Wine Director, Pinch Chinese, New York, NY
A Pinch and a Punch of Equity
As the wine director at SoHo’s Pinch Chinese, De Leon orchestrates the soulful comfort-food-meets-wine-pairing menu that landed the restaurant a spot on New York’s Star Wine List.
A member of and advocate for the BIPOC and AAPI communities, De Leon spearheaded a critical look at social justice, equity and systemic inequality complicit in the food and wine industries in 2020 through numerous highly acclaimed published essays. In 2021, De Leon was named one of the 75 People Working to Build a Better Drinks World by Imbibe Magazine for his role in promoting social justice and was named the inaugural recipient of the Michelin Guide Sommelier Award in New York City for his work with natural wine and hospitality advocacy.
De Leon continues to push for decolonization in the wine industry through his work across academic and political disciplines. In 2022, he earned the James Beard Foundation Media Award for his longform personal essay on intersecting identities and decolonization. He also advises the UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Program for its seminar work in the field of Critical Wine Studies and sits at the resource council for the Hue Society, creating curriculum to promote BIPOC professionals in a recentered wine industry.