Discover the philosophy and team of experts that make selecting and sharing wine, beer, spirits, and specialty food pairings a comfortable, exciting, and delicious experience for everyone.
Not long ago, there was much more to being a wine merchant than simply selling wine. In countries like England, the wine trade was ranked along with medicine and law as an honorable profession.
But in the United States, the prevailing opinion has been that simply selling any commodity — be it shoes or whiskey — is the same thing as being an experienced, credible merchant.
You don’t have to look far to find uninformed, mass-market techniques in the wine trade: Large volume, limited choice, and unfamiliarity with the product are the regrettable hallmarks of many wine sellers.
At Boulder Wine Merchant, we offer what we see as a giant step backward: Back to the knowledge, dedication, and involvement of a truly professional wine merchant.
Our philosophy at Boulder Wine Merchant is simple, clear, and honest:
We sell only quality, carefully-selected wines at fair prices, based on intensive and ongoing study.
We offer our professional commitment to you in both products and service.
In our own small way, we’re trying to restore an image of professionalism to the wine trade in the United States, and prove that quality doesn’t have to be expensive or overly-exclusive.
Through our carefully-curated selection and our attentive, highly-experienced customer service, our mission is to empower you to feel confident, comfortable, and cared for when choosing wine, beer, spirits, and specialty food products from Boulder Wine Merchant.
We want you to view us as a useful adjunct to your daily enjoyment of food and wine — just as a doctor is a useful adjunct to healthful living.
Brett Zimmerman, Master Sommelier and Owner of Boulder Wine Merchant
Born and raised in Colorado, Brett Zimmerman discovered his passion for wine while working his way through the University of Colorado, first as a busboy and then a waiter. The owners of Boulder’s Laudisio and Flagstaff House saw his potential, and introduced him to all aspects of the business. Zimmerman soon found that he enjoyed cooking and food far more than the summers he spent on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Following graduation, he decided to apply the same professional approach he learned as a Business Administration major to finding a job in the culinary industry. He set his sights high, and was soon accepted for a sommelier position at the highly acclaimed Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago.
At Trotter’s, Zimmerman found a wine program steeped in the rich tradition of the Court of Master Sommeliers. Working with other Masters, he began to expand his knowledge and appreciation of fine wine.
He continued this education after relocating to San Francisco to serve as sommelier for celebrated restaurant Aqua, before ultimately deciding to return to his native state and open his own restaurant, Mateo.
A popular Provençal-style restaurant, Mateo flourished under Zimmerman’s leadership. After three years, he left the restaurant business in order to focus on his true passion – fine wine – taking a position as Colorado’s General Manager of the American Fine Wine Division of Southern Wine and Spirits.
This dedication to his craft culminated in the spring of 2007, when Zimmerman successfully passed his Masters Examination and earned the highly coveted distinction of Master Sommelier.
In August of 2010, Master Zimmerman purchased the Boulder Wine Merchant from fellow Master Sommeliers Wayne Belding and Sally Mohr. In this current role, Zimmerman is able to combine his expertise in fine wine with his passion for excellent customer service honed while working in world-renowned restaurants, providing his clients with an unparalleled experience.
Master Zimmerman currently lives in Boulder with his wife, a co-owner of the Wine Merchant, and their sons, Sutton and Finley.