Top Six Sommelier Rendezvous

Six of the nation’s leading sommeliers reveal their favorite postwork haunts, snacks and beverages.


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Michael Scaffidi

Plume at The Jefferson Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Enjoying a glass of Syrah-based Crozes-Hermitage and a hearty hamburger at home is enough to bring Scaffidi gastronomic bliss. But when a stronger drink is in order, Scaffidi gives a nod to Oyamel—José Andrés’s outpost in Washington, D.C.—as his late-night destination. There, he favors the restaurant’s riff on the classic last word cocktail, a spicy, smoky concoction using mezcal, rather than gin, as its base, mixed with Chartreuse and lime juice.

 


 

Dustin Wilson

Eleven Madison Park, New York City

Despite having been trained to dissect a beverage’s quality, Wilson can put his analytical palate on standby after work. “Once I find a cocktail that I like, I can just enjoy it,” says Master Sommelier Wilson “I try not to think too much.” He cites New York City’s PDT (Please Don’t Tell) as his late-night hangout, preferring a classic cocktail from the Prohibition-themed bar’s menu and a Spicy Red Neck—a fully loaded, baconwrapped hot dog—from the adjacent Crif Dogs.

 


 

Cappie Peete

McCrady’s, Charleston, South Carolina

“I’m not one of those [sommeliers] who doesn’t want anything to do with wine after work,” says Peete. “Please pour me something I don’t have to think about. A crisp white wine, sometimes a shot of Jameson.” She chooses Charleston’s Bin 152 for its quaint wine-bar vibe and charcuterie selections. But when comfort food calls, Peete favors the Tattooed Moose for its gourmet sandwiches and duck fat fries. “It’s a foodie’s paradise for bar food,” she says.

 


 

Dana Farner

CUT and sidebar, Beverly Hills, California

“When I was studying tasting, I found it difficult to find pleasure [in wine],” says Farner, who passed the blind-tasting portion of the Master Sommelier exam in 2011. “Wine at the time was my enemy.” But with the notoriously difficult test behind her, wine enjoyment poses no problem for Farner. She pinpoints Terroni, an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, as a personal favorite for its range of Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) bottlings. “But I’ll always drink Champagne…morning, noon and night,” she says.

 


 

Caleb Ganzer

db Bistro Moderne, Miami

“After serving people for 10 hours, it’s nice to be taken care of,” says Ganzer. When his shift ends, he often makes his way to North Miami Beach’s Hiro’s Yakko-San, where he finds quality service and enjoyable bites and sips. “They have some killer dishes,” he says, noting that the restaurant’s plate of angel hair pasta, uni and salmon roe is perfect late-night fare with its salty and briny notes. To wash it all down, Japanese beer is at the top of Ganzer’s list.

 


 

Chad Zeigler

RN74, San Francisco

“By the end of the night, we’ve tasted 50 to 60 wines,” says Zeigler. “So I’m ready for beer.” A self-proclaimed beer geek, Zeigler often drifts into San Francisco’s La Trappe Cafe, a Belgian bistro and Trappist lounge, for some postshift suds. Or, if mixed drinks fit the bill, he notes 15 Romolo as his go-to spot. The modern, speakeasy-styled bar offers Zeigler a place to unwind, with its dark ambience, classic cocktails and simple bar food.

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