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Meet Two Savvy Sommeliers

Great wine at any price? Two local experts spill the grapes.



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Dan Chapman

Sommelier, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
An advanced sommelier, Chapman has had stints at Four Seasons Aviara, The Lodge at Torrey Pines, George’s at the Cove, and as beverage manager at Bagby Beer Company.

Dan's Picks

Under $15
Tolosa Rosé
Edna Valley

Under $25
Reserve Pinot Noir
Patricia Green Cellars

Under $100
Aubert Chardonnay
Ritchie Vineyard

Top San Diego wine: “Fallbrook Winery’s estate-grown Gracie Hill 33°N South Coast Sauvignon Blanc for its Bordeaux-like richness. It’s great with sea bass or halibut.”

Go-to grape: “Syrah, particularly from cool to moderate climates like the Willamette Valley, Mendocino Ridge, or the Rhône Valley. I love the blue fruit component and the herbal, white pepper character that makes the wines both hearty and refined.”

Advice for aspiring wine collectors: “Buy all the 2013 Napa Valley cabernet you can get your hands on. The wines are amazing to drink now and are going to continue to evolve for a long, long time.”

Favorite pairing at Rancho Valencia’s Veladora: “Diver scallops with crab agnolotti, house ricotta, farmers market apple, and lardons with Ornellaia 2013 Bianco, Tuscany. I love this unusual blend of sauvignon blanc and viognier from a top producer in Tuscany. Its richness beautifully matches the unique texture of the scallops, and the perfume and mineral play so well with the apple, ricotta, and lardons.”

 

Greg Majors

Beverage Director for Blue Bridge Hospitality (Stake, Leroy’s, Mess Hall, Grape Smuggler)
Majors was beverage director for chef Tom Colicchio’s Craft in New York, and studied under sommeliers Paul Grieco (Hearth) and Robert Bohr (Charlie Bird, Grand Cru Wine Consulting).

Greg's Picks

Under $15
Côtes du Rhône Domaine
La Manarine
2014

Under $25
Nebbiolo d’Alba
Renato Ratti, Ochetti
2014

Under $100
Gevrey-Chambertin
Camille Giroud, Combe Au Moine
2007

Top San Diego wine: “Vesper Vineyards out of Escondido. Try their Vermentino with ceviche. Spot on.”

Go-to grape: “Nebbiolo. I simply love this grape in its youth, and after it has aged. The primary notes of fresh rose petals and cherries, along with the aged flavors of tobacco, leather, and cedar are intoxicating.”

Most important element of a good wine list: “Diversity.”

Best bottle he’s had: “An ’85 Monfortino from Giacomo Conterno.”

Favorite pairing at Stake: “The 22-ounce Flannery rib eye along with The Hermit, a 2013 Pax Syrah. The velvet structure and pristine berry and pepper notes perfectly complement the meaty flavor of Flannery’s beef.”

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