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A note above

Sean Nelson aka. Somm Wine Guy was born and raised in the
Metro Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada. 

Sean began his journey in the hospitality industry in 2003, progressing from support staff to service staff while learning everything he could about enhancing the customer service experience. To elevate his skills, Sean transitioned into the realm of Fine Dining in 2008, taking the time to expand his knowledge of food and wine through seminars and extra-curricular research.

From there, Sean continued to advance into leadership and management positions within the restaurant industry honing his skills in guest services, community development and staff training.
Through each one of these roles, Sean always maintained a high level of service and menu knowledge to serve each unique guest to the best of his abilities while growing his proficiency in fine dining experiences
and expertly curated wine lists. 

Sean popped the cork to seriously begin pursuing his love of wine professionally in 2011.
In 2012, he passed the WSET Intermediate and Advanced certifications before moving abroad to grow his experience and further his studies. He returned to Vancouver in 2013, to begin working towards the goal of passing the prestigious Master Sommelier Examination.

From 2014 to 2018, Sean managed the wine program at the internationally renowned Vij’s Restaurant. During his tenure there, Vij’s Restaurant was awarded Platinum at the Vancouver Wine Festival Wine List Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2017, Vij’s Restaurant was also named one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Top 10 Wine Restaurants in Canada thanks to Sean’s keen curation.

In 2016, Sean passed his Advanced Sommelier Examination on the first attempt to become
Western Canada's youngest Advanced Sommelier. 
In 2018, Sean was crowned BC Sommelier of the Year by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers and was the first ever Canadian Somm Slam Champion at the International Chefs Congress in New York.


When not hosting tastings and events, Sean can be found browsing the aisles of local wine shops or with his nose in a wine glass or textbook. 

Certifications & Awards
  • Wine & Spirits Education Trust:

    • Intermediate and Advanced with Distinction and Merit - 2012

  • Wine Scholar Guild:

    • French Wine Scholar with Honours - 2014

  • Court of Master Sommeliers:

    • Introductory Examination - 2013

    • Certified Examination - 2014

    • Advanced Examination - 2016

  • Vancouver International Wine Festival: Wine Program Excellence Awards - Vij's Restaurant 

    •       Platinum - 2016

    •       Platinum - 2017

    •       Platinum - 2018

  • Wine Enthusiast Magazine: 

    • Canada's Top 10 Wine Restaurants 2017 - Vij's Restaurant

  • Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers

    • British Columbia Sommelier of the Year - 2018

  • StarChefs International Chefs Congress:

    • Somm Slam Champion - 2018

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