MLSE Sommelier Makes the Grade

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TORONTO — Jennifer Huether, head sommelier for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), just made history, becoming the only female in Canada to be accredited as a master sommelier and one of three Canadians and 180 master sommeliers worldwide.

The designation is the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities and professionalism in the hospitality trade. To earn the accolade it takes several years of intense training and rigorous exams. Thirty candidates took the invitation-only exam in Irving, Texas, and Huether was among only six recipients of the designation.

“You have to be able to perform all the required tasks under pressure, so understanding how to keep that in check was crucial for me,” Huether said.

After graduating top of her class from the International Sommelier Guild in 2000, Huether earned her Diploma of Wine and Spirits from Wine and Spirit Education Trust in 2003 before being accepted into the Advanced Sommelier Program from the Court of master sommeliers and gaining accreditation in the first round of testing in 2004.

In her role as head sommelier for MLSE and Toronto’s newest restaurant, e11even, the 10-year hospitality veteran oversees the wine program and was instrumental in developing the extensive wine list at e11even, which includes 4,000 bottles and more than 600 labels from regions around the world.

“No words can describe how genuinely proud we are of Jennifer and MLSE for being a part of an incredible time in Canadian history,” said Michael Doyle, MLSE’s vice-president of Food and Beverage. “Jennifer is an amazing teacher and loves to share her knowledge of wine with her colleagues and guests. She has a passion for being the best and has grown our wine program over the years to be one of the best in North America.”

 

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