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Jhonel Faelnar Takes the Supertasters Challenge

The wine director of Atomix NYC blind-tastes a mystery white wine—and offers his guess

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Jhonel Faelnar is an award-winning sommelier and the wine director of Atomix NYC, a Michelin-starred Korean fine-dining restaurant in New York City run by the partners JungHyun “JP” Park, the chef, and Ellia Park. Faelnar’s dynamic wine program is designed to complement the bright, spicy, and saline flavors of JP’s seasonal vegetable- and seafood-driven cuisine and sophisticated tasting menus. Faelnar’s list features approximately 420 selections that run the gamut from classic styles by iconic producers to minimal-intervention offerings by maverick winemakers—with a strong emphasis on white wines, lighter-bodied reds, and sparkling wines. 

Before joining Atomix, Faelnar was a sommelier and beer director at The NoMad in Manhattan. He also worked as a sommelier for One Five Hospitality Group in the city’s Union Square neighborhood, which has included in its portfolio 15 East, Tocqueville, The Fourth American Brasserie, Botequim, and SingL Lounge, among others. 

Originally from Manila, Faelnar moved to New York in 2013 and graduated from the Intensive Sommelier Program at the International Culinary Center in 2014. He is currently pursuing his Master Sommelier certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in management engineering from the John Gokongwei School of Management at Ateneo de Manila University, which he earned in 2011. Additionally, Faelnar is the wine chair for Advancement for Rural Kids, a foundation dedicated to establishing food and educational programs for schools in poverty-stricken areas of the Philippines. He joined the organization in 2016, and oversees the wine programs for its large fundraising galas, as well as its more intimate wine dinners. Faelnar will also be filming a food and travel show this fall throughout France for a Philippines-based television channel.

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