Contemporary air travel is often an exercise in lowered expectations. First, airlines eliminated free checked baggage. Then, they stopped serving meals. Now a passenger can’t even get a tiny cup of coffee without paying a fee on some airlines. When will the madness end? Fortunately, several airlines have flipped the script and are investing in […]
Last month, the managing partner and wine director of La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, arguably the hottest industry hangout in NYC, hosted an invite-only launch party. It wasn’t for a new wine import. It was to celebrate a line of glassware from an under-the-radar Austrian label, MarkThomas.
When acquaintances learned that I was a sommelier on the floor of a restaurant, their eyes often lit up. “We’ve seen the documentary ‘Somm!’” they exclaimed. “I can’t believe you passed that test. It’s so difficult.” When I responded that I had not taken the Master Sommelier exam, their faces fell. “So you’re not a […]
Those who envision Napa, California as a buzzy epicenter of wine culture might be surprised to see the city’s downtown area on an average night. Streets are quiet, with most residents in for the evening well before 10:00 p.m. But tucked down a side road off Franklin Street, signaled by a bright neon sign, there’s […]
It’s finally time for the long-anticipated dinner reservation at the best new restaurant in town. After poring over the wine list at the table, you proudly state your carefully chosen bottle selection to the sommelier. “I’m sorry,” the sommelier responds. “We don’t have that bottle right now.” Wait a minute. Isn’t the bottle listed on […]
In an industry beset by trends, Château Musar, an 87-year-old Lebanese wine producer, has garnered a cult following. It’s the only Middle Eastern wine offered by Thomas Keller’s legendary French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California, and it displays prominently at New York City’s Rouge Tomate.
On the last day of August, 2017, Master Sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier posted a series of 10 photos on Instagram, featuring some of the world’s finest wine bottles. “8 years building a list,” read each caption, followed by the hashtag #bestwinelistintheworld. As beverage director of Rouge Tomate Chelsea, Lepeltier had built arguably the world’s best wine […]
When I was first getting into wine, I purchased a bottle of Chardonnay from the Jura that came highly recommended. (And rightly so; it remains one of my favorite bottles.) Inspired in no small part by the twin ”self-care” and ”treat yourself” movements, I attempted to open the wine in bed, while queuing up a […]
In the hospitality industry, amaro is cool. It’s the shot that a friend insists on sending to the chef after a particularly special birthday meal. When an industry person comes in to dine at a restaurant, what does the team send them as a parting gift? Mini bottles of Fernet Branca, of course. And at […]