Blackberry Farm

Friends of the Farm

Adventurous Wine

Our Director of Food and Beverage and Sommelier, Andy Chabot, tells us how to be adventurous with our wine this July!

July is adventure month at Blackberry Farm and in that spirit, I wanted to bring up the topic of ordering wine in a restaurant. I’m often the one who gets the list when I’m with a group and it’s as nerve racking for me as it is for anyone! You have to decipher everyone’s likes, dislikes and pairings. Usually, I just end up finding something I’m familiar with and ordering that wine. The sure thing.

But what’s the adventure and fun in that method? I recently decided to not order the wine myself anymore. Instead, I put myself entirely in the hands of the sommelier of the restaurant.

I know this is in itself daunting. Trusting the sommelier when there still exists a stereotype about sommeliers that portrays them as snobbish wine waiters whose only purpose is to sell expensive wines to unsuspecting guests. It’s time to update that image if you haven’t.

Sommeliers love wine and they love sharing wines they are passionate about. What’s more, they are on the front lines when it comes to exciting newwines. Their true passion is often in guiding their guests to find wines that they are excited to share – regardless of the price. Putting yourself in their hands can be the beginning of a great wine adventure.

To order wine in this manner I suggest the following: Describe a few wines that you’ve liked in the past. This tells them both the styles you usually enjoy and the price point ballpark in which you’re playing. Let them know how much wine you’d like to enjoy such as “we’re going to have a bottle of white and then a bottle of red.” Then ask them to take it from there.

They will then delve into their cellar and bring back wines that are exciting to them. I always find new and exciting wines this way. Wines that pair with the food of the restaurant, and I don’t spend too much time reading the wine list instead of enjoying the company of my friends!