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Introducing Our Wine Director: Sam Rethmeier

Born and raised in Orange County, California, Sam Rethmeier was drawn to the restaurant industry from a young age, working at different restaurants throughout Orange County from the age of 17. When Rethmeier was 20 he moved to Boulder, Colorado and it was there that after much persistence Rethmeier scored himself a position at the famed Frasca Food & Wine.

During his tenure at Frasca, Rethmeier learned the ins and outs of the hospitality industry. He began as food expediter and worked almost every position at the restaurant while continuously taking in all he could from Frasca’s weekly wine classes. Rethmeier attributes his empathetic and hospitable nature to Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey, Frasca’s owner. Working at Frasca set the foundation for who he was as a hospitality professional. After 3 years at Frasca, Rethmeier moved back to Southern California to be closer to family.

He began working at Nancy Silverton’s meat-centric restaurant Chi Spacca, as the designated floor sommelier. A year later, Eric Railsback and Master Sommelier Brian McClintic, of Les Marchands in Santa Barbara, approached Rethmeier and asked him to step in as the General Manager. Most recently, Rethmeier began running the wine program at Nocciola in Ojai and selling wine for the importer, Veritas Imports.

Rethmeier is thrilled to take over as the Wine Director at République where he is excited to build upon the existing wine program, while incorporating his own touches and collaborating with Chef’s Walter and Marge. Rethmeier is a firm believer that wine is meant to be shared, that it should be approachable and not intimidating, and that there are no dumb questions when it comes to wine.