A Sommelier Without the Smugness

NYC sommelier Miguel de Leon describes his mission to make wine and wine culture more accessible.


Episode Notes

This week, host Karen Han talks to sommelier Miguel de Leon, who currently works as the wine director for Pinch Chinese in New York City. In the interview, Miguel explains that his job is less about defining obscure tasting notes and more about curating experiences and telling stories. He also talks about the exclusionary nature of the wine world and his efforts to make that world more accessible.

After the interview, Karen and co-host Isaac Butler discuss how to be more welcoming to newcomers in creative fields. They also talk about how expensive art can be, both to make and to experience.

In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Miguel talks about some specific wines that he’s excited about.

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Podcast production by Cameron Drews.


About the Show

Slate interviews creative people about their work.

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  • Karen Han is a former Slate staff writer. Her writing on film, TV, and culture has also appeared in the New York Times, Vulture, Vanity Fair, the Atlantic, and Vice.