Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Outside Research

I was fortunate to be traveling this weekend for a wedding to NYC.  I go back frequently because I find it an invigorating scene and because each time I return someone is excited to show me a wine from a producer I had never seen before.  And each of these producers has a story that connects them to my own particular story of the region.  It just assimilates into the canon.  This by no means happens at every restaurant in NYC, but there are some that make it hard not to go in each time I visit.

This brings me to today's post.  Outside research.  Who's wine lists make your mouth water?  When you are looking for inspiration do you look to wine magazines?  Or do you have people who's list you secretly covet?  Producers or importers who's wines you wish came here?

Here are some of the lists that I think our truly educational and exciting:

The Classic:

Tribeca Grill - David Gordon is a mentor and a master of the craft, but he does it with a sense of modesty and a few sarcastic jokes.  The list here is impressive for depth and price.

The Rabble Rouser:

Pearl and Ash- Patrick Cappiello wants to play in everybody's sand box.  This list has classic producers with vintage depth, but  also is determined to seek out new producers to champion.  If you really want to be jealous follow @patrickwine on Instagram and see what wines they are opening and what punk song lyrics he compares them to.

The Formalists:

Colicchio and Sons and the wine lists of the Altamarea group (Ai Fiori, Marea, Costata to name just a few) are steeped in the history of great wine programs of NYC.

Ryan Mills Knapp worked at Tribeca Grill for many years and got used to selling great older vintages with great provenance.  Collichio and Sons has allowed him to seek out those old jewels to dot a list made of impressive current releases.  @ryanmillsknapp on Instagram

Hristo Zisovski spent 7 years at Jean Georges and has taken their format of French heavy classic four star wine list and turned it into something more accessible.  It is Italian focused (with a fair amount of the classics from the rest of the world placed throughout) and not daunting in the details of Italy which can scare  many a wine savvy diner away. @hristoz on Instagram.

Colicchio and Sons

Ai Fiori

The Gemini:

Les Marchands Wine Bar in Santa Barbara is a project from Eric Railsback and Master Sommelier Brian Mcclintic.  These two are busy making juice at Lieu Dit and Vallin as well as running this store and other programs throughout California, plus adding the responsibilities of being an MS to the whole package.  But this wine bar list represents Santa Barbara and the rest of the world in a pretty unmatched way.
@erailsba  on Instagram

If Pixies had Flamethrowers:

How to talk about Pascaline Lepeltier.  She is fiery, but also contains an amazing sense of cool.  Her list is focused on biodynamic, organic and sustainable wines but she isn't looking to pick a fight with the rest of the wine world.  Her admiration for the growers is what is on display on her list and she fights for them. @pascalinelepeltier on instagram

Others throughout the rest of the US who are worth a look are Reynard, Terroir, Hearth, Charlie Bird, Press in St. Helena, RN74 (multiple locations), Canlis, Nomad, EMP, Del Posto and many many more.

The European Inspirations:

Ruben Sanz Ramiro may be the nicest guy playing the sommelier game, but this wine list he now runs at PM & Vanner in Sweden is downright overwhelming.  @rubensramiro on instagram

Mitja Sirk has probably one of the most single minded wine lists in the world.  A temple of Friulian wine.  Where sommelier's like to seek out new wines or new producers, this list literally has left no stone unturned for a whole wine region. @mitjasirk on instagram 

Follow us on instagram as well if you'd like @squirewineco

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