As Alex DeWinter worked in restaurants through college (where he was a film major), he first caught the wine bug. "I found wine to be fascinating, and I had an affinity for it. It captures history, biology, science, business, and farming, all in one. When I realized I was spending my most of my money on wine, I knew I was hooked!" he said.
A native of Chicago and Washington, D.C., DeWinter held positions with wine importers and wine shops, and he ran his own wine seminars, before heading to Boston. "It was fate to arrive in Boston and get the opportunity to wine steward at Grill 23 & Bar," DeWinter states. And The Grill's Wine Director, Nathalie Vaché, was a fantastic mentor. A native of Bordeaux, she created an amazing collection of rare French wines at the Grill. “I've never seen anything like it. We had some 2000 Bordeaux that are extraordinary; it is a spectacular vintage." When Vaché became engaged and moved to the West Coast, DeWinter was ready to step into the Wine Director's position.
As the wine director at acclaimed Grill 23 & Bar, DeWinter felt more like a curator and an explorer, directing the restaurant's acclaimed 850+ bottle wine list. The impressive collection was honored by Wine Spectator with "The Best of" Award of Excellence (a step above the highly coveted "Award of Excellence" distinction), landed DeWinter a spot among the 2006 StarChefs.com Rising Stars, and complemented the cuisine of Executive Chef Jay Murray.
The wine list was already known for its depth in the "Big Reds" to match the premier steak cuts at Grill 23 & Ba, with a significant amount of top rated reds from California and Bordeaux, and DeWinter focused on expanding the collection's Spanish and Italian wines. "The value, the flavors you can find in the vineyards of Spain and Italy is just tremendous, and it's important to stay current," said DeWinter . I think the power of our wine collection is that guests come in knowing they can request their traditional favorite – or they can step into a cult variety, or a Spanish, Italian, or Australian wine, and be wowed."
In 2010, DeWinter left his post at Grill 23 & Ba for the world of importing, taking a position with Winebow, where he continues to offer his wine expertise and knowledge of pairings to chefs throughout the Northeast.