The SOMM Journal

August / September 2016

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80 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016 On the third floor of Maple & Ash restaurant in Chicago, Eric Aracil sniffs and tastes glass after glass of wine. The Export Manager for Conseil Interprofessionel des Vins du Roussillon (The Roussillon Wine Board), resplendent in a grey suit, dark-blue shirt adorned with a striped tie and black shoes on this May morning, is asked a simple question: What sets Roussillon wines apart from the ever- growing crowd of choices? "We have the knowhow of the viticulture and the biggest diversity of soil and subsoil in the world," said Aracil of the region in France. "And we have very old vines, some more than 135 years old. Completely crazy." Roussillon tasting in Chicago. Front row (left to right): Parag Lalit, Head Sommelier at Sixteen; John Cressman, Managing Director for World Wide Wine Importing & Exporting; Eric Aracil, Export Manager of Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Roussillon; and Jennifer Schmitt, Sommelier at Everest. Back row (left to right): Barbara Hermann, Buyer at Binny's Beverage Depot; Belinda Chang, Wine Director at Maple & Ash; Arthur Hon, Beverage Director at Sepia; Mick Ter Haar, Beverage Director at Schaefer's Wines; Kevin Bratt, Wine Director at Joe's Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab; Alex Basich, Co-Owner of Noble Grape; Alan Blum, Wine Buyer Cellar Manager at Sandburg Wine Cellar/Potash Bros. Markets; and Charles Lockhart, President of Oenos, Ltd Eric Aracil, Export Manager of Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Roussillon. CHICAGO'S BEST SOMMS ATTEND A ROUSSILLON PAIRED LUNCHEON AT MAPLE & ASH Roussillon IN CHICAGO by David A. F. Sweet / photos by Rebecca Peplinski

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