At Rezdôra, in the heart of Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood, sommelier and general manager Sidonie Rodman drives the wine program with enviable expertise. After cutting her teeth at such lauded establishments as The Four Seasons, Boulud Sud, The Breslin, Agern, and Major Food Group’s Dirty French, Rodman landed here, a veritable Italian gem that, while new to the city’s restaurant scene, sits a cut above others in its category.
At Rezdôra, Rodman crafts a wine list dedicated to northern Italy. Highlights include beloved varieties, as well as lesser-known selections from the region.
Below, the Canadian sommelier waxes poetic on Brunello di Montalcino, and takes on our rapid-fire Lucky Sevens questionnaire between pours.
1. What’s the bottle that made you fall in love with wine?
When I took my level one and two sommelier courses, Italy seemed insanely complicated, but one thing I remembered was this Brunello wine. The vines were planted on such steep hills that the winemakers would carry the soil that eroded away every year from rain back on top of the hills for the terroir. The passion of these winemakers made me fall in love with wine and winemaking. I had my first Brunello with my brother in a restaurant called Cinque Terre in Portland, Maine, and it was absolutely amazing.
2. FMK three varieties: Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay?
In Italy it would be: F*ck Sangiovese Grosso; Rosso di Montalcino are so diverse, and what’s so enticing about them is that they are hidden gems. You can find incredibly beautiful, delicate, and complex wines that have endless finish disguised as a regular wine. They can be soft, strong, delicate, complex, and deep… what’s not to want!
Marry Nebbiolo. This grape will always stand the test of time.
Kill Sangiovese. I’m still mad at it for making people think the Chianti that comes in the woven baskets is what Italian wine tastes like.
3. You’re on death row. What’s your last-supper wine?
Soldera ’95 Brunello di Montalcino. Finish where I started… King of Brunello.
4. You can only drink one wine for the rest of your life. What is it?
Nebbiolo! The variation in expression in that grape is endless. From Alto Piemonte wines of Gattinara, Bramaterra, Spanna, and Roero to Barolo and Barbaresco… as long as there is no barrique.
5. You can only drink at one bar for the rest of your life. What is it?
67 Orange in Harlem. I live in the neighborhood. I’ve spent a lot of time behind the bar and this place is always playing the best dancehall reggae. It has an island feel with low lights and exposed brick, and the bartenders have all the cocktail techniques down. I also love the menu, which is an old encyclopedia where the drinks are listed alphabetically based on the spirit. I like the “Make Mexico Great Again,” a drink with reposado tequila, two kinds of amaro, and mezcal. Amaro and agave have been friends for a long time.
6. What’s the best and worst wine on your rack (or in your fridge) right now?
The best for the price is Vallana Spanna, Cuvee Bernardo, Spanna, Nebbiolo 2010; the worst for the price is Abbazia di Novacella Pinot Grigio 2017… There are just so many better whites.
7. If you could no longer drink wine, what would be your beverage of choice?
Cocchi Rosa and soda.