Sommelier, Ten 01
Erica Landon wants you to fall in love—with wine, that is. And as the sommelier for Pearl District culinary hot spot Ten 01, she has 2,000 chances—or bottles, rather—to get it right. But unlike most sommeliers in town, many of whom fall into the white-gloved, know-it-all variety, Landon is refreshingly approachable. “The most important thing about my job,” she explains, “is not trying to influence people with my opinion all the time, but listening to what they want.” Make no mistake, though: Landon, who at just 31 has already earned a diploma from the International Sommelier Guild and a pin from the Master Court of Sommeliers, knows her stuff. She helped oversee Timberline Lodge’s expansive Northwest wine program in 1999, and then she served as sommelier for Oregon’s first family of wine, the Ponzis, at their Dundee headquarters for four years. And, until being lured away by Ten 01 in 2006, Landon curated the Heathman Restaurant’s legendary wine list. But most important, despite her expertise, Landon won’t take offense if the wine she’s suggested fails to make you swoon. In fact, she’ll encourage you to return it and try another one. No questions asked. No offense taken. Now that’s a relationship worth keeping.