Ryan Jasielum put himself through college working as a bar back in the San Francisco fine dining scene. History was his area of study and, having a love for all things tied to ancient times, Jasielum was drawn to wine. Two years ago, he joined the team at Liholiho Yacht Club
, and has been pairing Chef Ravi Kapur’s umami-rich dishes with eclectic wines from around the world ever since.
Three Top-Selling Bottles from Rías Baixas?
There is a good amount of seafood on the menu. One of the dishes that really stands out is the tuna poke with a nori cracker and a nice thick cut of ahi tuna. The perfect pairing for that is albariño—the tanginess, acidity and salinity really balances out the fattiness of the tuna and hits on the brininess of the nori cracker. Do Ferreiro is a great producer and Alberto Nanclares is really cool: He does a skin-fermented version, Paraje Mina, which is our most successful one. We were only able to get a six-pack and we sold out of it in two days.
Spätburgunder is still a value. What sold the most this year was a weissherbst
which is kind of like a rosé. The Molitor was amazing for the price point: It has this irony and salty characteristic to it, dried herbs and great acid. There was a little effervescence to it as well, so that gave it a little lift. For me rosé is awesome with octopus, a toothsome protein in a really pleasant way: You just hit it with that juicy, fresh rosé and it is amazing.
The World of Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is just one of those varieties that people gravitate towards. It is familiar for most people and super food-friendly; it almost sells itself. It is fifty-fifty as far as American and French sales here. I think we sold a little bit more of the Frédéric Esmonin Bourgogne is because it was such a great value [$51]; to be able to offer an Old World wine at a value-driven price point increased the sales.
Sidestepping Sauvignon (Or Sauvignon blanc, sort of)
Matthiasson is a producer we love. The Napa Valley white blend is predominantly sauvignon blanc and I think that has to do with the high sales on it [holding down the #2 spot]. There is also ribolla gialla and tocai friulano, which are lesser known, so it is a chance for people to try something a little bit different but with the familiarity of sauvignon blanc.