Wine Director Aaron von Rock of Verbena - Biography

New York, NY

November 2011

Aaron’s position as Wine Director at Verbena is the latest stop on a journey that began when he was three years old. He spent his early years in a rural Maryland valley stomping concord grapes and blackberries, while his mother Patricia crafted wines he calls "reprehensible" from the results. A series of natural challenges, such as the heat wave of 1976, forced the family to resort to the infamous dandelion as a source crop.

He’s been seeking better wine ever since.

Aaron holds a Sommelier Certificate as a member of both the American Sommelier Association (ASA) and the Sommelier Society of America (SSA). He has performed as a guest sommelier at wine events such as The New York Wine Experience and La Paulée de New York on the east coast, and The Masters of Food & Wine in Carmel on the west coast. He collects tasting notes on over 3500 wines per year, and continues to study towards a Advanced Sommelier degree. He has used his knowledge to conduct seminars inside and outside the restaurant arena. His experience with Diane Forley’s cuisine extends through the past six years, since Verbena opened in 1994, and gives him a natural feel for which wines pair with her seasonal Mediterranean-new American food.