Ever wonder what your favorite wine-slinging sommeliers are drinking once they’re off the floor? It goes without saying that these pros have endless access to the world of wine. With nearly every type of bottle imaginable at their fingertips, what exactly are they choosing to drink for fun? We asked 10 sommeliers across the country: What is your go-to wine? The answers may surprise you!
“My go-to wine would have be wines of Mt. Etna. So much structure, juiciness, balance, and salt; they can be super intense in the mineral category, and tend to evolve incredibly well in the 10-20 year old range.” – Nathan Lithgow, Sommelier, Sauvage
‘“Côtes du Rhône. You can get a fairly priced Côtes du Rhône for amazing quality. You can get an awesome bottle for $12.” – Rachael Lowe, Beverage Director, Spiaggia
“This is hard for me. It depends on the weather, food, and company for every bottle I choose. I generally gravitate towards crisper whites. If I was stuck on a desert island with only a pallet of one wine, it would probably have to be Chablis.” – Joshua Thomas, Wine Director, Octavia and Frances
“If I really had to pick a desert island wine… it would be Riesling. I can drink ONLY Riesling for the rest of my life and be a happy mother effer.” – Matthew Kaner, Wine Director and Owner of Bar Covell, Augustine Wine Bar, Dead or Alive Bar, AM/FM Wines
“It is very diverse. I like to taste a large diversity of wines, from a Chenin from the Loire, a German Riesling, a bottle of Barbera…” – Michael Engelmann, Wine Director at The Modern & Cafés at MoMa, Untitled and Studio Café at The Whitney
“Pineau d’Aunis, I love Briseau, “Patapon” or Belliviere, “Rouge Gorge.” Both wines are great examples of how fresh and enjoyable this grape can be. The varietal is light and bright with bitter herb undertones, of the two the Belliviere seems a little bit more elegant while the Briseau is more wild.” – Kimberly Prokoshyn, Head Sommelier, Rebelle
“Am I picking up the tab? I’m way too fickle and easily bored to have one particular wine that I always go back to time and time again. I find that I drink wine to the situation. Am I eating? What am I eating? Am I with other people? Do I like these people enough to drink something good? There are so many questions that come up in my mind when I am selecting a wine that I am either faced with being huddled in a ball shivering from all of the choices or just drinking Scotch. But given the time I spent in northern Italy, I always end up seeking out mountain wines from Alto Adige or Trento. They are wines that remind me of a certain time and place where I wasn’t thinking about what my go-to wine would be.” – Jon McDaniel, Beverage Director, Acanto, The Gage, The Dawson, Beacon Tavern, Coda di Volpe