Interview with Boston Rising Star Sommelier Lauren C. Daddona of L'Espalier

by Mary Choi
April 2015

Mary Choi: How did you develop an interest in wine?
Lauren Daddona:
I drank a little bit of wine when I was in France for my study abroad. I needed something that would keep me interested when I was at Christie’s auction house. And I realized that the wine world would never leave me bored; plus I always loved maps and geography and learning about what makes wine what it is. I worked in retail in the suburbs of Boston for six years. In order to take the next step in my career, I decided I needed to get into the restaurant side of things. So I left retail and I went for it.

MC: What is your philosophy on wine and food?
LD:
Have a lot of balance with really high-end wine and contrasting pairings. I’m much more into complementary qualities and textures. I like to think about how the wine feels and compare different styles with similar flavor profiles.

MC: What wines do you favor for your cellar at home?
LD: Things that are refreshing—whites and sparkling wines in particular. My husband is also a somm; we usually drink Champagne or wines of Germany, but also Chablis and Burgundy. I also prefer Italian reds. I usually like wines that are refreshing and aren’t too heavy.

MC: What producers are you interested in at the moment?
LD:
I love Freddy Mugnier. His wines are super expressive, and I think, "Why can’t everyone make wine like you!?" He makes the kind of wine that you don’t get tired of. I also like the pinot gris from Alsatian marc Kreydenweiss. It’s dry but with a bitter finish and remains in balance. It’s not that expensive and I find 8 million ways to use it.

MC: A little known region to lookout for?
LD:
I would say Pfalz in Germany. It’s similar to Alsace and the wines are incredibly dry. They have power but elegance, I would love for people to realize how different German regions can be.

MC: Where do see yourself in five years?
LD:
Part of me is incredibly happy where I am now and I have a great amount of freedom here. They let me do my job and it’s a great community. I’m pursuing masters, I don’t know what’s beyond that, but the masters is the main goal. I want to know who’s doing what where and fully understand the current wine world.