Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’

The Celebrity Sommelier

Monday, May 9th, 2011

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.

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The Odd Couple of Food and Wine

Monday, May 9th, 2011

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.

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