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Sommeliers' Top Wines by the Glass

continued (page 3 of 4)

The challenge: "Glass pours don't have the ability to mature like a bottle of Burgundy will through the course of the evening, so you have to find a wine that is 100 percent right out of the bottle."

Le Bernardin, New York
Aldo Sohm, Chef Sommelier
White: Domaine Savary Chablis, "Vieilles Vignes," Burgundy, France 2010
"The Chablis is mineral-driven, with a focused acidity which will cut the richness of the scallops in chef Eric Ripert's Warm Scallop 'Carpaccio'; Snowpeas and Shiitake Lime-Shiso Broth."

Red: Copain Syrah, "Tous Ensemble," Mendocino County, California 2010
"I picked the Syrah because it has balance in the fruit, and has soft and silky tannins which won't interfere with the fish but hold up to the sauce in our Crispy Black Bass; Roasted Shishitos and Acorn Squash 'Ceviche', Peruvian Chicha Sauce."

Sweet spot: "Both should retail around $30 or less."

Le Grand Véfour, Paris
Patrick Tamisier, Head Sommelier
White: Domaine de la Roche Bleue Jasnières, Molières, Loire Valley, France 2010
"Despite coming from an unrecognized designation, this is a wine with a great delicacy when we are talking of balance and freshness. There is a good denseness and ripeness due to the Chenin grape variety."

Red: Les Celliers d'Orfée Cuvée Sextant, Corbières, France 2008
"Perfectly matured, with a touch of black fruits, of undergrowth, and sweet spices. Its roundness and persistence make it a wine for the fall season."

Sommelier secret: "The magic moment of the wine service is a delicate gesture by which we aerate and ventilate the wine in the glass so it will offer an aromatic subtlety when the customer raises the glass to his nose."

Noma, Copenhagen
Mads Kleppe, Head Sommelier
White: Domaine Peggy et Jean-Pascal Buronfosse Blanc, "Entre-Deux," Côtes du Jura, France 2010
"For me, Jura is one of the most interesting regions in Europe at the moment.… The whites especially are world-class. My pick here is made of Savagnin, one of the local white varieties. Made in a fresh, crispy style with beautiful minerality, it of course pairs very well with seafood. It was last served at Noma with pike perch, cabbage, and lemon verbena."

Red: Domaine Sauveterre (Jérôme Guichard) Creuse Noir, Montbellet, Burgundy, France 2011
"This really juicy, concentrated Gamay is from a relatively new, tiny producer in southern Burgundy. It is quite light and vibrant, but still has a very good concentration and depth. It will be served with veal sweetbreads, mushrooms, and bitter greens."

When in Copenhagen: "The larger part of our guests actually choose our wine-pairing menu, which gives us a great chance to play around with our pouring wines."

North End Grill, New York
Jason Hopple, Beverage Director
White: Gaia Estate Assyrtiko Thalassitis, Santorini, Greece 2011
"The saltiness from the sea breezes and the island's volcanic soil maintain the grape's acidity, making a perfect pairing for seafood and fish."

Red: Mas Martinet Menut, Priorat, Spain 2009
"A primarily Grenache blend with Merlot and Syrah completing the bottling, the warm climate of this region and its iconic wineries make a great pairing with chef Floyd Cardoz's Grilled Rabbit.… Ripe fruit, stony minerality."

The challenge: "To build a wine list that provides a range of prominent producers while showcasing smaller wine houses that offer superior quality."

Restaurante Martín Berasategui, near San Sebastián, Spain
Antonio Jesus Casares Garcia, Sommelier
White: Pazo de Señorans Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain 2005
"We prefer to serve fresh wines with medium body. In this case, it's an Albariño, the typical grape from Galicia.… You can feel the influence of the Atlantic, with hints of fragrant herbs, exotic fruits, and minerality. In the mouth, it has a good balance, with medium body, excellent acidity, and a salty point with lots of fruits, like lemon and mango."

Red: Cristoforo Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain 2008
"This is 100-percent Tempranillo. It's a typical Continental wine, very rich in tannins, with a lot of fruitiness and excellent acidity. This confers a very good nose, with red fruits, minerality, and expression from the soil. In the mouth, we can find a medium-body wine, good structure, and length—excellent to share with Martín's food."

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