Like many people, Julie Dalton got into wine by accident. She discovered her passion for wine while waiting tables during her undergrad days at Texas A&M University. A career in biotechnology took her to Maryland where she continued to study wine and work in wine bars and restaurants while completing a Biotechnology graduate program at Johns Hopkins University. When she finished grad school, a friend was opening a restaurant and wine bar on which she cut her teeth in the wine business by night while still working in the land of PCR and Western Blots by day. For four years she lived both lives and still achieved the Advanced Sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers as well as the Certified Wine Educator through the Society of Wine Educators. She finally said goodbye to the biotech industry in 2010 when she joined the team at Skurnik Wine & Spirits to represent the Terry Theise portfolio, but hospitality is where her heart is so she came back to that world a year later at the Four Seasons in Baltimore working with Chef Michael Mina. Fast forward to 2017, Tilman Fertitta hired a team to build a Grand Award-winning wine list from the ground up with her friend and mentor, Keith Goldston, so she happily moved back to Houston. For four years she was the Lead Sommelier and Wine Director at Mastro’s Steakhouse at the Post Oak campus. This year, she transitioned to the 5-star 5-diamond Post Oak Hotel as their Chef Sommelier and Wine Director of the hotel’s newest addition – Stella’s Wine Bar – which still carries the same Grand Award-winning wine list. She passed her Master Sommelier Diploma in 2022.
Along the way, Julie has achieved an accolade here and there including Star Chef’s Rising Star Sommelier Washington, DC, Cochon 555 Somm Smackdown winner, Baltimore’s Best Sommelier by Baltimore Magazine and most recently, Julie was the first female sommelier to win Houston’s Iron Somm competition in 2018.