Caleb Ganzer of Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in NYC on the Champagne Takeover - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Caleb Ganzer of Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in NYC on the Champagne Takeover

Caleb Ganzer has worked at NoLita’s Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels for three years, creating a space for every type of guest. New customers looking for something unique and interesting mingle with regulars, many of them industry folk who flock here for the extensive list of Champagnes. Monday nights are “mix-tape” events, where somms and industry personalities pour for the evening. Themed parties have also been added into the rotation – think Austin Powers Halloween and Beaujolais track-suitparty – that get people festive and highlight sections of the 600-odd label list.

On Champagne topping the list

I was flabbergasted when I ran the numbers: All ten best-selling bottles were Champagne. But because we have over 600 bottles on our list, people are kind of open to anything, and our somms navigate that, so it won’t usually be the same thing to every table. The people that come in knowing what they want are usually industry, and if they want to pull the trigger on something, a lot of them are drinking Laval and various Champagnes. We sell as much Champagne in the summer as we do in the winter. I wouldn’t see anything shaking Champagne.

On Spanish wines

“I’m really excited about the fringe areas of Spain right now—Galicia, Cataluyna, Canary Islands, Mallorca. There are just a lot of cool projects in these little regions that are happening right now and I think they’re very exciting, very well priced and the flavors are just different enough. They’re low alcohol and juicy—approachable, kind of everyday wines and they have a lot of character. I’d love to see people drinking that more.”

On hand-sells

“The great thing about the wine industry right now is how many open minds and open palates there are. Anything that we are excited about, that’s what people want to drink. They don’t really come in with as many preconceived notions anymore. It’s like, ‘Cool, if you guys are excited about it, I don’t care if it’s from the Czech Republic or from upstate New York.’ There is this feeling that, if this is what you do for a living, I’m willing to go with you.”

A recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Allison Bart worked a harvest at Soter Vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, then worked in retail at Frankly Wines in NYC. Having spent six months in Melbourne in 2013, she developed an interest in Australian wines. Allison is currently the Culture & Events Manager at SevenFifty.