The SOMM Journal

August / September 2016

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26 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016 Elizabeth Kelso, Sommelier and Wine Educator at Wally's in Beverly Hills, CA As a sommelier, what type of conversation does the wine retail sphere allow you to have with your customers a restaurant does not? The unique concept of Wally's Beverly Hills really allows me to employ all the hospitality and service skills required of a sommelier in a typical restaurant setting, while having to develop retail salesmanship skills I never knew I had! Wally's has primarily been a retail business throughout its history, and many of our longtime loyal customers are now frequent diners in our restaurant and bar. The best part of having such a large inventory and wine list is the opportunity to learn about and introduce to the guest such a huge breadth of wine, where many restaurants are limited to a more narrow regional focus or particular price range. Name two wines you could happily drink all the time. Bandol Rosé from Guilhem Tournier and any of the Domaine Leroy red Burgundies. Jenica Flippo, Wine Director at Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder, CO The biggest mistake people make when pair- ing wines with food? The biggest mistake is approaching the conversation with a closed mind. Wine and food preferences are very personal. Everyone has a wine that they love and prefer to drink. Some guests are unwilling to deviate from the known. The wine world is huge, and the options are endless. The som - melier's role should be to guide the guest toward a wine that they will enjoy and not to bully them into buying a wine that doesn't fit their desires. One wine on your list you wish people would stop overlooking and give a try? We have a lot of smaller-production, newer wines on our list—so a good portion is dedicated to adventurous drinkers and might often be overlooked. However, rather than picking a specific wine from that list, I am going with a commonly overlooked varietal: Riesling. If I change at least one guest's mind about Riesling a month, I call that success. Q: Q: Q: Q: Kirsten Fox, CEO and President of the Culinary Wine Institute in Park City, Utah How did you leverage your restaurant industry and wine sales experience into creating the Culinary Wine Institute? I started my love affair with wine while in col- lege in Nashville. At the time, I was a server in a casual restaurant, and as with many Hollywood movies, the start of the romance was rocky. Whenever a guest would order a bottle of wine, I would launch into an invented story about Dolly Parton's favorite mixed drink to entice people into changing their orders. I knew I was being deceitful, but the guilt was preferable to the terror of uncorking a bottle in front of them. Fast-forward 20 years and, perhaps as atonement for my lies, I became a wine educator and a sales person for Southern Wine & Spirits. After calling on restaurants and hearing the same challenges with wine sales that I had many years ago as a server, I knew Culinary Wine Institute would be a solution to help servers, restaurant owners and managers alike. And judging by the awards we've gotten for our engaging educational content, this Hollywood movie may actually have a happy ending. The CWI course provides basic knowl- edge of wine pairing, without being over-complicated. What is one simple-to- use secret that helps boost wine sales? Primary importance for successful food and wine pairing is to match the weight or body style of the wine to the dish being ordered. I teach the easy-to- remember phrase, "Same Weights = Great Mates." Light with light, heavy with heavy and so on. If you are a mixologist or wine professional interested in being featured here or want more information on Chef's Roll and Somm's List, please email PHOTO: CARLOS DUBON PHOTO: RYAN OLSEN PHOTO: PARK CITY PHOTOGRAPHY We've partnered with Chef's Roll & Somm's List, the global culinary and wine professional networks, to learn more about beverage experts from across the country. Q: Q:

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