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Add' adds new wine director

The Grand Del Mar's Addison replaces stand-out sommelier

There’s no use crying over spilled milk, but I’ll shed tears over vino. I nearly did last March, when I found out Jesse Rodriguez, the French Laundry and Per Se vet and walking wine encyclopedia regarded by most everyone in the know as the best sommelier in the county, had left his post at The Grand Del Mar’s fine dining temple, Addison, to take a new job outside San Diego.

For years, I’d relied on Rodriguez as a masterful resource and, when dining at Addison, thoroughly enjoyed his selections, especially when paired against the fine cuisine of acclaimed executive chef William Bradley. It’s impossible not to lament such a loss, nor wonder who will be brought in to take up such a high profile post.

This morning, The Grand Del Mar put an end to my (and every other food writer in San Diego’s) speculation, announcing the five-star, five-diamond, Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning restaurant’s wine program will be headed up by sommelier Elizabeth Huettinger.

None

Huettinger comes to Addison from Spago in Beverly Hills, where she worked as the assistant wine director. While there, she gained valuable experience, seeing the two-star Michelin resto through a complete shutdown, renovation and reopening.

But she’s not without her ties to San Diego. Prior to her time in the 90210, she worked as a somm for 4S Ranch's defunct Cavaillon, where she personally dazzled me with her personality, ability to communicate her broad body of oenophile knowledge and daringness to bend the rules with her pairings.

Filling such a highly coveted position is surely a huge step for Huettinger, but stepping into Rodriguez’s grape juice-stained footwear carries with it a great deal of pressure to go along with the immense responsibility of maintaining a 37,000-bottle wine collection at a restaurant thought of by many in and out of San Diego as our region’s finest. It won’t be easy, but if her passion is anywhere near the level it was when I saw her last, it should do a lot to help carry the day.

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There’s no use crying over spilled milk, but I’ll shed tears over vino. I nearly did last March, when I found out Jesse Rodriguez, the French Laundry and Per Se vet and walking wine encyclopedia regarded by most everyone in the know as the best sommelier in the county, had left his post at The Grand Del Mar’s fine dining temple, Addison, to take a new job outside San Diego.

For years, I’d relied on Rodriguez as a masterful resource and, when dining at Addison, thoroughly enjoyed his selections, especially when paired against the fine cuisine of acclaimed executive chef William Bradley. It’s impossible not to lament such a loss, nor wonder who will be brought in to take up such a high profile post.

This morning, The Grand Del Mar put an end to my (and every other food writer in San Diego’s) speculation, announcing the five-star, five-diamond, Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning restaurant’s wine program will be headed up by sommelier Elizabeth Huettinger.

None

Huettinger comes to Addison from Spago in Beverly Hills, where she worked as the assistant wine director. While there, she gained valuable experience, seeing the two-star Michelin resto through a complete shutdown, renovation and reopening.

But she’s not without her ties to San Diego. Prior to her time in the 90210, she worked as a somm for 4S Ranch's defunct Cavaillon, where she personally dazzled me with her personality, ability to communicate her broad body of oenophile knowledge and daringness to bend the rules with her pairings.

Filling such a highly coveted position is surely a huge step for Huettinger, but stepping into Rodriguez’s grape juice-stained footwear carries with it a great deal of pressure to go along with the immense responsibility of maintaining a 37,000-bottle wine collection at a restaurant thought of by many in and out of San Diego as our region’s finest. It won’t be easy, but if her passion is anywhere near the level it was when I saw her last, it should do a lot to help carry the day.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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