The BRABO Restaurant Team
All of the team members at our three venues bring a rich and varied background to their respective roles. The result is the synergy and sense of hospitality for which BRABO has quickly become known. Find out a little more about some of the people who make BRABO what it is.
Matt Carroll, Sommelier
Sommelier Matthew Carroll has an accomplished record as sommelier, having managed a 12,000-bottle wine cellar at the highly-acclaimed Inn at Little Washington to passing the Advanced Sommelier exam on his first try. Carroll became a full-time sommelier after switching careers from the education field, and since then has garnered a host of accolades, including placing third in the 2010 Top|Somm Competition, and placing sixth in the 2011 Best Sommelier in America Competition.
A degree in music education coupled with a career in crisis counseling is not the expected background of a wine professional, but prior to becoming a full-time sommelier, Carroll was a crisis counselor for special needs students at the Hannah More School in Baltimore. In his first career, he counseled young people with emotional disturbance and learning disabilities, and trained teachers and staff members in crisis and behavior management.
While Carroll was dedicated to his students and teachers, he was also drawn to the world of wine. While working as a crisis counselor at Hannah More School, he also maintained a part-time sommelier position at the Grand Cru Wine Bar in Baltimore, Maryland. During his time there, he quickly passed the first two tests of the Master Court of Sommeliers. Realizing his true passion, he promised himself that if he passed the third test, he would quit his job and become a full time sommelier.
After passing the Level III exam, Carroll bid a bittersweet farewell to his students and colleagues and received a job offer from The Inn at Little Washington. Carroll accepted the position as sommelier and cellar master at the five-star, five-diamond restaurant. At The Inn, he worked with Chef Patrick O'Connell to create nightly wine pairings that accompanied the complex tasting menus, and he also managed an impressive 12,000 bottle wine cellar. In 2010, Carroll transitioned to the then fine dining restaurant, 2941 in Falls Church, Virginia, where he served as wine director and chef sommelier. Prior to joining BRABO, Carroll was the sommelier and opening general manager at Chef RJ Cooper’s Rogue 24.
At BRABO, Carroll oversees the diverse wine programs for three distinct properties, where he can offer approachable wines at all different price points, as well as lead more wine classes for staff and guests alike. With a strong commitment to wine education, Carroll proves that teaching still runs in his blood, as he continues to educate the team at BRABO, the Tasting Room and the Butcher’s Block with ongoing wine classes. Additionally, he plans on creating interactive tasting classes and wine dinners for guests of the restaurant.
Each wine on the restaurant’s menu is tasted and hand selected by Carroll, with a focus on small production wines and winemakers that exemplify wine as an art rather than a commodity. The restaurant was recognized in 2011 and 2012 with a Wine Spectator ‘Award of Excellence’ in recognition of wine lists that offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. The list is truly international in scope with a focus not only on France, Italy and the United States but also less well known wine producing countries such as Lebanon (including a nine vintage vertical of Château Musar), Hungary and Greece. In addition, a growing selection of wines from Spain, and more modern styles from South Africa, South America and Australia are highlighted.
- Best Sommelier in America Competition (American Sommelier Association), Apr 2011 (placed sixth, overall)
- Top|Somm Competition (Guild of Sommeliers), Mar 2010 (advanced to second round level (Northeast region) in New York City; placed third
- Young Sommelier Competition (Chaîne des Rôtisseurs), Mar 2010 (advanced to Super-Regional (East Coast) level)
- Court of Master Sommeliers, Aug 2009 Advanced Sommelier Exam (passed)
- Spanish Wine Academy, Aug 2009; Certified Spanish Wine Educator Exam (passed)
- Young Sommelier Competition (Chaîne des Rôtisseurs), Mar 2009 Advanced to Super-Regional (East Coast) level
- Young Sommelier Competition (Chaîne des Rôtisseurs), Mar 2008 Advanced to Super-Regional (East Coast) level
- Society of Wine Educators, Dec 2007 Certified Specialist of Wine Exam (passed)
- Court of Master Sommeliers, Oct 2007 Certified Sommelier Exam (passed)
- Court of Master Sommeliers, July 2007 Introductory Sommelier Course (passed)
BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier - Lorien Hotel & Spa Reservations