definition of Sommelier

Jerry Castleman's Wine Tips
Wine Director, Anago Restaurant

On Wine and Food Matching:

There are no rules! Try everything and see what you like. Forget the old "red with meat, white with fish"-it's completely irrelevant. Instead, if you live in a climate like the Northeast, you might make a seasonal choice: red in winter, white in summer. But a good wine will carry any dish.

On Buying Wine:

The key is to find a wine shop where you feel comfortable-both physically and in being able to communicate with the owner or salesperson there. Tell him or her, "I don't care about wines with big names; I'm interested in smaller producers." Buy an assorted case (to get the normal 10-15% case discount), and make notes when you try each wine-day, food, impression, whether you liked or didn't like it. Then go back to the same store and the same salesperson, and tell her what you liked and didn't like. This gives her a better idea of your palate, and should yield better recommendations.

On What's Hot:

In America-Santa Barbara County's phenomenal Pinot Noirs and Syrahs. In France-The Southern Rhone, Provence, and Languedoc. The quality from the South is only getting better, and the current vintage,'98, was the best vintage of the '90's. In Italy-Tuscan reds, particularly Rosso di Montalcino; Barberas and Dolcettos coming out of Piedmont; Friuli whites.

Top of page

Interview with Jerry CastlemanWine List and Menu from Anago RestuarantWine Tips from Jerry CastlemanJerry Castleman's homepageSommelier Archives