Have you ever wondered what the brightest minds in their field do in their spare time? U.S. too. This inspired us to choose the brains of Michelin starred chefs to see what they nibble on at home. Now we’re asking the country’s best wines what they like to drink outside of the workplace.
It’s a compelling question, much like asking what other athletes a professional basketball player enjoys, or what tips a sleep expert uses to sleep better. These people are at the top of their fields for a reason, and we can’t help but want to be flies on their walls. In this case, we want to poke around in their refrigerators, wine cabinets and home bars.
Coly Den Haan is a sommelier and wine store owner based in Southern California. His store, Vinivore, is a bottle store located on the edge of Los Angeles’ Silverlake neighborhood. It is run by women and features female winemakers, as well as selections from sake, beer and cider producers. For Den Haan, when she’s not on time, it’s all about sipping a classic.
âEven though I love wine and it’s a part of my life, at home I tend to go straight for a frozen martini,â she says. âMy current favorite is two parts Future Gin, one part Dolin extra dry vermouth, a hint of dirty juice with an olive and a twist! “
Filippo Bartolotta is a seasoned wine expert, having worked for many years in the circuit. He was a tasting judge for Carafe and has been dubbed the âAll-Star Sommelier,â having worked with Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson and the Obama family in Tuscany. Bartolotta jokes that while he’s not working, he takes a break from drinking. “Just kidding,” he assures us.
âUsually I open up samples that come in and like to share them later with friends and neighbors to hear what they think,â he says. “Sometimes I open old vintages like a 1971 Amarone tonight for my best friend’s birthday.”
âWhen I’m out of time, I like to drink different Beaujolais vintages from one of the ten wine villages,â says Embry. “They tend to pair well with the many comfort foods we eat during the many holiday month festivities.”
She is particularly fond of NV AndrÃ© Couet No.3 Grand Cru RosÃ©, Bouzy, Champagne made from Pinot Noir. Also, some 100% Chardonnay selections including NV Larmandier-Bernier ‘Latitude’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 1er Cru, Vertus, Champagne as well as NV Robert Moncuit ‘Les Grand Blancs’ Blanc des Blancs Grand Cru Extra Brut, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger .
Delight in this 100% Pinot Noir flavored with seductive notes of pomegranate, raspberry, wild strawberry, cherry blossoms, fresh red and pink flowers, crushed chalk and orange zest.
A dry blend of 100% Chardonnay from Vertus, this breathtaking wine has elegant and pure flavors, making every sip a thrill.
Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, this wine is deliciously refreshing and calls for any celebration.
âParker Girard, our wonderful bar manager, introduced us all to Stappi, a bitter red rhubarb soda that is alcohol-free but similar in flavor to Campari,â Scala explains. âIt’s the perfect drink when you want something amazing without alcohol. “
Scala also likes tea. âI’m going crazy for high quality Oolong tea,â she says. “I love trying all the different iterations, and Oolong is one of those stylish, handmade products that aren’t hard to find.” Scala specifically hunts loose leaf in the nicer teahouses or health food stores.
What about the wine? Well, like many summits, Scala loves Syrah. But she also likes a less well-known sparkling wine. âIn Limoux, sparkling wine has been produced since 1531,â says Scala. âThere are two main types, blanquette and crÃ©mant, and both are generally affordable and delicious. These are usually Chenin Blanc or Mauzac based, and tend to have a nice, deep flavor that reminds me a bit of pears.
So if you ever want to drink like sommeliers do, now you know how.