On the heels of last week's tweet, it turns out that Jason Wagner is taking over for outgoing Shebnem Ince as sommelier at The Gage and Henri. Wagner, who helped open Nellcote and RM Champagne Salon, is moving from the West Loop to Michigan Avenue, focusing on biodynamic wines to pair with chef Dirk Flanigan's menus. Wagner expects to debut his list changes next month, saying they won't be "360 (degree) changes" and "it's not broke." He says he learned more at Nellcote than any other job, which is saying a lot.
Ince, named one of the country's top sommeliers of 2011 by Food & Wine Magazine, chose to move to Perman Wine Selections (802 W. Washington) to avoid the high stress of restaurant work. She says she and owner Craig Perman plan on doing what he's always done well, "run a shop with good wines." There are plans in the works, including a Friday night tasting series.
Finally, The Gage and Henri owner Billy Lawless mentions a little more about his new concept in the old Orange space at 730 W. Grand. He says it will be "very casual, very American," with three bars and a beer garden. More to come.