Yannick Benjamin awarded the Title of Michelin’s NY Sommelier of the Year

Yannick Benjamin is an Advanced Sommelier CMS at Contento and the Lead Force of Wine on Wheels. He is an inspiration and friend to many in New York and has recently been awarded the MICHELIN Guide New York 2023 Sommelier Award. Congratulations to Yannick for this well-deserved recognition!

Michelin Guide New York Best Sommelier of the Year

Yannick Benjamin by Mikhail Lipyanskiy
Yannick Benjamin,Sommelier. Photo Credit: Mikhail Lipyanskiy

Yannick Benjamin has made adversity his best asset, always embracing it with a smile. Every time you see him, he will smile. As Miguelin Guide editors describe him, “he debriefs on his passion for biodiversity, regional pride, and social impact and how they affect his wine list.”
His Contento Star Wine list is one of the most consciously curated. I was even surprised to find Casa Jippi Sauvignon Blanc, a Mexican Wine on this list. Only a few had put on their radar, coming from one of the stand-out producers in Mexico, Llano Colorado.

Benjamin is a sommelier based in New York City who co-founded Contento Restaurant and Beaupierre Wines & Spirits. Benjamin is also a co-founder of Wine on Wheels, a group of wine lovers who use their passion to raise funds for charity. Despite being paralyzed in a car accident, Benjamin became a sommelier and gained experience at reputable establishments. He and his partners opened Contento with an inclusive approach.

Yannick Benjamin, a supporter of diversity through and through

Even though I met him not too long ago, Yannick already has a leap of faith in me, which has already meant a lot to me by supporting my writing career. He recently reviewed my book. Yannick’s review is on the back cover of my first book, Mexican Wines: A Guide to Fall in Love with Mexican Wines.

I have personally witnessed how kind and supportive Yannick is when it comes to promoting diversity. I’ve had the opportunity to meet him during events, and he has always been friendly and generous, even sharing his knowledge with me. As the deadline for my book’s back cover review approached, I was struggling to find another reviewer, but my friend and colleague Abe Zarate suggested that I reach out to Yannick, saying that “he is all about supporting diversity.” And he was right. Despite his busy schedule, Yannick took the time to review my book and provide valuable feedback. He is a champion when it comes to promoting diversity and inclusion.

My friend, this story is about you. You are a true champion of supporting diversity in the wine industry. Yannick, you are an exceptional leader, not only because you provide excellent hospitality but also because you inspire and support many of us through your actions. Your efforts have significantly impacted our belief that if we work towards it, it will happen.

Last, but not least, If you are interested in getting to know more about Wine on Wheels, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit that Yannicks leads  please visit WineOnWheels.org.

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