Because natural wine is therefore a lot about conviviality and sharing, and a bottle of wine is always better when drunk in good company, we want to invite people to come and taste with us the wines we plan to put online. We will collect impressions and getting some help to write more versatile tasting notes. So it wants to be an opportunity to draw a portrait through an interview and to make you discover wine fans like us, whether they are professionals or not. Our first guest is Rachel, with whom we share our greatest passions, natural wine of course, and music centered clubbing, since she is a DJ. We drank togetherMarie and Vincent Tricot '2019 vintage. Cheers!
Please present yourself in the context:
My name is Rachel and I drink wine and I try not to take it too seriously. It's delicious and pretty amazing because we get all these flavors that come from just grapes. That's why I like it. I do not take for granted, though, that I have been exposed to some of the greatest wines, in my opinion, on earth.
How did you discover natural wine?
I was working in a restaurant called Momofuku Ko. It was a super cool spot, this was maybe 2011 or 2012. It was a tasting menu only restaurant at that time. We were having a meeting and going over the beverage pairings for the night. My beverage director at the time poured me this Prosecco to taste. I was like, "What the fuck is this?!" It was Costadila. I was like, "This is Prosecco?", she was like, "Yeah". How can this be Prosecco, you know, my reaction was just that it was unlike any other Prosecco I've ever had. That was the first natural wine that flipped me upside down. The second natural wine I did, that was definitely something from Frank Cornelissen. It was maybe a couple of weeks later. It was the .. what it, I guess it was either Contadino or Munjebel. Again, I'm like, "What is this?", and she's like, "Oh, it's this wine from Sicily," and so on. That was 2011 or 2012.
Did you drink wine before?
Yes. I worked in some pretty serious restaurants so I was exposed to a lot of well made stuff but I didn't really catch a current with it. I didn't understand what I liked until I went deep in natural wine. But I remember the first wine that really ever moved me was from Chateau Musar from Lebanon. I was working at a place in the East Village called Prune. That was probably 2005 or 2006. Child of a similar reaction, "Is this possible?!" It was very emotional. When I discovered Chateau Musar it was as if I really understood that wine is more than-whatever I thought it was before. And it was only many years later that I realized Chateau Musar was so deeply invested in natural practices.
How did you start to work with wine?
When I first started working in restaurants I was interested in working in places of interest in terms of food programs. When I discovered natural wine, my kind of main concern became their beverage menu. I was very interested in wine at this point. I'm a lot of a lot and tasted a lot. I would always admire wine programs and basically had my eye on places based primarily on the strengths of their beverage program. I think I assumed that the food would be exceptional if the beverage program was exceptional, which isn't always the case the other way around.
And where is your comfort zone working with it?
The important thing for me is to recognize my boundaries and where my knowledge ends. When I can get someone excited about wine so much as to pay a nice price for it, that's when I've done my job well. I can't sell something I don't believe in. If I taste something that I really love, then I feel confident and comfortable that I can sell it. Because I want them to share that enjoyment.
Any favorite wines or winemakers?
For sure. I'm super fascinated by wine and food pairings. When I think about my favorite wine I so have to think about how it went with the meal or specific dish and one thing that I find compelling is when food and wine can work together and make something greater than the parts. Having a scrambled egg, like a really savory scrambled egg, with an oxidative wine, that can be really amazing, something like that. It's hard to pick a favorite wine. It's more about a moment or an experience.
What are you doing at the moment or do you have plans you want to share?
Right now I'm kind of in a holding pattern, like everyone else. I'm waiting for my visa, I'm waiting to go pick up my dog who's still in New York. I'm waiting .. lots of waiting. I need a job. I have a few job applications out there that I'm waiting to hear back from. I'm waiting to play music again.
...You asked me all these questions before I tried like 9 wines ... ah, that was the point, ok!
Anything you'd like to mention about the tasting that just happened?
It's cool to taste all these Tricot wines because I used to sell two of them when I worked at my last job in New York. It was at a place I love so much called The Four Horsemen. I loved to sell these wines because, as Etienne was saying, they are always reliable and fun and just really well made and super well valued. Whenever I went to a table and there were people that I liked and they asked me for my recommendation, this was definitely a go-to. So I was very excited to taste this whole portfolio of theirs because I have never tasted a lot of these cuvées. They are fun. They are well made natural wines and not taken too seriously. But many of them are super elegant too. And I've never tasted their whites before, so that was great. And now I'm about to eat a cracker with anchovy on it!
And the music playing? What would you like to listen to, drinking the wines from Tricot?
I don't know, I guess I was feeling emotional when I asked you to put this on. It's easy but it's emotional, kind of melancholy.
We were listening to TR/ST - The Destroyer - 1 (2019, Grouch)