The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2011

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Page 16 of 120

THE MESSAGE Whether THE TASTING PANEL goes to the brand execs or the brands call us, there is an abundance of news to report, from the latest releases to behind-the-scenes experiences with some of the world’s most infl uential importers, winemakers, distillers . . . well, you name it. Brief Encounters We may not have enough pages in each issue to devote as much attention as we would like to each person whose path we cross, but please note that if it’s in the publication, we deem it noteworthy —Meridith May, Publisher & Executive Editor Stewart Prato of The London West Hollywood T he London West Hollywood was instantly made famous by its association with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, whose signature restaurant is a glam spot that gilds this lily. The hotel is marbled and sleek—a cool retreat just off the Sunset Strip. We met up with Stewart Prato, who oversees the wine program for the property and its venues, including a rooftop bar and all the special events that occur from bar mitzvahs to movie releases. The 36-year-old sommelier is well schooled in wine: a diploma student/ advanced certifi cation WSET, Level Two Certifi ed Sommelier (through the Court of Master Sommeliers), Certifi ed Wine Specialist (through Society of Wine Educators), a French Wine Scholar (FWS) and a Certifi ed Saké Advisor. Prato is a one-man (wine) show at The London, and when he’s not training staff or working the fl oor fi ve nights a week, he is selecting wines for his customers. “I love the challenges of working in a hotel environment,” he says. “It changes by the day. At a free-standing restaurant, you have time to prepare for expected guests. Not us—we have ‘pop-up’ events and tourists who come in on the spur of the moment.” Prato says the trick to his successful wine list is fi nding gems that are under- valued with exceptional quality. “Mercurey—the largest vignoble along the Côte Chalonnaise and the second largest village appellation in Burgundy—is a region that can deliver this formula. And Faiveley is a producer that does so to a tee.” Stewart Prato, CS, FWS, is the Food & Beverage Supervisor and Sommelier at The London in West Hollywood. Domaine Faiveley Mercurey “Clos des Myglands” he Faiveley family has progressively extended its domaine and today owns vineyards in the fi nest areas in Burgundy: Gevrey-Chambertin, Pommard, Volnay, Puligny- Montrachet, Mercurey and others. Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Premier Cru “Clos des Myglands” is a Côte Chalonnaise monopole and an example of excellence from a region outside the Côte d’Or. It is rare in Burgundy for only one winery to produce all the wine from an area entitled to a certain name, but Faiveley owns this vineyard in its entirety. Stewart Prato’s tasting notes: “Game, black tea and mushroom notes intertwine with its delicious red fruit and a backdrop of fi ne minerality.” Faiveley is imported by Frederick Wildman and Sons. T 1 / the tasting panel / july 201 1 Close-Up On

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