République’s new wine director is now one of the most influential Latina sommeliers in the country
On the second day of January, Taylor Parsons, chief author of one of the most dynamic wine lists in Los Angeles, left his position at République — that day, by his calculation, represented his 1,000th evening menu at the celebrated Hancock Park bistro. He plans to spend the next year developing a restaurant project he can call his own, consulting, and helping his wife Briana Valdez expand her own business, the Loz Feliz Tex-Mex joint HomeState.
He left the wine program in the hands of 33-year-old Maria Garcia, who instantly becomes one of the most important wine directors in the city, and one of the most influential Latina sommeliers in the country.
Garcia is an L.A. native raised in Whittier. She was set on taking her history and political science degrees from UCLA into a career in education — in fact, she was teaching at a high school in Crenshaw when her interest in wine and cocktail culture drew her back toward..
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