While most of her peers were thinking about college or who they’d ask to senior prom, Haley Guild Moore already knew what she wanted to do in life. After experiencing a wine-paired tasting menu in Paris, then-17-year-old Moore decided she was going to pursue a career in hospitality.
She studied hospitality management at San Diego State University, then continued her culinary education at the College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies in Birmingham, England. The experience gave her the head start to become wine director at San Francisco’s Bacar Restaurant at just 24 years old. A stint at Spruce then followed, where she assembled an award-winning wine list of over 2,600 bottles.
Nowadays, Moore works as the wine and spirits director for San Francisco’s Stock & Bones Company, overseeing the beverage program for three restaurants: Town Hall, Salt House, and Anchor & Hope.
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We caught up with the Bay Area somm to talk about San Francisco time travel, and hear why she won’t be trying her hand at winemaking any time soon.
1. What’s the bottle that made you fall in love with wine?
1978 Raveneau Les Clos Chablis — I was 23 and working as a manager in a Bay Area restaurant while studying for sommelier exams. I picked up a weekend job at the retail store of Kermit Lynch to learn more about French wine. Once a month, Kermit would invite the staff to his house for dinner. I had never had anything that old from Burgundy before… It smelled so intensely like the sea that it reminded me more of trips to the Northern California coast as a kid than of wine. Really beautiful wine has the ability to transport you.
2. FMK three varieties: Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
That’s tough because I would like to be in at least a committed relationship with all three. I guess I would kill Cabernet, simply because it is less pound-able than the other two. Some of my most epic wine experiences have been with Burgundy, so it’s hard to choose but I would probably have to marry Pinot Noir, and F Chardonnay. There are more variables that can go askew with Chardonnay (like premox). Pinot Noir is a bit more dependable.
3. You’re on death row. What’s your last-supper wine?
’96 Prieure Roch Chambertin Clos de Bèze — I haven’t had this wine in a few years, but it was one of the best wines I have ever tasted. Bèze is so elegant and aromatic, but still shows you the power of Pinot Noir … truly gorgeous.
4. You can only drink one wine for the rest of your life. What is it?
I know I am probably supposed to say Champagne, but Burgundy. Such a range of styles, you could never get bored!
5. You can only drink at one bar for the rest of your life. What is it?
The Big Four on Nob Hill, which is like a time capsule of old-school San Francisco. It is dimly lit with dark green banquettes and a piano player. It is like stepping back in time in the best way.
6. What’s the best and worst wine on your rack (or in your fridge) right now?
Best would be 2002 Salon, one of the best Champagnes I have ever had. Worst? My husband and I made a 100 percent Carignan from Mendocino County in 2009, before all of the hip people started making it cool. What a great lesson … it is not delicious.
7. If you could no longer drink wine, what would be your beverage of choice?
Gin … specifically, Negronis.