Photo: Courtesy of Hatfield's
From a sommelier’s perspective, the magic formula for great restaurants’ wines by the glass seems to be a delicate dance between price and quality, accessibility and adventurousness, and, of course, availability on a scale to meet the demand. One sommelier firmly on the side of adventure by the glass is Jonathan Baird of Hatfield’s in Los Angeles, who may also possess one of the highest joie-de-job quotients around.
“I really love the ability to curate what I consider to be a fun by-the-glass program,” Baird tells us. ”I frequently and intentionally go out on limbs to challenge our guests when they choose to order wines by the glass. I do not like to put many well-known varietals and wine regions on this page. I use it as a tool to get our guests out of their wine-knowledge comfort zones and pour them something that is familiar to their taste buds but completely–and literally–foreign to what they expect.
“The wine world is enormous, and the by-the-glass program allows me to find really great values in really obscure varietals and areas. I love the “This is absolutely spectacular, thank you!” look on a guest’s face when I pour something they’ve never heard of from a place they didn’t know made wine. I’m not trying to force wine education on anyone, I just like to remind people that they should have fun with wine and not be intimidated by it. I have 22 wines open by the glass, and I’m very confident that I can pour something that will make anyone happy.”
Discover the Beaujolais that made Hatfield himself shout for joy–and much more wine lore–in this week’s In Vino Veritas issue.
Posted in News & Events
Photo: Gourmet/Romulo Yanes
This week’s story “Sommeliers’ Top Wines by the Glass
” yielded not only 28 hand-picked red and white favorites for fall (plus a bonus bubbly) but also expert insights into what somms tend to look for in “glass pours.” The criteria tended to fall into the four A’s:
- Affordability, which is why these wines are often great buys at retail. The two bottles Le Bernardin sommelier Aldo Sohm recommends are under $30.
- Availability: Wines by the glass sell speedily and in quantity, so though boutique bottlings may be tempting, will the supply last? At Noma, for example, “some of the challenges with our pouring wines are getting enough of it,” sommelier Mads Kleppe explains. “Most of the producers we work with are very small-scale producers, so we always fight to get enough bottles.”
- And–depending on the sommelier and the restaurant–the selections may emphasize accessibility (“They should be straightforward and easy to understand,” notes Twist by Pierre Gagnaire’s Will Costello)…
- …or adventure (“More unusual wines give people a chance to try something new,” says Dabbous’ Charles Pashby-Taylor).
What do you look for when ordering wine by the glass?
Posted in News & Events
Cheers to wines made by rock stars and favorite fall sips from top sommeliers—plus: to decant or not, wine-pairing tips, and a wine to make yourself. Find all of these articles and more in our In Vino Veritas Issue.
Download the free Gourmet Live app for access to all of the issues and recipes, and visit Gourmet.com to read this week’s issue in full, including:
Photo: Stephanie Foley
Wine is good to have with dinner, and great to have in dinner. Cooking with wine adds deep flavors and aromas to a dish. Some of our favorite dishes made with vino include coq au vin, veal marsala, chicken scallopini, and boeuf bourguignon.
What’s your favorite thing to cook with wine?
This week we’re sharing a toast to wine, cocktails, and even coffee in our We’ll Drink to That issue. Download the free Gourmet Live app for access to all of the issues and recipes, and visit Gourmet.com to read this week’s issue in full, including:
I first discovered mulled wine while living in London. The chalkboards outside nearly every tavern promised that if we came in, we’d be offered a warm glass of grog and a respite from the cold. Or, at least we’d have an excuse to drink in the afternoon. That year abroad, at our ex-pat Thanksgiving, while friends contributed their grandfather’s corn pudding recipe and their mother’s mashed potatoes, I served mulled wine. Partially, because I’m not the greatest chef – I was tasked with bringing crudités this year – but mostly, because this hot and spicy medley instantly sets the convivial mood, and it’s a cinch to prepare.
Mulled wine originated in the Medieval era at a time when the drinking water was a bit unsavory. The alcohol was believed to keep people healthy. It was also popular in Victorian England, which I reminded myself each time I stopped in a pub to order it, as I imagine the Pilgrims’ ancestors did. Continue reading
The full-length feature version of The Lakes Effect by Ted Loos appears in the current issue of Gourmet Live. Download the free Gourmet Live app for this story and more.
Photo: Finger Lakes Tourism Promotional Agencies
The 11 lakes define the region in many ways: geographically, of course, and in terms of the amazing recreational opportunities they afford. But they also create a fantastically friendly climate for growing wine grapes, since the lakes moderate both the winter’s cold and summer’s heat. When you add to these virtues the agricultural bounty of upstate New York and the chefs who are attracted to the rural life, you’ve got all the conditions for a perfect weekend jaunt. And for me, a born–and–bred Midwesterner transplanted to Manhattan, there’s a bonus: folks so friendly it feels almost like a slice of home. So grab your GPS and let the tour—and tasting—begin.
Gourmet Live guest columnist Ted Loos charts a weekend itinerary around central New York’s Finger Lakes region, with strategic stops for fine wining and dining.
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