FOODIES WEST.COM         
Certified Sommelier | Master Waiter
  MITCH OBER
I’m just excited to bring wine to people. And I’m excited
not to tell them what’s best, but to guide them if
April 2016 Issue / Vol. 4, No. 7                                                              they’re open-minded.




 

 

 










 
 
 
 

      
Executive Chef
Forest Hamrick

      
Executive Sous Chef
Lee Hillson

      
Executive Chef
Anthony Fullylove
 




Mitch Ober shared the most interesting label he has in his personal wine collection on our

Facebook page!

       
The Wachau Wonder:
Bailoni Gold Apricot
Liqueur and Schnapps


     
La Hacienda:
by Richard Sandoval
Everything is hands-on.

     
Carlo DeVito:
Jiggers & Drams
Whisky Journal



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Mitch Ober | Certified Sommelier | Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, California Mitch Ober may look, in stature certainly, like the logger he used to be when he lived in Stevenson, Washington located along the Columbia River; population 1,000. But when he talks, he’s quintessential oenophile with a rare blend of encyclopedic knowledge, down-home demeanor and unalloyed enthusiasm. How did this small-town guy go from logger to certified sommelier? “It rains a lot,” Ober said about Washington weather. “And in the winter, I’d work in hotels and restaurants. A friend of mine was a sommelier at the Skamania Lodge in my town.” The lodge opened when the logging industry started to flag. It kept Stevenson on the map and Ober in a job. “I was the youngest server there,” Ober said. “I couldn’t even serve alcohol. I was 17.” That doesn’t mean he didn’t have an interest in it. He constantly picked his friend’s brain about wine. When some of his friends moved to the Los Angeles area to go to school He decided to split the small town scene. “I thought, Hey, why not visit LA?” Ober said. “I actually got hired here at the Ritz my third day in town.” And he stayed ever since. Sixteen years. He started as a banquet houseman just to get his foot in the door. Six months later, he transferred to the restaurant and worked his way up the ladder as fast as he could to get where he wanted to be, which included trainer, lunches, dinner, dinner trainer, bartender, supervisor. Along the way, he reconnected with wine. “We got a really cool sommelier,” Ober said about the Ritz-Carlton’s former wine director, David Weiss, “who re-piqued my interest in wine to a higher level. He’d been all over the world and was just really passionate about wine.” So, of course, that passion became contagious. Once again, Ober was brain-picking. “He got me really,” Ober paused for the correct words, “fully enthralled about wine. That’s when I really began my studies, working with him.”