Dessert Wine Pairings at Oakland’s Commis Restaurant
- 3859 Piedmont Avenue
- Oakland, CA 94611
- (510) 653-3902
Sommelier Sarah Valor has built a versatile wine list, with lesser known treasures and classic exemplars of Old and New World vineyards to match the high concept, ingredient-driven cuisine of Oakland’s Commis. Under the direction of 2007 San Francisco Rising Star Chef James Syhabout, the Commis menu is a constantly evolving expression of Northern Californian terroir. Formerly chef de cuisine of Manresa, with stints in el Bulli, Mugaritz, and The Fat Duck, Syhabout helms the kitchen of Commis with well-founded confidence, showcasing the region’s seasonal bounty in bold, sophisticated preparations that exhibit the chef’s deep respect for the basic ingredients.
Valor treats her wine in much the same way, meticulously adjusting her selective list as the seasons and menu items change. “I think of my wine list as seasonal as well,” Valor explains. “I look for lighter wines in spring and summer, and fuller, sometimes gamier wines in the fall.” In a restaurant as seasonal as Commis communication is key, so Valor maintains a constant dialogue with Chef Syhabout and Pastry Chef Carlos Salgado, sharing wines and testing pairings as the seasons—and menus—change. And for dessert pairings, which “many sommeliers think of as an afterthought,” Valor sees opportunity to showcase the versatility of lesser-known wines as not only a compliment to sweeter courses, but a completion of them.