Tuesday, March 27, 2012

April Food & Wine Events!

Monday, April 16th: A tour or Bouchaine Winery...as close to Burgundy as you can find in Carneros. Speaker: Bob Fallon of Bouchaine $40pp plus tax 
Located in the heart of Carneros, this cool climate spot produces some of the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir around. This is not a wine you'll see stacked on the shelves of your local store. A boutique winery close to my heart with pure passion and quality.

Monday, April 30th: Spring Cleaning: help us clean our shelves!
$50pp plus tax..6:30 pm SHARP
 One of the popular annual events...this is a first come, first serve event limited to 30pp. This is a cocktail style tasting with up to 30 wines to try of wines that perhaps the next vintage is on its way or we have single bottles and we need to make room for new wines! A great opportunity to try a bunch of wines at once and understand the efforts of evaluating that many wines like a Sommelier! Light buffet to be paired with the wines. Don't arrive late! These wines and food go fast.

EVERY TUESDAY IN APRIL: We celebrate the Vegetarian in our life or tempt you to become one!
We'll be offering a 4 course menu with and without wine highlighting Chef Arik's talents in creating vegetarian cuisine. Please note this menu is not Vegan. Price will be determined the night of by the menu offerings.

 Sign up by calling 203-353-3319 the ol' fashioned way...

Friday, March 9, 2012


I'm going to try and be as subtle as possible...VOTE FOR NAPA! CLICK ON THE PICTURE ABLOVE!

An early birthday present would be if we win:
Best Service  /  Best Restaurant  / Best American Food  /  Best Wine List

Thank you in advance for your support!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What does it take to be a SOMM?

What does it take to be a sommelier? It's not a question that people ask as often as they do, say, what it takes to be a top model or chef, but more people may be posing it now than ever before. With the amount of possible wine classes, courses, certificates and schools available---does everyone think they can become a Sommelier?

The word sommelier (pronounced some-el-YAY) has many traits necessary to be qualified to use the term "Sommelier." Can they lift a 50 lb case of wine? Can they passionately discuss Soave or Gruner Veltliner? Can they sell a $22 bottle to a customer as easy as they can the $450? Write a well balanced wine program? Educate servers? Choose the right glassware? Are they passionate about wine or is it just reading off flash cards? Let's take a look at what it truly takes.

I've been at this for 17 years and still find something new to learn every day or a region I've lost focus on-- (say, Portugal.) I've taken over 12 courses and been teaching wine to the public and servers for 8 years. I've consulted for many restaurants and written their wine programs. Am I a Sommelier? In all honesty, I feel uncomfortable using the title because it is a title that is most definately earned. There are two certificates of credibility in our industry. The Master of Wine (journalists, winemakers) and the Master Sommelier (restaurant and retail) programs. Both of these programs not only take years to comlete, a lot of money but also severe time and dedication to the studying of facts. I've hung with many "Somms" (as they're known to each other) and they are a cult-like club of hard core wine-ophiles. They've earned the title and they don't let you forget it.

A true sommelier should be able to describe exactly when wine became an important part of his or her life—a sign of a personal passion for the subject.  You would also expect candidates to have traveled to a few different wine regions, and to be able to describe some of their favorite wine grapes with passion—and accuracy. It sounds easy enough, but I've met many that call themselves Sommeliers who turned out to be more impressive on paper than in person. There are also sommeliers who know a lot about wine but don't like the labor that comes with the job. They tend to spend more time acquiring degrees than working the floor.  They can name all of the subregions of the Loire (there are quite a few) but didn't enjoy the physical part of the work.