Born and raised in Chicago, sommelier Shebnem Ince’s youthful introduction to wine began alongside her father while working as a stock girl and gift wrapper in his wine shop, and he encouraged her passion with a supply of wine textbooks as well as lectures on the various wine regions of France. In 2001, Shebnem worked with the wine programs at Blackbird and mk, and the following year, undertook the operation of Que Syrah, a boutique wine shop in Lakeview that she ran for the next four years. It was during this time that she passed the introductory exam for the Court of Master Sommelier and completed the certified exam. Ince will sit for the advanced exam in 2011.
Sheb has been with sister restaurant The Gage since its opening, curating a small, focused wine list which reflects the seasonal cuisine from the kitchen and has garnered consecutive Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence. She was also named one of the country's top sommeliers by Food & Wine magazine in 2011.