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Best New Sommeliers

Erica O’Neal | Italienne, NYC

Meet Erica O’Neal, wine director of the soon-to-open Italienne in New York City. When she moved to Colorado in 2011, she looked up Bobby Stuckey, MS, co-owner of Boulder’s Frasca Food and Wine, and got a foot in the door as a reservations host. Any free moments she invested in stocking the cellar and shadowing sommeliers, until a call came from Jeff Kellogg, wine director at Maialino in NYC. She worked with Kellogg as he grew his list from 350 to more than 850 selections, and ...Read more

Date Posted: Oct 7th 2016 | Posted in: Best New Sommeliers, 2016

Mariel Wega | a.kitchen + bar, Philadelphia

Introducing Mariel Wega, from Philadelphia’s a.kitchen + bar. Wega earned her wine chops at the Moore Brothers retail shop, just across the Jersey border.  She absorbed the company’s focus on winemakers who work on a small scale, and she brought that ethos with her when she joined a.kitchen. She’s stocked the list with farmer juice from all over the globe, from Jura and Beaujolais to Sonoma and McLaren Vale, all at prices that are surprisingly friendly.

Home Cooking

Rochester, New York, is where I grew ...Read more

Date Posted: Oct 6th 2016 | Posted in: Best New Sommeliers, 2016

Wineries to Watch

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Restaurant Poll

Matt Whitney of Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks on Baseball Crowds and German Orange Wines

How being so close to Fenway Park affect your wine program?

We’re right in Kenmore Square, so we’re literally a stone’s throw from Fenway Park. We see it all—everything from people wanting to have five courses with a couple bottles of wine to students coming in for a quick bite. Eighty-two days a year we’re crushed with Red Sox fans, who fall into the Bud Light-and-burger category. And we get a late night industry crowd during the week, which is when we sell the esoteric stuff, cult producers like Clos Rougeard, and Burgundy and Champagne, since we have a low markup ...Read more

Date Posted: Feb 23rd 2017 | Posted in: Restaurant Poll, 2017

Terri Baldwin of NJ’s The Bernards Inn on the Rosé Craze and Off-Vintage Napa Cab

What’s the most noticeable trend affecting wine sales to your New Jersey-based clientele right now? People are still going crazy over rosé. It’s male and female, and a lot of males are coming in and drinking rosé by the glass. We actually have four of them. We always have at least that many and they are offered year-round. We offer one from the Rhône, one from Provence, one from Argentina and one from Germany—a little different variation.

Surprisingly, in November and December we sold quite a bit of rosé. That’s the beauty of it. You can drink it year-round and ...Read more

Date Posted: Feb 21st 2017 | Posted in: Restaurant Poll, 2017

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