28th Annual Restaurant Poll Interviews
What wines are up and what’s down in the nation’s top dining rooms?
Every January, we poll the top restaurants across the US about wine sales, tracking trends and compiling lists of most popular bottles. In order to put the statistics into context, we interview dozens of the sommeliers who fill out the poll. Here are excerpts from some of our conversations.
We’ll be posting interviews throughout the month, so check back for updates from some legendary spots across the country. And be on the lookout for the April issue, which will contain the full report.
Most Recent Interviews For the 28th Annual Restaurant Poll Report:
Chase Sinzer of Momofuku Ko on Slashing Burgundy Prices, while Pushing Riesling and Champagne
Interviewed by Carson Demmond posted on January 19, 2017
Chase Sinzer cut his teeth at Union Square Hospitality Group, working his way up to a manager position at Maialino. After a stint as head sommelier for John Fraser’s Narcissa, he joined Momofuku Ko, David Chang’s Michelin two-star tasting menu outpost, when it ...Read more
Joshua Thomas of SF’s Octavia on Budget Wines and Selling the Staff on Nebbiolo
Interviewed by Luke Sykora posted on January 18, 2017
Last spring, Joshua Thomas left Prospect, where he’d been running the wine program since 2012, to team up with chef Melissa Perello at Octavia and Frances. He replaced Paul Einbund, who left to focus on his own new restaurant, The Morris. Thomas ...Read more
Erik Liedholm of Seattle’s Seastar on Washington Merlot and Sweet Italian Sparkling Wine
Interviewed by Luke Sykora posted on January 17, 2017
Erik Liedholm is the wine director for Seattle chef John Howie’s restaurant group. He spoke with Luke Sykora about Seastar, a seafood-focused restaurant in Bellevue, where Liedholm saw wine sales reach new heights in 2016—his best year on record.
A high point for wine sales
Is it because we raised prices? ...Read more
Tim Kweeder of Kensington Quarters on Philly’s Love Affair with Lambrusco, Wine Bar Pop-Ups and Beaujolais
Interviewed by Carson Demmond posted on January 16, 2017
Tim Kweeder has been manning the cellars of some of Philadelphia’s more progressive dining establishments for the past seven years. Now the wine director and general manager of Kensington Quarters—a whole-animal-butchery-cum-restaurant in Fishtown, he’s part of a buzzing local wine scene where an influx of new importers and distributors has inspired sommeliers to get creative with ...Read more