By Cristal Campbell
As the saying goes, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” 1618 Concepts’ resident Sommelier, Stacey Land, has become the embodiment of this sentiment. Growing up in the service industry, Land has always had a passion for serving the public, but her love of wine deepened after joining 1618 Wine Lounge in 2011.
As 1618 Wine Lounge evolved into 1618 Midtown, Land also took on a title change as Certified Sommelier in 2017. A bit of a perfectionist and a true oenophile, her motivation for attaining this designation was her desire to deliver impeccable service. Being able to suggest a great wine to a novice or answer the grueling questions of a connoisseur without breaking a sweat is what Land prides herself on. In order to receive her Certification, she took a three-part test, including a written exam, blind tasting, and a practical portion, where she was tested on her service skills and graded on her poise and knowledge. The Certification process is no small feat: less than 50% of applicants pass. Land says she is grateful for the support of her study companion, Jake Assaf, owner of Rioja! The pair spent more than a year studying the various wine regions of the world. Though the two received the initial Certification, they continue to study weekly to advance to the next level. Stacey estimates the two will study for the next two years before trying their hand at the Advanced Sommelier Certification.
Fun fact: Land’s favorite food pairing is Champagne and fried chicken.