The SOMM Journal

June / July 2017

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Page 26 of 124

26 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2017 Michael Robertson Wine & Spirits Manager at The Greene Grape in Brooklyn, NY How have your customers' tastes in wine evolved over the years? In general, customers are far more informed and adventurous—they seem to want new options. We used to get complaints if we stopped carrying a wine. Now customers seem to clamor for new wines. Also, I see more customers moving towards white wines and rosés. "I only drink red" customers are not as common as they once were. What are some underrated or up-and-coming wine regions we should keep our eye out? I think Finger Lakes Riesling is a serious contender. A new wave of winemakers are taking it to the next level up there, and their Rieslings now stand with some of the best. The Ardèche region in the Rhône-Alpes is pretty cool. It sits right in between the Southern Rhône and Northern Rhône, so you get a nice mix of the big, overt fruit from the South and the lean, austere structure from the North. Lastly, Portugal is the perennial treasure trove for killer value wines. Kate Perry Sommelier at The Old Vine Café in Costa Mesa, CA What are a few wines that you have come across that have really surprised you? We pour a Greek white named ZOE by Skouras, which is a blend of 60% Roditis, and 40% Moscofilero. It's beautifully aromatic easy on the palate. Another favorite by the bottle on our list is the 2001 Chateau Musar Goston Hochar from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. The complexity of the wine is mind-boggling as it dramatically evolves the longer you let it breathe. What are some wines on Old Vine's list that you are currently the most excited about? One all-time favorite is the 2001 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo by Emidio Pepe. Another new and exciting addition to the list is the 2014 Penville Grenache from Ballard Canyon, California, by winemakers Patton Penhallegon and Michael Villas. Q: Q: Q: Q: 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. Fonda Hopkins Founder & CEO of Montesquieu Winery in San Diego, CA Why did you decide to pursue a career in the wine business and how did Montesquieu get its start? It was more luck than wisdom, really! I was living in Chicago and answered an ad in the Reader for part-time work [as a wine broker] while I was still in school. One thing led to another, and five years in, after rising through the ranks and still feeling stifled, I left and co-founded what would later become Montesquieu. I was 26 and it was a big risk! Over the years you've had the opportunity to work with some of the best winemakers in the world. Who are a few of the winemakers that stand out? We've been fortunate to work with so many talented winemakers over the years. Building relationships with our winemakers and collaborating with them on our offer - ings has been the most rewarding part of my career. I can say I've definitely learned the most from Stéphane Derenoncourt. Our 2009 Derenoncourt Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon landed us on the front cover of Wine Spectator. Hélène Mingot worked on it with us and really helped me understand Stéphane! Q: Q: 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 COURTESY OF MONTEQUIEU WINERY PHOTO: MICHELE THOMAS PHOTO COURTESY OF OLD VINE CAFÉ

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