The SOMM Journal

October/November 2014

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Page 68 of 120

68 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 { person of interest } AS I BELLY UP TO THE BAR AT FAITH & FLOWER—THE NEW- est addition to the ever growing and hip Downtown Los Angeles food scene—I can think of only one thing: Champagne. Yes, I said Champagne. By far the most magical, thirst-quenching drink on the planet. Right? Frankly, it's been quite hot in Los Angeles as of late and I'm thor - oughly parched! Lucky for me, Jared Hooper, Wine Director at Faith & Flower, has compiled a fantastic selection of bubbles fea- turing predominantly small produc- tion houses and grower producers. Now the curiosity builds: How are these types of Champagne received by the Los Angeles crowd, or are they? Last time I was here for dinner we got rocked by a pretty big earth - quake. The energy was so electric, I remember almost everyone in the room standing up and applauding right after the room stopped shak - ing! I've never seen anything like it. Needless to say, it looks like busi- ness continues to rock on. Stewart Prato: Monsieur Hooper, how did you get interested in wine? Jared Hooper: By accident. I originally moved out to the Hamptons to pursue a career in writing. I had a chance encounter with a Renaissance man named Walter Channing, proprietor of Channing Daughter's Vineyard, who thought I would be great at selling wine. I knew nothing about wine—absolutely nothing. Before I opened my first bottle, Walter put me to work at the winery doing winter mainte - nance in both the vineyard and the barrel room. From then on, I was hooked. Needless to say, my first experience wasn't exactly a romantic one. It was boots on the ground, literally. Beverage Director: Jared Hooper Location: Faith & Flower, Downtown Los Angeles Subject: Small Production & Grower Champagne interview by Stewart Prato, CWE, FWS, Certified Sommelier, American Wine & Spirits photos by Cal Bingham Stewart Prato, CWE, FWS, Certified Sommelier, is French Import Manager for American Wine & Spirits of Southern California (a division of SWS). Jared Hooper, Beverage Director, Faith & Flower, Los Angeles. Champagne Philippe Gonet, a MV Blanc de Blanc Brut from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the Côtes de Blancs. Q:

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