Kamal Kouiri directs the wine program at Molyvos, a Greek restaurant focused on seafood. Five years ago, he switched from a list with wines ranging across the Mediterranean to an all-Greek list, now offering 470 selections. Stephanie Johnson talked with Kouiri about the move and how guests have reacted.
Why did you decide to shift to an all-Greek wine list?
The quality of Greek wines had been improving, with more winemakers starting to do things like use indigenous yeasts and make single-vineyard wines. A lot of the best Greek wines never used to leave the country, but since the financial crisis in Europe, Greece has focused more on export markets so there are a lot more good, small-production wines available in the US market.
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Jeff Berlin was the opening wine director at Oakland’s A Côté. Over the past 13 years, he’s increasingly turned to Europe’s lesser-know yet historic wines and terroirs, especially the wines of Eastern Europe, to match chef Matthew Colgan’s hearty small plates.
Eastern European wines have been a major force for you again this year, with wines from both Hungary and Croatia selling well. Tell me about your top-selling wine, the Eszterbauer Szekszárdi Kadarka 2011.
I have a personal attachment to it because it was something Frank Dietrich [of Blue Danube Wine Company] and I found when we were in a wine bar in Budapest. He went on to strike up a relationship with them, and they’ve become very successful. It’s . . . Continue reading →
Samantha Groseth has been appointed Associate Publisher in charge of sales and marketing at Wine & Spirits Magazine. In her new role, she will be managing a growing team to build the reach of Wine & Spirits through events, promotions, digital media and partnerships.
Samantha joined Wine & Spirits in the summer of 2011 as a sales associate, after working in strategic planning at Boston Globe Media. She immediately impressed our team with her problem-solving skills as well as the sunny California demeanor she brought to our New York office. Since moving back to the West Coast to join our San Francisco office in 2013, she has taken on a management role for the sales and marketing team.
In her travels west, Samantha also brought Hip-Hop Thursdays to our San Francisco . . . Continue reading →
Francine Mace—everyone knows her as Frankie—started her hospitality career bussing tables at Xavier’s in Piermont, NY. She worked at Lever House Restaurant and the Red Cat in Manhattan before earning her Level II certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers and joining the team at Amáli in March of 2013. Caitlin Griffith spoke with Mace about learning the Mediterranean language of wine.
When I first started at Amáli, I hardly knew a thing about Greek wine. And our list is known in New York City as the place to drink (and eat) Mediterranean. Our cuisine is on the lighter, fresher side of things. We don’t use too much butter, mostly just olive oil. Folks will come in for our charcuterie, sharing plates, nibbling . . . Continue reading →
Luke Sykora, Wine & Spirits Senior Editor in our San Francisco office, will be taking over the role of critic for all California wines over the coming year.
I’m pleased to announce this change in our team of critics, as Luke and I have been tasting together for the past four years and I would confidently follow his wine recommendations. Last year, he took on the critical responsibilities for the wines from California’s Central Coast, while I have continued to rate and review the wines of the North Coast. During that time, he has discovered a number of new producers and brought their wines to the attention of our readers.
For now, I will continue to cover Napa Valley wines, and Luke and I will taste all wines recommended by . . . Continue reading →