Trisha Hitko has worked the floor at JoJo, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s French bistro on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, for four years now. Long a strong supporter of riesling, she’s noting an uptick in French wine sales these days.
We are a French bistro, and Burgundies and Bordeaux are popular with our clientele. We have a lot of collectors that like to bring in their own wine as well, for which we charge a $45 corkage fee per bottle. Lots of Burgundies and Bordeaux come in.
[on the Jadot Corton Pougets Grand Cru, a new addition that’s been selling well]
This is the first time we’ve put a Grand Cru Burgundy on the list by the glass, and I’m surprised and really happy with the results. Jadot is familiar to our clientele, and they really appreciate familiarity with producers. And when they see the price, it sells itself. The wholesale price of it is not outrageous.
We are definitely considering putting more high-end stuff on by the glass. We have a St-Julien as well—Gruaud Larose’s second wine—for $21 a glass. It’s been a hit.
You list a Sancerre as the best selling wine by the bottle – is that because of familiarity with Sancerre? Or is that what works best with the cuisine?
It’s interesting to see how popular Sancerre has gotten. People come in, and before they even look at the list they say, “I’ll have a glass of Sancerre” or “We’ll have a bottle of Sancerre.”
[on Paul Blanck Pinot Blanc from Alsace, the most popular by-the-glass pour and the third most popular by the bottle]
It’s a price-point thing. But also, we promote the wine because it’s from Alsace, and Jean-Georges is from Alsace. It’s a great match with the food. We have a lot of seafood on the menu right now: cod, calamari and octopus. The pinot blanc works great with those. It’s very approachable and easy to drink, a crowd-pleaser.