The SOMM Journal

August / September 2018

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Page 57 of 124

{ } 57 tuguese table wines. "I personally collect Ramisco from Colares," he says, referring to the red variety from the coastal region west of Lisbon. "Portuguese wine has the potential to catch a lot of people's atten - tion in the next couple of years." Bailey started his career while in high school at acclaimed Sonoma restaurant The General's Daughter, which whetted his appetite for wine. "I grabbed every single book I could get," he says. At 21, he moved to Sacramento and passed the Court of Master Sommeliers Level I and II exams, studied in the French Wine Scholar program, and become a Certified Sake Professional. "I went down the dark hole of sake for a while," Bailey says with a laugh. Originally intent on becoming a physical therapist, he reached "a definitive fork in the road" and redirected his career toward his new passion, continuing his wine education at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. In 2013, Bailey was beckoned to New York by Dustin Wilson—then the Wine Director at Eleven Madison Park—whom he had gotten to know at RN74 in San Francisco. After staging at Chef Daniel Humm's flagship the very first night, he got a call the next day from Wilson about a position at sister restaurant NoMad New York, where he staged the following night. Bailey was smitten: "The bottles that got opened, the guests who were there, the feel of the dining room—it was an excite - ment I was really attracted to," he recalls. "I came home, packed up my house, and was back in New York in two weeks." Bailey was quickly promoted to Head Sommelier, contributing to education and events in addition to working the floor. In 2017, he accepted the call to open NoMad Los Angeles. "Los Angeles has a tremendous amount of potential for a cornerstone wine program," says Bailey. With 1,200 selections and an 18,000-bottle-capacity cellar, Bailey works to "curate the list with producers [he] trust[s] and love[s] that are also exciting." To peruse the list—a far cry from a hit parade of familiar names—is to share the wine director's wide-ranging experience; the five sommeliers working under him, meanwhile, bring enviable talent and polish to the world-class program. "At NoMad, service is a passion," says Bailey. "We want to make sure we approach every aspect of dining at the highest possible level." Pierre Péters 2012 Cham - pagne L'Esprit Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs A blend of four selected parcels from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Avize, and Cramant, this Champagne is ridiculously deli - cious and the perfect comple- ment for Executive Chef Chris Flint's kanpachi crudo with white peaches, watermelon radishes, and jalapeños. SKURNIK WINES Presqu'ile 2017 Pinot Noir Rosé, Santa Maria Valley My favorite rosés right now seem to be made from Pinot Noir, and this example from Santa Barbara is the perfect balance of ripe fruit with bright acidity. Matched with our foie gras torchon with miso, roasted strawberry purée, and pickled onions, it has just enough weight to hold up to the foie gras, yet its high-tone red fruit is very complementary to the roasted strawberry purée. Tatomer 2016 Meeresboden Grüner Velt - liner, Santa Barbara Graham Tatomer, a true pio - neer for Grüner Veltliner here in California, spent a good amount of time working in the Wachau at Weingut Knoll. His experience and palate have quickly established him as one of the best domestic winemak - ers. His Grüners have just the right amount of white pepper spice and are the perfect pairing for the chef 's smoked eggplant lasagnette with Swiss chard, ricotta, and pesto. Domaine Jean-Louis Chave 2011 Saint-Joseph Chave's domaine Saint-Joseph has quickly become my "desert- island" wine, and after a few years of bottle age, it's truly hard to come by better Syrah that overperforms for its value. Chef Chris' suckling pig confit with wild spinach, charred Rainer cherries, and bacon marmalade has many flavors that come together with such gravitas that it calls for a wine with equal complexity and depth. SHIVERICK IMPORTS The interior of NoMad Los Angeles' restaurant was designed by Paris-based Jacques Garcia. PHOTO: BENOIT LINERO, COURTESY OF NOMAD THE SOMM'S SELECTIONS notes by Ryan Bailey

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