With the summer season upon us, we thought it time to pick through some restaurant wine lists to find the best of the best. After being blown away with Nick and Toni’s wine list this winter- read all about it here we were able to have an interview with Julie Berger, general manager and wine director of the renowned restaurant.
Park Place Wines- Tell me a little about your wine list
Julie Berger- We have around 350 different selections on the list including both Old and New World wines. All the classic wine regions are represented plus lesser known wine producing areas such as The Canary Islands & Corsica.
PP- Since your food is more Italian focused do you notice more wine sales tend to go to the Brunellos and big Californians? Or is there also a following for the Burgundian Wines?
JB- We do sell a fair amount of Brunellos and big Californians, but we have a serious following for red and white Burgundy. Red Burgundy has easily outsold Brunello for the past few years.
PP- Give me one by-the-glass recommendation for both red and white wine- wines that everyone NEEDS to try
JB- White: 2015 Costa Graia Passerina del Frusinate from Lazio
Red: 2013 Domaine Abbatucci ‘Cuvee Faustine’ Rouge from Corsica
PP- What is the last wine you added to the list? Tell me a little about it
JB- 2014 Trail Marker “Saveria Vineyard” Pinot Noir – This was a recent discovery for me, only 95 cases were produced in the 2014 vintage. The wine is a beautiful representation of high acid low alcohol Pinot from California.
PP- What do you believe is the best value on your wine list?
JB- Bodega Chacra “Sin Azufre” Pinot Noir produced without sulfur. I recently had the opportunity to spend time working harvest at this biodynamic winery located in Patagonia, Argentina. The wine is one of my personal favorites and truly over delivers for it’s price point.
PP- What is the most rewarding part of your job?
JB- The wine list at N&T’s has become a story of wines I love, producers I know and wineries where I’ve had the opportunity to spend time. Connecting a wine and it’s story to a guest is truly a rewarding experience.
PP- What wines are you over/done with?
JB- Although there are styles of wine I do not enjoy, I’ll never say I’m done with them. People’s tastes change and I think it’s good to revisit these wines from time to time. I still may not favor them but it’s an experience and can further my appreciation for the wines I enjoy.
PP- What is your most exciting or expensive bottle you’ve ever sold?
JB- 1929 Chateau d’Yquem – It’s not the most expensive bottle I’ve sold, but definitely one of the most exciting.
PP- How about the most challenging part of your job?
JB- Unfortunately cellar space is limited, so fighting the urge to buy every wine I want is a constant challenge.
PP- What do you want the readers to know about your restaurant?
JB- With 28 years of experience, Nick & Toni’s keeps evolving and improving. We take great pride in all we do, including the foods sourced with care, the thoughtful wine list and the overall guest experience. We truly enjoy what we do.
–Pauline Fink, Staff