Part two of our year end sommelier survey gets answers to the most important question of all: where do New York City sommeliers drink when they have the night off? Also, what wines would they be delighted to find more of in 2015? And what might be overhyped at this point? Answers, plus reading tips, ahead. And don't forget about part one, which is right this way.
When you are not at your own restaurant, where have you been going to drink some wine?
Patrick Cappiello, Pearl & Ash: A few of the great wine lists I drank from this year included Marta, King Bee, Costata, Tribeca Grill, and Racines.
Drinking really fun bottles at Blue Ribbon makes me feel like I'm back in 1999.
Jeff Porter, B&B Hospitality Group: Franny’s is my love.
Amanda Smeltz, Roberta’s: I find myself at Terroir all the time, but that's been the case for a couple of years. I've enjoyed lots of rad juice at St. Anselm this year. I've also been surprised to find myself at the trusty Blue Ribbon Brasserie at 3 and 4 a.m. drinking really fun bottles, which makes me feel like I'm back in 1999 and maybe Tom Colicchio will walk in with Mario Batali and Mario will rub his beard on me for good luck while I drink Kermit Lynch wines.
Grant Reynolds, Charlie Bird: Maialino and Marta, both for the same reasons: Those lists are full of wines I hunt for, the wine service is great, and the prices are very reasonable. More and more often, I also find myself dining solo at Momofuku Noodle Bar after work, taking down a half-bottle of Burgundy.
Thomas Pastuszak, The NoMad: Charlie Bird, Estela, and Pearl & Ash continue to be the best places in New York to drink both classic & off-the-beaten-path discovery wines.
Bill Fitch, Vinegar Hill House: In NYC: Estela, Ten Bells, Trestle on Tenth. In Paris: Roseval, Le Grand Huit, Yard, Le 6 Paul Bert.
Pascaline Lepeltier, Rouge Tomate: A lot at Racines, and not enough at Colicchio & Sons or Maialino. But I will be at those more often in 2015.
What wines do you think we should be hearing more about in 2015?
Bill Fitch, Vinegar Hill House: Australian wines. Like Cuba, they have been punished enough.
Michael Madrigale, Bar Boulud & Boulud Sud: I forsee a substantial news cycle concerning Bordeaux. First, how the top chateaux finally start to lower prices as a reaction to the market not buying the past few vintages. Second, a wider realization that there is great value in Bordeaux, in appellations like AOC, Superior, Moulis, Listrac, St Emilion satellites, etc.
Jordan Salcito, Momofuku Group: I think we'll hear a fair amount about Pét-Nats! Especially the domestic ones.
Rosé as a category in general is still completely overlooked.
Grant Reynolds, Charlie Bird: I feel as if I'm tasting a good wine from California much more often than ever before. This new generation of winemakers are on a great run.
George Hock, Barchetta: Corsica.
Jeff Porter, B&B Hospitality Group: Eastern European wines: I think it is a category that will gain some more traction.
Patrick Cappiello, Pearl & Ash: Wines from the Finger Lakes, Virginia, and Vermont. 2015 will be the year of east coast wines!
Jessie Kiefer, Terroir Tribeca: Greek wine.
Thomas Pastuszak, The NoMad: Rosé as a category in general is still completely overlooked -— with each vintage that passes, we see more and more "serious" producers around the globe making some really structured and complex rosé, not as an afterthought, but as a very intentional wine of its own. In particular, rosés from the Loire Valley, California, Spain, and the Finger Lakes are exploding! Yes, these can make for awesome patio pounders on a hot day, but they're also amazing with richer fare during the winter, doing a job that white or red wines sometimes cannot do.
Jeff Kellogg, Maialino: My answer here is still Champagne. I find new producers constantly that surprise with their low price and deliciousness. I didn’t make it to Champagne this year, but will not go through 2015 without a visit. I look forward to finding more discoveries in the coming year.
Amanda Smeltz, Roberta’s: I've been super excited about the current wave of West Coast and New York winemakers pushing boundaries and finding grace and beauty in more traditionally-(Euro)-styled wines. Salinia Wine Co., A Tribute to Grace, Teutonic Wine Co., Matthew Rorick from Forlorn Hope, Ian Barry Family and Southold Farm + Cellars in New York; I mean come on, the U.S. is just proliferating producers who believe in balance. I think it is so terrific.
What are you tired of hearing about, going into 2015?
Amanda Smeltz, Roberta’s: Clos Rougeard.
Bill Fitch, Vinegar Hill House: The evils of sulphur, the evils of VA, the evils of fill in the blank. I’m tired of belligerently barked anathema sit wine opinions delivered groundlessly, incuriously, and threatening open-minded aesthetic sophistication with smug sophistry.
Jeff Porter, B&B Hospitality Group: Unicorn wines.
Michael Madrigale, Bar Boulud & Boulud Sud: I’m tired of everyone Tweeting/Instagramming about how great Burgundy and Northern Rhône are and inadvertently driving up prices (I will shoulder some of the blame).
It seems high-acid Cali wines are in that fad period where they can do no wrong.
Michelle Biscieglia, Blue Hill New York: The Jura. I love the wines and have plenty on my list, so don't get me wrong, but enough already.
Grant Reynolds, Charlie Bird: I would like to see an end to racially-charged public statements coming out of a very small contingency of the Italian wine community. These guys are not the representatives of their industry, though their voices seem to carry.
Patrick Cappiello, Pearl & Ash: @unicornsomm
George Hock, Barchetta: Coravin wine lists.
Jeff Kellogg, Maialino: The "New California" wines. I love what so many guys out there are doing, but there seems to be an aspect now that you can grow any grape consumers have never heard of, have it be a mediocre wine, but it is all over Instagram anyways as part of the "New California." It seems high-acid Cali wines are in that fad period where they can do no wrong and we may not be examining if they are actually good wines. I could also go all of 2015 without hearing a conversation about natural wines.
Pascaline Lepeltier, Rouge Tomate: #wineporn
What has been your wine reading this year? Could be a book, website, or twitter feed.
Patrick Cappiello, Pearl & Ash: winedisorder.com is always a favorite. Also Wine Spectator, I still subscribe to the magazine and have for over 10 years now.
Aldo Sohm, Le Bernardin & Aldo Sohm Wine Bar: Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages.
Jeff Kellogg, Maialino: Peter Liem’s Champagne site is incredible. If we had someone as smart and passionate making a site of that high quality for all of the major regions this would be a better place to be a wine lover. I love so much of what the team at Punch Drink did this year as well, I can’t wait to see what comes from that site in 2015.
Grant Reynolds, Charlie Bird: I think the best wine writing this year has been about Italian wine. Kerin O'Keefe, Antonio Galloni, and Jeremy Parzen all have different voices that are on the pulse of not only the wines, but also the food, the culture, and the scandals.
I believe if I slept with Peter Liem's Sherry book under my pillow, I'd never have another nightmare.
Pascaline Lepeltier, Rouge Tomate: In terms of books, I consistently have on my desk The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode, which came out in a very good second edition. Natural Wine of Isabelle Legeron was also an important addition to that debate. For magazines, I think Tong (in English), Le Rouge et Le Blanc (in French), and The World of Fine Wine (in English) continue to be really important benchmarks — I wish the first two were monthly published! Noble Rot (in English) has a kind of more popular-yet-underground feel. It is not as detailed, but it is more provocative, which I also like. If some wants a website recommendation, I really encourage wine lovers and geeks to look at wineterroirs.com. It is not a newcomer, but the depth and quality of the writing as well as the pictures from Bertrand Celce make it a must visit!
Bill Fitch, Vinegar Hill House: Linus Pauling's Raymond Billiard's La Vigne Dans L'Antiquité, Gaston Bachelard's La Terre Et Les Rêveries Du Repos, and Evolutionary Aesthetics edited by Eckart Voland and Karl Grammar.
Amanda Smeltz, Roberta’s: I believe if I slept with Peter Liem's Sherry book under my pillow, I'd never have another nightmare. Lars Carlberg and Stephen Bitterolf have gifted me with a better understanding of Germany this year than I'd ever hoped for, with their various, gifted writings. Look them up.
Jessie Kiefer, Terroir Tribeca: I read The Judgement of Paris by George M. Taber, which was great for beefing up on California wine history.