The Tasting Panel magazine

February 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 111

24 / the tasting panel / february 2014 SOMMELIER IN THE SPOTLIGHT T he Merriam Webster dictionary deines enthu- siasm as "a strong excitement about something: a feeling of active interest in something that you love or enjoy." That deinition its David McCarus to a tee. McCarus, General Manager and Beverage Director at Mike Lata's FIG restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, is passionate about his career. He grew up in Towson, Maryland where his mother made great home-cooked meals, so when he went away to school at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, he felt lucky to land a job as a food runner at the famous Charleston Grill. One night, David was invited out to dinner by a friend from the restaurant whose parents ordered a wine that changed David's life. "It was a 1989 Domaine Leroy Echézeaux. I sat through the entire meal just smelling the wine, thinking it smelled like stinky feet, and I knew I had to learn more," recalls McCarus. "That was my 'aha' moment—I was living inside the glass!" After inishing school, David knew he wanted to learn more about wine. After a brief visit to California's wine country, which included a stop in San Francisco for dinner at A16, he packed up his chef knives, wine books and his yellow Lab, Bella, and drove to California. He showed back up at A16 and, as luck would have it, landed a job on the spot. Fate smiled twice when McCarus discovered that his new neighbor was none other than rock star somm Paul Einbund, Beverage Director of Frances restaurant. More than any other experience, David credits Einbund for teaching him about wine, includ- ing wine tasting and wine service. Eventually, McCarus returned to Charleston to accept a management position at FIG, where he is extremely proud of his value-driven wine list, which features 100 bottles under $100. While his list is constantly changing to keep up with the seasonal menu, his current favorite is pairing the 2003 Lopez de Heredia Viña Gravonia from Rioja with steamed clams. McCarus says he "loves the beauty of opening a wine and getting an immediate reaction from a diner. It's so amazing how it inspires me . . . it's so powerful. This is not a job for me. It's a way of life. It simply makes me smile." David McCarus is GM and Beverage Director at FIG in Charleston, SC. "Living inside the Glass" FOR DAVID MCCARUS, BEING A BEVERAGE DIRECTOR IS A WAY OF LIFE by Scott Greenberg / photo by Andrew Cebulka

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - February 2014