A Sommelier shares his home bar tips.
Greg Dickinson works as a sommelier and manager at Boston's L'Espalier restaurant, complementing the Back Bay gem's daily tasting menus with perfect bottles of wine. We were thrilled to get his expert advice for getting any Line Bar, Barboy, or Ollie ready for some spectacular entertaining.
What wines should every home bar have for entertaining?
Personally, I always like to keep bubbly at home. It's an ideal cocktail wine and is always appropriate for any occasion when entertaining or ANY time of the day (morning, noon, or night). For everyday, I like Segura Viudas Cava brut NV. It retails for around $6 to $8 and mixes well with cordials. For special occasions, my go to is Pol Roger's Sir Winston Churchill Cuvee.
It's a splurge, but worth it for birthdays and anniversaries. For drinking red and white wine alone as a cocktail, I like Cru Beaujolais and whites from the Loire Valley. Both of these have mouth watering acidity perfect for before the meal and serving with hors d'oeurves. For Beaujolais I recommend wines of Moliere.
When buying wine, what should one think about?
When I shop for wine, I generally buy under $15 and look for reds and whites below 13.5 % alcohol. For the most part these go better with food and you can drink more without experiencing the unpleasant next day effects. I purchase very little wine for cellaring, but when I do splurge I tend to go for Barolo, Barbaresco, red and white Burgundy, Bordeaux from cool vintages, and Riojas.
Are there any wine accessories that you can't live without?
I always keep a beautiful decanter around for dinner parties and my trusty corkscrew (purchased at Trader Joe's $2.99).
What would you suggest for Valentines Day?
A nice rosé Champagne is always a sure fire bet for romance. Billecart-Salmon makes a beautiful one that is available in most markets.