PHILADELPHIA, May 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Michael Kraemer has been named the winner of the Sommelier Student of the Year Award for 2023. Kraemer, an Advanced Sommelier student at the Wine School of Philadelphia, was recognized for his exceptional achievements over the past school year.
Kraemer, who started working in his uncle’s deli on Long Island at the age of 13, has been a prominent figure in the Philadelphia food scene for over a decade. His move into wine was prompted by the COVID-19 lockdowns, as friends in the industry thought wine would give him a competitive edge.
Since then, Kraemer has completed his coursework for his Advanced Sommelier pin and is now working towards his Master pin. He has also been an Assistant Winemaker in the Advanced Winemaking program, where he proved to be an essential asset to his winemaking instructor, Keith Wallace.
“Mike is that rare individual who is willing to lift up those around him, even when it’s difficult. His leadership and eye for detail were essential to our 2023 vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon,” Wallace said.
Kraemer’s instructors describe him as a front-of-the-classroom student with a thirst for knowledge, and someone who is willing to help others.
“Studying wine isn’t just about how grapes and yeast work, it is more a case study in anthropology, economics and world history,” Kraemer said.
Kraemer currently splits his time between taking wine classes and working at Alpen Rose, a Michael Schulson Steakhouse in Philadelphia. He envisions opening a Gastro Pub in the future, where he can teach wine classes.
The Sommelier Student of the Year Award recognizes dedication to the wine or restaurant trade, and candidates must show a high level of achievement in academic and creative efforts. The winner must also demonstrate diligence, leadership, and professionalism.
The Wine School of Philadelphia has shared details about the selection process for the Sommelier Student of the Year Award. According to the school, the process begins with a week-long nomination period during which wine instructors nominate their top students. The nominees are then voted on using a ranked-choice system to determine the winner of the award.
All students enrolled in an academic wine course, including the Core Sommelier program, are eligible for the award. The school offers four semesters of wine education every year, including an accelerated sommelier program in the summer.
In addition to the Sommelier Student of the Year Award, the Wine School of Philadelphia offers certification programs through the National Wine School (NWS), which has offices in Los Angeles, California and Burlington, Vermont. According to SOMM, NWS is one of the top three sommelier schools in the United States.
SOURCE Wine School of Philadelphia