Q&A with Sara Kavanaugh, Sommelier of The Grill Room

The sommelier at one of America's 100 Best Wine Restaurant breaks down 2013's top wine trends.

Wine Enthusiast: What’s the most puzzling wine trend of 2013?
Sara Kavanaugh: Moscato d’ Asti becoming this big thing.  For years, I’ve given it out to locals at the end of the meal as a thank you, and now guests are ordering it to start.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the stuff, I just don’t understand!

WE: What’s the most underrated wine on your list?
SK: Arbois, Jacques Puffeny, Montigny-Les-Arsures, Vieilles Vignes, 2005.  This is one of the coolest wines on the list, but no one knows it.  That said, I’m probably subconsciously trying to not sell it because I want to keep it all to myself.

WE: Do you have a favorite unexpected pairing?
SK: Yes!  I am a huge fan of Château Musar Blanc at the moment.  I serve it with anything with an egg on it, or dishes with rich texture. I serve it at red wine temperature because of the tannin structure and depth on the palate.  The flavor profile of that wine is so different than any other that it is a blast to play with.

WE: Are there other sommeliers whose lists have inspired you?
SK: In New Orleans, Dan Davis at Commander’s Palace for sure. His list is beautifully built and well organized. My wine mentor though is Rick Rubel [at the Charleston Grill in Charleston, South Carolina].  He taught me how to manage, maintain and run a program.

Published on June 19, 2013
Topics: Restaurant Trends, Sommeliers, Wine Trends
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net

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