the bottle or the varietal they selected and leave the table feeling as though I just made new friends. I love sharing my knowledge and passion for wine and I firmly believe that being able to share wine with the people you love is part of what makes wine and the wine industry what it is.”
Lisa has been a Sommelier since 2012, and became a Level 2 Sommelier in 2014. Before joining our family she was the Premier Wine Knowledge and Lead Server at Jakes on the Lake, in Tahoe City, CA.
Jason Schulz, our Sommelier, and Director of the West Shore Cafe’s wine program has been bringing new wines and exciting pairing to the table since 2013. Schultz’s interest in wine was sparked when he moved to San Francisco and was inspired by his mentor Rajat Parr who oversaw the wine program of the Michael Mina restaurant group. At a very young age, while Schultz was living in an Italian neighborhood in Central New Jersey, he grew a strong appreciation for the restaurant and hospitality industry. He now loves being a teacher of the wines and exposing people to different paths wine can lead. He says that “wine can be very intimidating but when you get to know it, it leads in your soul.” Next time you come and visit the West Shore Café be sure to say hello to Jason Schultz and he might give you free wine lesson.