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I’ll Drink to That: Craig Collins of the ELM Restaurant Group

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Episode 297 of I’ll Drink to That has been released. It features Craig Collins, Beverage Director of the ELM Restaurant Group in Austin, Texas.

It is not every day that you hear about a sommelier who started their career working in a winery, in fact it isn’t really any day. Most of the time the progression moves the other way. But Craig Collins did the backwards flip onto the restaurant floor after also working in distribution, another non-traditional building block of a service career. Craig Collins moved to Austin and at the time it looked like he was going to stay in distribution for the rest of his days, but close friends had other ideas for him. Soon enough he was working in restaurants. Which makes sense, because Craig comes off as naturally personable in this interview. Craig also possesses the calm of the wine professional who knows what he is doing, which was probably important, because in Austin when he got there there wasn’t much of an imprint to follow in terms of sommeliers. The cool thing about this interview is that Craig opens up about what he knows, and probably that is the same characteristic that helped him as he tried to turn the next generation in Austin on to wine as well. Because that definitely happened, and now Austin is a vibrant place for wine folk. If you need to get up to speed with what has been going on in Austin, this is an interview to hit the Play button on. Craig will tell you all the secrets.

This episode also includes a Warm Up from Erin about today’s Texas wine country


Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes.

I’ll Drink to That is the world’s leading wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine