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With our amazing selection of fresh and local foods, it’s only natural to showcase the dishes with a great wine. In January 2012, Söntés took on a wine steward who earned the right to be called our sommelier that same year. True to Söntés form, what seems stuffy on the outside is anything but with us. Sommelier Barbara “Babs” Pitcher has impressed guests with her extensive wine knowledge and won our hearts with her welcoming and easy style.

As our sommelier, Barbara not only suggests wines that complement our dishes, so that the food and wine work together to create cohesive flavor, but she also helps guests who are new to wine discover their personal palate. awardsThis is easier said than done–we have forty wines by the glass and an extensive (and award-winning) bottle list in the vault. But take heart, with Barbara at the helm, what better place to explore? She’ll navigate the wine list not only for taste and style and preference but also for price point. She knows every bottle and every glass. She knows our lunch and dinner menus from appetizers to desserts. But, wait, it gets better: she also knows champagne, cocktails, and beer–and she can pair them with your entrée.

Through Pairing to Perfection, the company Barbara founded to offer her sommelier services for private parties and fundraisers, Barbara conducts monthly classes at Söntés on wine and food pairings. “Students” gather around a table filled with fruit, spices, and cheeses, and taste wines of all ages and prices as Barbara provides information and unique stories about them.champagne

Barbara’s class on May 16 will be a wide-ranging, light-hearted, bubbly class. As May is the month for celebrations: Mothers’ Day, graduations, the start of wedding season, Memorial Day, and not the least, Söntés Cheese & Champagne (buy a bottle of bubbly and we’ll give you a complimentary dish of fried cheese curds, a truly perfect pairing!), the sparkling wines on the class syllabus include champagne, cava, prosecco, and new world methode traditionelle sparklers, plus a couple of sparkling cocktails to help you with your “celebration entertaining.” May’s is a great class to bring a friend–in the spirit of celebrating, of course! Class starts at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, and costs $35/person. Reserve your place at the table through Barbara’s website: Pairing to Perfection, or call 952-358-1285, or email

wineEarly in Barbara’s Söntés career, staff member Stacey gave her the nickname “Babs,” and soon enough Barbara started referring to herself that way. As Barbara says, “You’ll never catch me wearing a starched black suit acting stuffy and unapproachable.” She has great knowledge and can talk terroir* with the best of them, but she also has a lively a story behind every bottle, from its history and making to the kings and queens who prefer it. She’s living her dream, and will even pair just a glass of wine with your food if you prefer. Just ask!

Stay close to this blog, there will be more on Barbara Pitcher to come!

*The French have coined Terroir as the set of special characteristics in the interaction between geology, geography, and climate with the makeup of wine. To discuss terroir, or for just a really great wine in a very “down-to-terroir” way, talk to Babs.

For more information about blogger Jody Brown, see our Who We Are page.


We put straw bales on the roof today (yes, during Rochester’s noon sleet!) for our Söntés UpRooted Garden Project!


Join Us for these Upcoming Söntés Events:

May 16: Wine Class with Sommelier Barbara Pitcher 6:30 p.m.
(reserve through Barbara ph. 952.358.1285)
May 17: Last day to contribute: Söntés UpRooted Garden Project
May 25: Dinner and a Movie: A Royal Affair
6 p.m.
(call us for a reservation) 

See the Söntés Happenings page for more information
& watch for future Söntés blog posts
Söntés phone 507.292.1628