We are thrilled to welcome Sommelier Will Olendorf to the Maynards Market & Kitchen team! Get to know Will with this month’s wine blog, and be sure to say hello at our next wine tasting!
Will was born and raised in Shelby Township, a suburb of Detroit. He attended college in Lake Tahoe, and returned to Michigan for two years before moving to New York City, where he attended culinary school while working. It was during this time that Will discovered his interest in the restaurant business. He then moved to Petoskey, Michigan, where he spent the next 17 years. While working at a small restaurant called Twisted Olive, Will began working for Master Sommelier Ron Edwards and pursuing his passion for wine. He passed the Level 1 and two Certified Sommelier Examinations within one year. Ron continues to be a friend and mentor along the way as Will works toward the advanced exam. Will moved to Tucson with his wife, Natalie, and two children, Otto (5 years) and Collete (20 months), to be closer to family.
If we walked into your home cellar, what would be the most impressive bottle?
Well, there are only about 8 bottles. There is a bottle of Argentiera Bolgheri Superiore 2010 from a trip I took to Italy with my wife. We’re not collectors in any sense of the word… we buy to drink!
If money wasn’t a concern, what wine would you be drinking?
I’ve always said I want to go out drinking champagne. A Grand Cru from anyone would do, but I love rosés with a good omelette.
If you weren’t a Sommelier, what would your next dream job be?
I’d love to be a stay at home dad. Before we moved to Tucson, I had stopped working and didn’t return to work for 3 months. Loved it!
Do you dabble in the kitchen?
If by dabble, you mean feed a very busy family, then yes, I do!
What is your favorite dish to make?
Any dish that makes life easier for my wife. I have the kids all day while she’s at work, then we switch. No time for her to cook, so I’ll usually have it ready. Grilled salmon with any green veggie is always a hit!
If you were eating your very last meal, what would it be?
Probably a whole lobe of foie gras with a Grand Cru white burgundy.
What is your go-to party wine?
I don’t spend a lot on wine. Under $20 is usually a rule I go by. I just took some Louis Martini Carbernet from Sonoma and a Zind-Humbrect Riesling to my mom’s for Christmas… both under $20!
What is your wife’s favorite thing to drink?
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – Cloudy Bay if it’s available.
Where would you go for a wine trip?
I’m not done with Italy yet. I think the Northern areas from the east to west need to be visited by me and my better half.
How do you like Tucson and our local wine?
I moved from northern Michigan, where there’s been 40 inches of snow already this winter season. We love Tucson! The weather is fabulous and we’re closer to family – win, win. I’ve only had a couple different local wines so far, and I’m really impressed with their sense of place and quality. I’ve had a Tempranillo blend (Maynards AZ Red) and a Sangiovese. Tucson has a similar climate to where these types of wines originate, and that makes for great wine!