1. What’s your favorite wine type?
Champagne and other sparklers: what other liquid is so universally celebratory, deeply delicious, and food friendly? There’s a reason why Marilyn Monroe bathed in it and Winston Churchill reportedly spent $150,000 a year on it. Drinking it makes you feel iconic.
2. What inspired you to become a wine expert?
The inspiration comes from the impulse to help people create and elongate sublime moments in life. In a world that can disenchant, there needs to be more moments that make you feel, “Now, this is living.” I aim to fix that, sip by sip, bottle by bottle.
3. What are some of your favorite restaurants?
Franklin Barbecue (Austin): never has a queue rewarded tastebuds better.
Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto (NY): so dependably good that I took my mom there on Mother’s Day for the famous roast chicken.
Marcus Sammuselon’s Red Rooster (NY): its culinary delights are well known, but its power as a Valentine’s Day deal closer is its secret weapon.
Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami (Miami): just try resist the extreme succulence of the stone crab, the oily cripness of the hashed browns, and the chilled, tangy key lime pie. My first job in office as President of the U.S. would be to name Joe’s a national landmark.
4. What’s your favorite book about food?
I sink into books about food like a jungle cat devouring a fresh kill. My current favorite is Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread, a compendium of carb porn so beautifully crafted that its makes you rejoice for the invention of the printed page.
5. What are you most excited about doing / seeing/ tasting at AFW?
The audiences at AFW are so high-spirited and knowledgable – I can’t wait to present to them. And because I select the wine for my seminars with such care, I am looking forward to getting high on my own supply.