Jarrett Buffington
I am:
Assistant Restaurant Manager/Sommelier at Nel Restaurant.
What inspired me to become a sommelier:
I’ve always been curious about cultures around the world. While working my first fine dining job in Texas I realised that a bottle of wine could encompass so much about a culture and history without ever having to travel. And so my search for knowledge began shortly after.
My greatest professional achievement is:
My time working at Felix was the greatest. Working within a diverse Sommelier team with one of the best wine lists in the country. I was extremely lucky to have that experience.
How can a producer get their wine/beverage on my list?
Most wine I buy is bought with the intention of going on the classic or premium pairing menu. It changes around a lot, so bring me something unique or a classic with age and I’ll most likely find a place for it. I want my guests to experience drinking something they wouldn’t normally have.
What I hope to get out of competing in the Best Sommelier of Australia 2020…
It’s a competition and the goal is definitely to win. But at the same time I’ll be simultaneously showing diversity being a Black American Sommelier, sharing significant moments with other Sommeliers and making my mom proud. I’ll be okay with the latter three in the end.


Jarrett’s position in the Best Sommelier of Australia 2020 Top 12 is proudly sponsored by Shaw + Smith.