Robert B. Bansberg...
As Sommelier at Gabriel's, my objective is to provide wines that are the best representations of their style, grape and vintage.
Almost every day I spend time tasting wines from around the world. Only wines with exceptional characteristics that will complement and elevate the dishes on our menu are selected and added to the list. I focus on finding little known gems from exceptional producers offering exciting opportunities at exceptional values.
Our ever-changing list provides our guests with the opportunity to explore wines from the top name producers as well as little known gems.
Gabriel's current list reflects a well-chosen selection of wines by the glass and over 600 wines by the bottle.
The most important aspect of wine, of course, is enjoying it. I am always available to guide our guests through our extensive offerings and make recommendations to best match flavor preferences and menu selections.
Robert B. Bansberg is an award winning sommelier and wine educator.
Bob began his career at the Pump Room, in Chicago, with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in 1976 as a captain, wine buyer, and maitre'd. He has consulted on many opening restaurants and helped manage at the French themed restaurant Savarin. His relationship with Gabino Sotelino, Ambria chef / owner, began and flourished at the historic Pump Room. In 1980, he joined the opening team of Ambria under Sotelino, when he accepted the role as sommelier.
Since 1992, Bob has taught a Wine and Beverage Management Class at Kendall College's School of the Culinary Arts and for five years hosted The Wine Series, a wine appreciation and food pairing course for the community.
In addition to teaching at Kendall, Bob has lectured at the Midwest International Wine Exposition as well as Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Bob has served on numerous panels for the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, and writes for several professional publications including Wine & Spirits and The Wine Enthusiast.
In 1999, Bansberg was nominated for the highly coveted James Beard Award. Only the top five sommeliers in the country are considered. In July of 2000, Bob was honored by Food & Wine magazine as "The Best Sommelier in Chicago" and in August took the top honor in Chicago Magazine as well. Bob has won several regional French sommelier competitions and is a master judge for the Beverage Testing Institute for beers and wines.
In January of 2009 Bob won the Jean Banchet Award for Culinary Excellence as the Best Sommelier in Chicago.
Bob is a graduate of Northwestern University and studied in the Neurophysiology Graduate Program at the University of Illinois Medical Center.
He resides in Evanston with his wife and their two children where he continues to be a leader and educator in his community.