executive Wine Director
One of Boston’s most respected and beloved wine experts, Cat Silirie brings over two decades of experience to the position of Executive Wine Director and Wine Buyer for Barbara Lynch Gruppo, which includes Boston’s acclaimed No. 9 Park, B&G Oysters, The Butcher Shop, Stir, Menton, Sportello, and Drink.
The synergy between Chef Barbara Lynch and Cat is the result of the relationship the two have shared for over 20 years as friends, colleagues, and collaborators.
Known for her passionate interest in all aspects of wine making and viticulture and her poetic descriptions of the wines themselves, Cat has been described by The New York Times’ Kay Rentschler as “Boston’s pre-eminent sommelier,” while Bon Appetit declared Cat “one of the country’s best sommeliers.” In 2003, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR) named Cat as the recipient of the WCR Golden Goblet Service Award: Recognizing Excellence in the Beverage Profession.
In addition to carefully edited and inspired wine lists that highlight small growers and artisanal producers, the staff training that Cat has developed and oversees among five restaurants has been recognized. Food & Wine named her one of their Top Sommeliers of 2011, writing, “Her beautiful wine collection at Menton… combined with the tireless staff training and tastings, creates a remarkable wine experience for diners.”
In May 2012, Cat Silirie accepted the James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Wine Program, No.9 Park”. This national recognition is a testament to the program Cat has built based upon a culture of sharing, tasting, and education meant to empower and inspire every server, as well as enrich the experience of each guest.
Cat has been profiled in numerous local and national publications including Food & Wine, Food Arts, Details, Wine & Spirits Magazine, and The Boston Globe, and her wine programs have received accolades around the city and beyond. In 2011, Wine Enthusiast Magazine proclaimed Menton to be among the “100 Best Wine Restaurants” in America. The Butcher Shop has been named "Best Wine Bar" for five consecutive years by The Improper Bostonian and Food & Wine praised the wine program at The Butcher Shop, writing, “The exceptional wine menu by Cat Silirie is strong on small, organic producers from France and Italy." In 2010, Devra First of The Boston Globe noted the wine list at Menton, Boston’s first and only Relais & Châteaux Property, has “transcendent pairings with every course.”
Cat has served on several industry panels including as a judge in the 2006 National Women’s Wine Competition and as a juror on behalf of the Bordeaux Wine Bureau. She has also contributed to several articles in publications including Wine Spectator and Forbes, and in books including The Oldways Table: Essays and Recipes from the Culinary Think Tank by Sara Baer-Sinnott and K. Dun Gifford.
As part of the wine programs, Cat has developed a portfolio of proprietary wines made exclusively by some of the country’s (and world’s) most talented winemakers for each of the restaurants. The private labels are an outgrowth of mutual admiration and the desire for collaboration. The winemakers include Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat in Santa Barbara County, Bob Lindquist of Qupé Wine Cellars in Santa Maria, California, Gernot Heinrich of Heinrich in Gols, Burgenland, Austria, Fred Loimer of Loimer in Langenlois, Austria, Antonella Tacci of Martilde Winery in Lombardia, Italy, and David and Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsch Vineyards on the extreme Sonoma Coast.