CHATTING WITH SOMM DLYNN PROCTOR

 Image of Magill Cellar Door Courtesy Penfolds

Image of Magill Cellar Door Courtesy Penfolds

Have you seen the documentary Somm? A great movie for wine lovers, it follows the travails (and wine-mad drama) of four aspiring Master Sommeliers, as they study, prepare and panic for the big exam, one of whom is Mr. DLynn Proctor.

DLynn is now a Brand Ambassador for Aussie giant Penfolds (#dreamjob), travelling around the world to promote, pour, and chat about their wines. Tonight in Vancouver, he’s impeccably dressed, just like in the movie, complete with natty tie and pocket square. In person, he’s animated and ready to pour while charming the crowds with a tip or anecdote, a born entertainer.

Before chatting with DLynn, I tasted the Penfolds wines on offer. The Hyland 2008 Chardonnay from Adelaide stood out as a winner, it had great texture and body, with a hint of vanilla on the palate. For those with a sweet tooth, the Penfolds Club Australian Tawny is a steal at $20. It’s all brown sugar, dried fruit and caramel, with over 200 component wines in the blend – there’s a reason Aussies call these wines ‘stickies’, they’re sticky like a good toffee pudding.

I also had a chance to taste the super premium 2012 RWT (Red Winemaking Trial) Barossa Shiraz, which retails for about $200 – nice wine if you’re buying! If you’re shopping for Aussie reds, not just those of the super premium variety, keep an eye out for the very good 2010 and 2012 vintages.

Q: What’s the your best tip for someone just getting into wine?

DLynn: Find what you like. Whatever you’ve tasted and liked, whether it’s wine with blue fruit, dry wine, tell your somm what you like and have them make a recommendation for you. Drink what you like, don’t be pressured into drinking what your friends talk about.

Q: What’s a region in Australia that you think we should check out?

DLynn: Adelaide, for their Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs.

Q: How about a top new area worldwide?

DLynn: Walla Walla, Washington.

Q: What’s the coolest opportunity that’s come out of the success of Somm?

DLynn: I’ve been in the wine world since the age of 20, 21, so I’ve had the chance to experience lots of things before Somm. The coolest wine related experience was in 2007 at Vinitaly, I wandered over to the stage where the band was on a break and just started playing the guitar. Before I realized what was happening, the band had joined me at the stage and suddenly we were playing for everyone. Very cool experience.

Somm’s sequel Inside the Bottle is out as of Summer 2015. Expect to catch up with familiar faces while delving behind the wine industry’s velvet curtain. Cheers!