The Somm Journal

Dec 2015-Jan 2016

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Page 34 of 124

34 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } DECEMBER/JANUARY 2015/2016 BASED ON THE DOCUMENTARY SOMM, Esquire Network television series Uncorked charts the journey of six New York City–based sommeliers hoping to pass the Master Sommelier exam. I caught up with these rapid-fire tasters and asked them to divulge the wines they like to un- wine-d with after of tasting or working the floor. Here's what they had to say. MORGAN HARRIS Current Position: Sommelier, Charlie Palmer Group Hometown: Seattle, WA Currently living: New York, NY Guilty pleasure wine: I either have a Champagne problem or a Champagne solu- tion, which one is still to be determined. Far and above, it's the wine I most regularly spoil myself with. I just find Champagne the perfect mixture of refreshment as well as hedonistic and intellectual stimulation. Bereche, Savart, Emmanuel Brochet, Ulysse Collin, Doyard and Benoît Lahaye see heavy rotation, but I'm always on the hunt for a new favorite. Also, on very hot summer days I've been known to enjoy cheap German off-dry Riesling over ice. Myself and my roommate [James Sligh, Sommelier at Pearl & Ash] drink an embarrassing amount of weasel- piss adjunct lager at home. DANA GAISER Current Position: Wine Sales, Lauber Imports Hometown: Sparta, NJ Currently living: New York, NY Guilty pleasure wine: I absolutely adore off-dry and sweet Rieslings, but definitely do not feel guilty. It basically brings me together with old ladies and young girls (and somms). I think I own about 65 differ - ent bottlings of these babies spanning six decades and ranging from $10 to $1000+ bottle. I just want to drink them all the time: They are amazing just to quaff, they work with so many types of food; plus they age beautifully, total GILFs. JOSH NADEL Current Position: Beverage Director, NoHo Hospitality Hometown: New York, NY Currently living: New York, NY Guilty pleasure wine: I like to fill a 32-ounce plastic cup with ice, Aperol, Campari and Prosecco and walk to the beach with my Labrador, my awesome wife and a tennis ball. This often takes place over the summer on Fire Island at about noon on a Sunday. JANE LOPES Current Position: Sommelier at Eleven Madison Park Hometown: Tiburon, CA Currently living: New York, NYC Guilty pleasure wine: I'm pretty picky when it comes to wine, but far less so about the wine used in my cocktails. I appreciate good vermouth, but am more than willing to have a Manhattan or Negroni made with whatever liter jug has been sitting on a back bar of a dive bar for who knows how long. As long as I can get extra electric red Maraschino cherries, I'm happy. YANNICK BENJAMIN Current Position: Sommelier, University Club, NY; Co-Founder of Wheeling Forward Hometown: New York, NY Currently living: New York, NY Guilty pleasure wine: Renardat-Fâche 2014 Cerdon du Bugey (Savoie, $25.99). This energetic blend of Gamay and Poulsard that finishes its fermentation when bottled has become my go-to wine after a long day at work. This all-natural sparkling rosé is full of aromas of black and blue berry aromas with a grapiness that I adore. This delicious sparkling wine is low in alcohol with great acid and not pretentious which is exactly what I need after working a long shift on the floor ; I just like it simple! JACK MASON Current Position: Wine Director, MARTA Hometown: College Station, TX Currently living: New York, NY Guilty pleasure wine: My guilty pleasure wine, albeit so typical, is Champagne! There is no other wine in my mind that pairs well with any stage of a meal, hanging out on a day off or any occasion in between. For better or for worse, I have become incred - ibly skilled at making any situation one that calls for Champagne! { the punch-down } interviews and ruminations with beverage industry pros by Jonathan Cristaldi Guilty Pleasure Wines THE SIX SOMMS FROM ESQUIRE NETWORK'S UNCORKED TALK ABOUT THEIR FAVORITE WINES FOR UN-WINE-DING Left to right: Moragn Harris, Dana Gaiser, Josh Nadel, Jack Mason, Jane Lopes, Yannick Benjamin.

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