Testimonials for Jamie Drummmond

“First memories of Jamie Drummond are from Jamie Kennedy’s Wine Bar – a sommelier with disarming enthusiasm, good jokes and a sophisticated taste for off-beat wines. Then he started a lunch club to bring industry types and media together, evidence of a broader social vision than is usual in his profession. When he started interviewing people for GFM, his insider’s expertise created a lovely balance with his journalistic curiosity and all-round affability: talking to Jamie, even in the presence of his hand-held camera, was always a pleasure. I love how he celebrates the world of food and drink while laying it bare. Most of all, I admire his humour and his humanity. He’s one of the good guys.”

James Chatto, Food, Wine, and Spirits Writer
Toronto, Canada

Through some miracle of birth of his disposition and palate, Jamie Drummond is able to deliver a wine experience balanced between entertainment and instruction. What’s more, he does so with ease,  warmth and a lot of laughter. Do you know how rare that is for wine events?

Alice Feiring, Winewriter/Author, The Feiring Line
New York City, USA

“ We have been fortunate to travel a little over the years and to spend some time in Canada where we came across Mr. Drummond. It is without fear or favour that we can recommend his services, Jamie has knowledge, enthusiasm, and well, he is even a father now, so he must be responsible too! Happily endorsed.”

Trevor Gulliver and Chef Fergus Henderson, St. John Restaurant
London, United Kingdom

I realized after I had hired Jamie Drummond as sommelier for Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar that I had experienced his style before but didn’t know who he was. I remember dining at the Granite Club one evening and being surprised and very impressed with the comprehensive, intelligent wine list featuring mainly small production wines from passionate winemakers around the world. Conspicuous in their absence from the list were the usual “trophy” wines which, ironically, are comparatively easy to come by. No, this list required much research and an uncanny sense of direction. This is the style, coupled with his incomparable theatrical presentation, Jamie brought with him to the wine bar. Colleagues and customers alike soon fell under his spell.

Chef Jamie Kennedy
Toronto, Canada

“I am but one of many wine lovers who got to know Jamie during his days at the Jamie Kennedy wine bar, for the longest time the most civilized watering hole of Toronto. The place was loud and cheerful, the man himself quite the contrary, insightful and soft-spoken.But his wine list spoke volumes and revealed him to be one of TO’s great wine minds. I never cease to marvel at his ability to be low key and modest, yet his presence, his gravitas, his knowledge and his charm are  there for everyone in the room to capture. A top notch educator, he gets his love of wine across deftly, effortlessly and passionately; my greatest compliment  is that he’s one of those people I’d always be happy to have dinner, with. And of course, wine!”

Ian d’Agata, Winewriter/Author (Decanter/Vinous//Native Wine Grapes Of Italy)
Rome, Italy

I have had the pleasure of attending many wine classes conducted by Jamie Drummond, he has proved to be a knowledgable and engaging instructor. His depth of  technical knowledge of grapes and wine making, coupled with his personal  experiences, have broadened my palate and further fuelled my curiosity in wine.The wine knowledge I have received from Jamie has given me confidence in buying and selecting wine for any occasion. Wines that Jamie has introduced to me have even influenced how we travel, influencing our itineraries on trips to California, France, and Lebanon, to taste or purchase wine. Ultimately, Jamie’s knowledge has made wine an incredibly enjoyable part of my life.

Joseph Troppmann, Architect, Diamond Schmitt Architects
Toronto, Canada

“It gives me great pleasure to voice my deep professional esteem for Jamie Drummond, this all-round force of nature in all things wine (and music). I’ve had the good fortune to work with him on a number of occasions promoting the delightful Austrian wines in Canada, and can only stress the fact that this man knows his wines, and is not afraid to veer off the beaten track! Looking forward to working again with him any time.”

Willi Klinger, CEO of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board
Vienna, Austria

“Bone dry, laser-sharp, with a touch of mischief and occasional deviations into wilder country, and just at that perfect stage of maturity when things get deep and complex, a fine Vintage Drummond is what I’d like around the table at my next dinner party or wine tasting”

John Szabo Master Sommelier
Toronto, Canada

“Jamie has an innate ability to adapt to his audience and crowd. Coupled with his extensive wine knowledge and experience in the wine industry, he is a terrific educator who can relate to everyone no matter their level of wine knowledge”

Norman Hardie, Winemaker and Vigneron, Norman Hardie Wines
Prince Edward County, Canada

“I have had the extreme pleasure of knowing Jamie for many years now and have enjoyed attending many events events he’s hosted and speaking engagements he has participated in and would recommend wholeheartedly anyone to take the opportunity to do so.  Jamie combines his vast knowledge with his considerable personal experience and his own palate and sense of aesthetic to deliver a uniquely expert point of view.  His delivery is comfortable and approachable, and his wit and humour allow for a presentation that is as entertaining as it is informative.”

Steve Beauchesne, President, Beau’s Brewery
Vankleek Hill, Canada

Jamie is an experienced hospitality veteran who can assist you in creating a memorable feast that will surprise and delight your guests. With the world of wine at his fingertips he can source rare and hard to find treasures at every price point. You can trust Jamie to find the right wine for you and your pocketbook.

 Steven Campbell, Grand Fromage, Lifford Wines and Spirits
Toronto, Canada

I met Jamie for the first time at this year’s Collisioni Festival in Barolo, where I assist with the organisation and execution of the wine program. His contributions and his interventions were very helpful and appreciated by all participants to these wine-tastings, not only for his competence and his very passionate and professional approach to wine-tasting, but mainly for his personal style: precise, frank but polite and friendly, without any snobbery or hubris (often found in many wine writers/tasters). 

Michele Longo, Editor of www.winecult.it
co-editor of Guida Migliori Vini d’Italia, Italy

“Jamie Drummond was guest sommelier for the last dinner of the gastronomic event 10 Fest Azores 2015 – 10 days with 10 chefs. A common friend put us in touch, and I’m very happy that he did! It was a challenge for everybody, but I’m sure for Jamie in particular.The dinner was prepared by João Rodrigues, a Portuguese Michelin star chef, from Feitoria restaurant, in Lisbon. For the chef the challenge was to use and highlight Azorean products on the six course menu. For Jamie, the sommelier, the first challenge was to know and taste the ingredients, to try to imagine the flavours of each dish and to start imagining the pairings and the profile of the wines for each course.The second step was to choose wines from a pre-selection made by the wine partner of the day, a local wine shop. All the wines were from different regions from Portugal. A few hours before the dinner, the chef prepared all the courses which he explained and tasted it together with the sommelier. The wines were chosen and then getting ready for the dinner. 84 seats, fully booked… here we go! Jamie Drummond didn’t stop for a second. From table to table the sommelier introduced every guest to the wines, explaining the pairings and all the details. Jamie did a terrific job, and definitely was a great plus for a great dinner!”

Felipe Rocha, Executive Director, School of Hospitality and Tourism
Ponta Delgado, Azores

“I have known Jamie for almost two decades, now, since his earliest years as the pre-eminent Scottish émigré of the Toronto wine scene. Jamie brought a spark of youth and enthusiasm to the properties where he bought wine, always broadening the horizon of those ordering from the wine lists that he put his signature on. At a time when the wines of Niagara were barely appreciated in the local market, Jamie opened up the eyes of skeptical consumers by focusing on wines that reflected their origins and represented the best of what our region had to offer. And this was true for myriad other regions in the world, as he always told the story of the wine he recommended and communicated vividly why it would impress your palate. Twenty years on, as a sommelier, journalist and educator, Jamie has retained that spark and exuberance for exploring the world of wine without prejudice, always showing great acumen in telling the story of great wines yet undiscovered by his customers and peers alike. His passion and spirit for opening the eyes of wine lovers of all stripes to hidden gems, not to mention his deep understanding of the classics, is what makes Jamie one of our trade’s most valuable assets.”

Thomas Pennachetti, Vice-President
Cave Spring Cellars, Canada

“I had the pleasure of taking a number of wine tasting/wine education classes with Jamie when he was the sommelier at the wonderful former restaurant in King East, Jamie Kennedy’s Wine Bar. Jamie Drummond has the ability to turn some very complex and, at times, dry topics connected with the world of wine making into fascinating and easily digestible morsels of information. His anecdotal style is charming, informative and thoroughly entertaining to the point where his audience departs from the experience smiling as though they’ve all attended some sort of theatre performance but all are the wiser for it. As a repeat client who attended these wine classes often twice a year whenever they were in session, I highly recommend Jamie Drummond and hope that he chooses to expand his efforts down to the Caribbean soon, perhaps as part of the now famous Cayman Cookout.”

Jeffrey D. Johnstone, Finance Attorney
Grand Cayman

“It’s a rare breed that can make you feel like you are getting 100% of someone’s attention. It’s an even rarer breed when you know he told 30 people the same story that day but makes you feel like he’s let you in on a family secret. Aside from a friendship that has grown though the years, on a professional basis, Jamie listens and then weaves together our work so that over time he has a complex and deep understanding of our wines and how they can fill glasses with grace and relevance. He can take the starch out of the collar, the stuffing out of the shirt, the mystery out a bottle while never dumbing down our craft. Jamie is part and parcel of our terroir.”

Charles Baker, Director of Marketing and Sales
Stratus Vineyards, Canada
Owner, Charles Baker Wines, Canada