Mr David Shoemaker is well versed in the study of both wines and mixology. He is an acclaimed Sommelier with several certifications for both wine and spirits, he is a certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, International Sommelier Guild Level 2, Certified Specialist in wine by the Society of Wine Educators, Certified Spanish Wine Educator, possesses an Advanced certificate by the Bar Smarts program, and belongs to many industry organizations such as Chaîne des Rôtisseures, Ordre des Côteaux de Champagne, United States Bartenders Guild and Guild of Sommeliers. He has organized beverage programs and written wine and beverage lists that have achieved accumlatively more than 50 awards for Wine or Spirits from organizations such as Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Santé magazine amongst others. He is also known for his cheerful disposition, showmanship behind the bar and leadership qualities, and an acute sense for the business of beverages.
“I love what I do. I don’t get upset. The only thing that frustrates me is to open a very good bottle of wine only to find out that it’s corked,” said Mr. Shoemaker.
Shoemaker joined the company as Director of Beverage, Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai in 2011. Since then, he has led the team through multiple exciting periods and achievements. Of which, he is the most proud of having groomed two award-winning sommeliers – Henry Zhou and Ken Tan. While Mr Zhou’s latest achievement is attaining the runner-up position at the China Sommelier Awards 2012 only after one year of exposure to wine, Mr Tan has progressed to pursue wines in depth and is playing an active role at Kerry Wines.
Prior to Shanghai, he spent 19 years at the Talk of the Town restaurant group and six years as director of Beverage. During this time, he worked alongside such culinary personalities as Charley Woodsby and Executive Chef Dam Drayer.
Mr Shoemaker was born into a family specializing in welding machines in Indiana. He started welding when he was seven years old. He candidly starts the conversation with how his last name originated from how his ancestors technically made shoes for horses, as a line of blacksmiths.
Fortunately, his fascination for James Bond’s suave perfection and knowledge of all wines and martinis as a child triumphed all. At the tender age of 14, he started his own drink lab in his bedroom, where he spent most of his time accompanied by a cocktail recipe book from his supportive mother and variety of citric acid and fructose from his bio-chemist sister.
Since then, this self-admitted alcohol geek has expanded his drink lab to house 200 bottles of spirits alone not to mention several hundred bottles of wine. “I don’t collect wine or spirits, I believe that somebody created them to be enjoyed the only challenge is to find the right moment for each.” Much of the time craft spirits are his poison of choice, but he believes his greatest possessions are a handful of bottles of older vintage Grüner Veltliner –a rare selection of Austrian dry white wine. He is the proud collector of bottles from both the pre- and post-1985 Austrian wine scandal. He shares his latest experiment on an analysis of the differences in the properties of ice-cubes made of sparkling Perrier versus still Evian.
His latest signature cocktail is the Mango Chili Martini – inspired by the sunset off the coast of sunny Florida. This signature is made of Stolichnaya vodka, roasted chilli-infused syrup, mango purée and fresh lemon. However, what intrigues most people is the garnish - a scorched red hot chilli that makes crackling noises and emits its burnt spicy smell while the cocktail is being enjoyed. This creation is available at Jade on 36 Bar for RMB 128.
Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai is located in the Lujiazui finance and trade district of Pudong, an important economic hub in Shanghai and China. The hotel is ideally located on the eastern bank of the famous Huangpu River, overlooking Shanghai’s legendary waterfront strip, The Bund. A landmark famous the world over, The Bund was Shanghai’s financial centre in the early 1890s. Today, it continues to attract visitors from various parts of the world with its showcase of turn of the century architecture.