The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2012

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Louisville's biggest attraction—the KFC Yum! Center arena. But within a year of opening, the I-64 bridge closed and a gas line exploded near the restaurant. Construction crews opened up shop 24/7 around Doc Crow's, causing a 10 to 15 percent drop in sales, Davis says. But unpredictable stresses come along with owning a restaurant. Although the construction hurt, Doc Crow's remained one of Louisville's hottest restaurants. With a total of 175 whiskies behind the bar, Doc Crow's pulls from conventions, games, locals, tourists and whiskey fans requesting everything from Maker's Mark to Old Forrester bourbons. The concept showcases smoked meats with styles from Texas, North Carolina and Memphis, while using Southwest Airlines to fly in fresh-caught oysters from Virginia and Washington. "It's truly a celebration of Southern food," he says. "People often forget how important seafood is to the South." His next concept, La Coop, would become a celebration of French wine and affordable food. In a town where guests order wines that were trendy two years ago, Davis filled his list with nothing but French wine, "so, they don't have a choice" to order anything else. From Alsace Pinot Gris to Cahors Malbecs, La Coop's wine selections should pose a challenge for an audience that knows more about bourbon than Burgundy, but Davis' staff takes an unpretentious approach in educating guests. "Our job is to make wine approachable," Davis says. "Somebody may come in here and say, 'I don't know anything about French wine,' but we find that to not be true at all." For this customer, Davis will ask what they like. "Customers say, 'I like Chardonnay. I like Malbec,' and that's great, because we educate them that these are French vari- etals, and the guests learn something about French wine." Brett Davis is one of 129 certified Master Sommeliers in North America. He also owns two restaurants—Le Coop Bistro and Doc Crow's—in Louisville, Kentucky. He began his career in New Orleans working with Emeril Lagasse. Le Coop French Bistro is a popular restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. Owned by Master Sommelier Brett Davis and his partners, the restaurant only serves French wines. Davis's motto is "We are servants" as sommeliers. He wouldn't dare challenge a guest's pairing decision, even if it was a rich and meaty ribeye with a light Sauvignon Blanc. If they ask for his opinion, that's another matter, but "I'm not here to preach—a guest's restaurant experience is not about me." october 2012 / the tasting panel / 75

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