If you regularly order wine at a restaurant, there's a good chance you've been shamed. Maybe it was by the server who just passed the intro-level sommelier exam and felt the need to correct your pronunciation of Languedoc. Or it could have been the "you know that's dry, right?" comment from the bartender following your rosé request. Somewhere, somehow, wine got snobby, if not downright elitist, with an industry populated by a good number of folks who feel it's their job to make you feel inferior.
You'd expect Andrey Ivanov of Reeds American Table (7322 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-899-9821) to be one of them. After all, as an advanced-level sommelier, Ivanov really does know more about wine than most people.
He's not afraid to show it either, but he does so in a way that makes you feel listened to and comfortable. Ivanov is one of the many reasons Reeds American Table is one of the toughest reservations in town, and an endlessly charming presence once you've finally scored a table. If you're a veteran oenophile who wants a 30-minute dissertation on sherry, he's your guy. If you've never drunk anything but Kendall Jackson chardonnay and are perplexed by his list, he's got you too — and he'll treat both levels of expertise with respect. We'll drink to that.