search
Loading
|  home | feedback | help          
StarChefs
 
  Back to Six Sommeliers Feature
Interview with Troy Kumalaa of Vintner Grill  Las Vegas, CA
Sommelier Troy Kumalaa
Vintner Grill
10100 West Charleston Boulevard, Suite 150
Las Vegas, NV 89135
(702) 214-5590



Interview with Troy Kumalaa of Vintner Grill
Las Vegas, NV

Antoinette Bruno: How did you develop an interest in wine?
Troy Kumalaa: In Hawaii, where I grew up, we didn’t serve a lot of wine. I’ve worked in restaurants since I was 14. I worked as bar back, then as bartender, then moved into wine.

AB: What is your fondest wine memory?
TK: Opening some great bottle of wine with a friend in Oregon. We opened up some old Burgundies; a ‘59 Jean-Jacques? It was special.

AB: Do you have any certifications?
TK: I am a Certified Sommelier.

AB: What is your philosophy on food and wine?
TK: You’ve got to have them both together; they compliment each other. Go with the wine region that the food is from. For me, I like a world-wide wine list, from South Africa to Greece. It's fun to select one wine from each region.

AB: Was the tasting New World or Old World centered or both?
TK: You have so many opportunities; you might as well experience everything. Matt [Silverman]'s menu is Mediterranean, so we did Spain, Italy, Greece, and California. There are so many wines that are amazing.

AB: What is your favorite wine?
TK: I do love Pinot Noir. I really love Pinot Noir from Sonoma. For producers, I like William Selyem and George, of course. Brogan Cellars is probably the premier wine maker. And I love Champagne, too…but I could go on and on. I’m fascinated by Loire valley. It's a region I really want to see—I can only imagine the food is just as amazing.

AB: What is your favorite wine reference?
TK: The Oxford Companion to Wine is a good one. But there are so many. For simplicity it's Kevin Zraly's book, Windows on the World Wine Course. I use it for training in staff.

AB: What’s a recent perfect food and wine match that you recently discovered?
TK: The last pairing I did [at your tasting]. It was Boar Bolognese and the Barbera d'Alba.

AB: What’s in your personal wine collection?
TK: I have about 800 wines at home; I have a full bar at home, also. I love making drinks, too. When I retire, I want my own bar. I'll go back home and own a bar on the beach [in Hawaii]. I also love sake. It's an upcoming thing and there are so many types. It's dry and goes with food. I haven't spent a lot of time with it and I’d like to.

AB: Who are your mentors?
TK: Luis DeSantos. We worked together for so long. He's a Master Sommelier. He was training me to be a Master Sommelier. I saw how much Luis studied and it made me not want to be a Master Sommelier. If I want to learn about Spanish wine instead of reading books, but I would rather just go there and learn about it. I'll just go there, but I can never go there through a book.

 
hotlinks_general_narrow
  • Boston Rising Star Sommelier Theresa Paopao
  • New York Rising Star Sommelier Claire Paparazzo
  • Sommelier Chas Boynton of Cambridge's Dante

  •  Sign up for our newsletters!|Print this page|Email this page to a friend
     QuickMeals   Chefs   Rising Stars   Hospitality Jobs   Find a School   Wine   Community   Features   Food Events   News   Ask the Experts   Tickets   Cookbooks
    About Us | Career Opportunities | Media Kit | StarChefs in the News | Site Map
    Please help keep StarChefs a free service by displaying our button on your website. Click here for details.
      Copyright © 1995-2014 StarChefs. All rights reserved.  | Privacy Policy