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Posts Tagged ‘Aldo Sohm’
GQ Magazine, April 29th 2011, by Alan Richman
GQ’s Alan Richman competes in the 2011 Best Sommelier in America contest—and lives to tell about it.
“I came close. Very close. – Not to winning the Best Sommelier in America 2011 contest.”
To becoming a legend among sommeliers by setting fire to my $3000 Zegna Su Misura suit during the decanting portion of the competition. Decanting includes holding a bottle above a lit candle, which is playing with fire for someone like me.
Just in time, Aldo Sohm, one of the organizers, raced in from the sidelines and lifted my arm from the flame. Actually, I wouldn’t have been the first to add conflagration to my credentials. A judge, Roger Dagorn, told me about a long-ago competitor, a former sommelier at Restaurant Daniel in New York, who carelessly allowed the wicker basket holding his wine to become engulfed in flames.
I entered the two-day contest, hosted by American Sommelier and held earlier this month in New York, with dual status. I was not quite a participant and by no means a challenger for the title. I was permitted to take the same tests as the 29 genuine entrants, and I was given a bye into the second-day finals, usually limited to those who have placed in the top four on day one. For me, it meant an opportunity to get an insider’s look at an arcane profession that is rapidly gaining popularity even as mass-market interest in the ceremony and formality of fine dining decreases.
The Wall Street Journal, April 22nd 2011, by Jay McInerney
A couple of decades after the rise of the celebrity chef, we may be on the verge of a new phenomenon: the celebrity sommelier. In the wake of Emeril Lagasse cookware and Mario Battali tomato sauce, we now have stemware and a corkscrew designed by Aldo Sohm, the sommelier at Le Bernardin, New York’s Michelin three star seafood eatery.
The Austrian born Sohm came to New York in 2004 after serving in some of Austria’s top restaurants and started off as wine director at Wallse, Kurt Guttenbrunner’s West Village Austrian restaurant.
In 2006, New York magazine voted him “Best Sommelier in New York.” The following year he moved to Le Bernardin and won the title of “Best Sommelier in America,” a feat which he topped in 2008 when he was named “Best Sommelier in the World,” by the Worldwide Sommelier Association, after a grueling competition which included blind tastings, a written exam, and mock table service.
The Wall Street Journal, April 23rd 2011, by Jay McInerney
Is there such a thing as the perfect match? As someone who has been married four times, I’ve done my share of research on the subject of compatibility in the realm of Eros. The subject of food-and-wine pairing is perhaps even more bedeviling. Is there a perfect wine for oysters? For Camembert? For baked lobster with red-wine-braised sunchoke and fava-sprout bergamot emulsion? Does fish always call for white wine?
You could do worse in your search for answers to these questions than to go to New York’s Le Bernardin, the Michelin three-star temple of piscine cuisine. Aldo Sohm, 39, who was named Best Sommelier in America in 2007 and Best Sommelier in the World in 2008 (in a contest organized by the World Sommelier Association), is a master of matching food and wine. He has converted more than one skeptic, including my wife, to the concept of pairing. “I can make the food look good,” he says. On the other hand, chef Eric Ripert, his boss, likes to drink red Bordeaux with pretty much everything, including oysters. This makes for some interesting discussions in the kitchen.
aldosohm.com, April 20th 2011, by Aldo Sohm
…Alexander LaPratt, of New York’s db Bistro Moderne, won the coveted title on Sunday night. It was a close competition. 30 candidates competed for the title of Best Sommelier in America, including my apprentice sommelier at Le Bernardin, Jared Fischer who reached the final four alongside LaPratt, Christopher Bates of the Hotel Fauchere in Milford, Pennsylvania and Michael Meagher of Treasury Wine Estates in Waltham, Massachusetts who were all put through thier paces via rigorous tests and obstacles including: food and wine pairings, a blind spirits tasting, cigar service test, navigating a ‘mock dining room’ as well as a written exam.
It was an honor to judge the awards alongside Andrew Bell, co-founder of ASA, Rajat Parr, wine director of Mina Group and Andre Compeyre, Chief Sommelier of Ardour Alain Ducasse. To add to what was a wonderful and exciting weekend of judging, Le Bernardin was presented with the ASA’s inagural Art of Service Award for embracing the importance of impeccable service and providing the highest-quality dining and wine experience. The award honors an establishment that provides a platform for trained sommeliers to exercise their craft.
Thank you to all at the ASA for a great weekend and evening and congratulations to Alexander!
The New York Times, April 19th 2011, by Eric Asimov
THEY come in all shapes and sizes. Most often, they can be found stuffed into kitchen drawers alongside potato mashers, melon ballers and other seldom-used essentials of the kitchen. Wine lovers take them for granted, except when nobody can find one. Call a Boy Scout! He’s sure to be prepared with a handy multifunction pocket knife that includes one. I’m talking, of course, about corkscrews, which, regardless of the screw cap, remain indispensable for achieving access to the wine within.
www.gilt.com, April 19th 2011, by Craig Bridger
Sure, he seems like the fussiest, most intimidating dude in a restaurant, especially if you prefer Budweiser to Barolo. But the sommelier is still a server—a wine server, literally, with the purple-stained teeth to prove it—and he’s there to provide a service. If you’re new to wine, the guy (or girl) with the funny French title is your guide to the perfect bottle. Here’s how to make use of him.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine, April 18th 2011, by Kara Newman
Alexander LaPratt, of New York’s db Bistro Moderne, won the title of “Best Sommelier in America” on Sunday night in a competition hosted by the American Sommelier Association, an organization dedicated to wine education and the sommelier industry in America.
LaPratt competed against 30 candidates from 12 states in a grueling two-day competition held at the Jumeirah Essex House hotel in New York. While all the competitors completed a blind tasting test and a written exam, four finalists—LaPratt, Christopher Bates of the Hotel Fauchere in Milford, Pennsylvania, Jared Fischer of Le Bernardin in New York and Michael Meagher of Treasury Wine Estates in Waltham, Massachusetts—ran an additional gauntlet.
GQ Magazine, April 14th 2011, by Alan Richman
The sommelier at New York’s Le Bernardin, Aldo Sohm, poured a glass of red without letting me see the bottle—the classic blind-tasting game. Exhibiting my customary skill, I immediately misidentified it as a elderly Bordeaux. It turned out to be a 1939 Rioja, left over from a highbrow wine-tasting that had just been held at the restaurant. Nevertheless, I quickly forgave myself, because the wine had undoubtedly been made by Spanish winemakers working in the style of Bordeaux winemakers. My second error, according to Sohm, was to categorize the wine as a “light red.” This time I put up a fight.
I am delighted to represent and collaborate with Zalto on their signature collection of Aldo Sohm glassware. I was first introduced to the company in 2007 when I was invited to a small tasting in TriBeCa, where I met Josef Karner, CEO who gave me a selection of glasses to take home and try. Everyone at the tasting was captivated by the glasses, but I wanted to spend more time with them to form my own opinion. Needless to say, I was impressed – by their design, performance, delicacy and by the philosophy behind them.
The glasses are both powerful and subtle and along with their shape and architecture, help to enhance the wine. Wines served in these glasses, especially mineral driven wines, are more precise and I found that the nuances, normally hidden by the fruit and alcohol, are elevated. For me, the appeal is in the subtlety and the almost-zero gravity of the glasses. Nowadays, wines get more and more uniform in the flavor profile; bolder and more concentrated – a development which is a result of global warming and also due trends in winemaking used to score points with wine critics! I like how these glasses express the terroir of a wine. They add balance and give the taster the delicacy of a wine back.
Each glass has been carefully designed to complement the wine it has been created for. I use the ‘universal’ all the time – it’s truly a great all-purpose glass, but I’m always inspired by the elegant champagne glass. The durability of these glasses allows me to carry them in my bag without their boxes or any protection. For both performance and aesthetics, this is an ideal collection for any wine lover.