2020 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 Interview

Cedric Nicaise of NYC’s Eleven Madison Park on Syrah with Duck and Birthday Beaujolais

interviewed by Joshua Greene | March 11th, 2020

Born in Belgium, Cedric Nicaise moved to the States when he was five, though he spent time in Europe every year while growing up. He graduated from Ithaca College with a history degree and remained in upstate New York, working in restaurants. In 2009, he took a job at Aureole in NYC, developing his skills as a sommelier and bar manager before joining Eleven Madison Park’s wine team in 2012. Nicaise has been wine director at the three-Michelin-star dining room since 2015, and he and his team manage a 5,000-bottle list. He reports that 90 percent of guests at the restaurant order wine with dinner: “Even people who start with a cocktail will still have some wine.”

Read Full Interview

Past Restaurant Poll Interviews