Jonathan traces his wine interest to a study abroad program in college. Traveling in Eastern Europe, he researched a study on the wines before, during and after communist rule.
Armed with a working knowledge of Tokaji, he returned to the US to complete a history degree and to start a career in politics. But Honefenger soon realized that he wasn’t cut out for that world and returned to his hometown of Houston.
He got a job as a server at El Meson, and started to take courses through the International Sommelier Guild. He also completed both the Certified levels through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Honefenger then moved on to Brennan’s of Houston as a sommelier, where he worked until Hurricane Ike destroyed the restaurant in 2008.
In the aftermath, he helped open a wine bar called Vinoteka Poscol, and served as sommelier at Tony’s. He was named one of 2009′s best young sommeliers in Wine & Spirits magazine and won third place at the Texas Sommelier Conference’s best sommelier competition in 2009.