Joel Bastian of The Kitchin named as Scotland’s top sommelier

A smartly dressed man smiles in front of a large wine rack
Joel Bastian of The Kitchin

Joel Bastian, head sommelier at Leith’s Michelin-starred restaurant The Kitchin, has been recognised as the leading sommelier in Scotland, and fifth overall in this year’s list of the UK’s Top 100 Sommeliers.

In the annually published list compiled by Sommelier Edit, Joel was acknowledged for his extensive wine knowledge, passion and professionalism. Born in Alsace, France, he spent 10 years in hospitality in his native country, before venturing to Scotland, settling in Edinburgh and joining The Kitchin team as sommelier in 2010.

He moved to The Kitchin’s sister restaurant, Castle Terrace, when it opened in 2010, where he was promoted to head sommelier in 2012. In 2017, he was given the opportunity to take on the role as group head sommelier for Kitchin Group which today includes The Kitchin, The Bonnie Badger in Gullane, The Scran & Scallie and KORA by Tom Kitchin, where he oversees all wine lists, as well as constant liaison with suppliers, independent wine makers, champagne houses and producers.

Joel is said to be passionate about food and wine pairings and enjoys introducing guests to new wines. As such he is always keen to find out about anything new or unique in the world wine, and attends wine tastings on a regular basis, always striving to update his knowledge – and continually evolve The Kitchin wine lists, working very closely with the sommelier teams at the group’s four venues.

A smiling man in a waistcoat
Joel Bastian – officially Scotland’s best sommelier