Founder of Aspen Cellar Consulting
Carlos Solorzano-Smith is the founder of Aspen Cellar Consulting and a prominent sommelier based in Aspen, Colorado. A rising star in the wine and restaurant industries, Solorzano-Smith’s expertise is only matched by his passion for learning and magnetic personality. In 2012, Solorzano-Smith was named Chef Nobu’s wine director for Matsuhisa Colorado, entrusted with managing the beverage program in Denver, Vail, and Aspen. In 2018, he launched Aspen Cellar Consulting, which has helped clients worldwide enhance both their wine collections and wine knowledge.
Advanced Sommelier and Italian Wine Advisor
Chris Schaetzle began his hospitality career at The Little Nell and eventually joined Carlos in transforming the wine program at Matsuhisa Aspen. In 2015, Chris gained the valuable experience of opening a restaurant as the first wine director of The Monarch in Aspen. Early in his career, he worked with programs focused on French and US wines, but when a wine trip to France took an unexpected detour into Piedmont, a new love of Italy was born. Chris currently works in sales for a distributor and importer of fine wines.
Advanced Sommelier and French/German Wine Advisor
Derek Reijmer is an Advanced Sommelier, French wine specialist, and long-standing friend of Carlos Smith. After leaving The Little Nell in 2015, he joined Carlos at Matsuhisa Aspen to work as his lead sommelier for two years. Prior to Aspen, Derek’s love affair with wine blossomed in several of the great restaurants of Chicago (most notably, the 3-Michelin Star Alinea). Both harvest & sommelier experience aptly prepared him to pass the rigorous Advanced Sommelier’s exam in 2017. Shortly after passing, Derek relocated to San Francisco when the Peay family of the Sonoma Coast hired him as their first national sales manager.
Cocktail and Spirit Specialist
Sam Gemus has spent his career working under world-renowned bartenders and chefs: Nobu Matsuhisa in Aspen as well as Joshua-Peter Smith, formerly with Justice Snow's in Aspen and Bourbon & Branch San Francisco. Sam has also won several cocktail competitions, including Mountain Mixology several times, bringing many of his recipes to fame.
Ryan Thacker is a sommelier based out of Baltimore, Maryland. Carving his teeth in retail, Ryan has built a strong background in hospitality by working on the opening teams at excellent new programs like The Sagamore Pendry Hotel Baltimore and Officina in Washington, D.C. Most recently, Ryan opened and operated Coelum in Baltimore, Maryland. Ryan shares an unparalleled passion and enthusiasm for working in the hospitality industry. Currently, Ryan’s preparing to sit for the Level 3 Advanced Sommelier Exam by the Court of Master Sommeliers, taking place in July 2021.