It's all about small bottles at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. Wine Director Stephane Lacroix and Certified Sommelier Alexis
Ewing peruse the Mobil Five-Star hotel's extensive half-bottle wine selection and discuss why bigger isn't always better.
Tags:Learn about Half Bottle Wines,Behind the Burner,Half Bottle Wines review,Mini Wine Bottles,Stephane Lacroix
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Alexis Ewing: Hi, I’m Alexis Ewing. We’re at the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. We’re in the Ritz-Carlton bar. They have one the most extensive selections over rare and older vintage wines. They also have an incredible selection of half bottles. So let’s go behind the burner, meet the Sommelier and see why bigger is not always better.
Hi, I’m here with wine director and Sommelier, Stephane Lacroix. Stephane, tell me why your half bottle selection is so popular at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco?
Stephane Lacroix: You know over the last few years we’ve been building a very amazing wine program and the idea over the last six months I would say, why is to showcase smaller size, lower prize and fun exciting great bar of the wine.
Alexis Ewing: Right! And also the chef features small plates especially in the bar.
Stephane Lacroix: That’s right. The dining room of those small traditional setting and you’re in the Ritz bar, it allows some of the guests from the hotel or from outside the hotel to come in, enjoy in a very small amount of time was accommodating to a higher price, great food from chef --, great half bottles without breaking the bank.
Alexis Ewing: So great for business travelers, couples.
Stephane Lacroix: I think it allows the guests to really be able to best pair each meal or each dish with the appropriate wine. And I guess if it’s a party of two you don’t have to bring this in line.
Alexis Ewing: Exactly! So if there’s a couple—there’s a woman and a man dining maybe the woman is ordering fish, the man is ordering meat. So they can order two different things and even share. Stephane, how many glasses are in a half bottle?
Stephane Lacroix: I would say about two to four glasses depending on how much you drink and I think it’s a great way to really pair different dishes without drinking too much wine. And so I think just one bottle of wine be able to experience and so enjoy our friends of wines.
Alexis Ewing: Report to me what your favorite pick is?
Stephane Lacroix: We have about 140 half bottles guarantee on the list. And I would say that yeah this action keeps on growing. But I pick a great pinot noir from Domaine Serene who was an outstanding producer from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
Alexis Ewing: Yes, from Oregon. Fabulous!
Stephane Lacroix: For the great selection and even Dutch reserve
Alexis Ewing: This also ensures freshness if you order a half bottle rather than ordering a glass.
Stephane Lacroix: So Pinot Noir, Willamette, Oregon cooler climate, very nice fresh finish, very aromatic wines.
Alexis Ewing: Yes.
Stephane Lacroix: One thing that I think very important about wine is to make sure you enjoy those wines with appropriate temperature. Red wines, 62 to 64, 66 degrees really allows you to rather refreshing beverages instead of just a wine that’s going to be too hot, too much hot going as well.
Alexis Ewing: So what are we smelling? I get a lot of fruit. Right fresh raspberries.
Stephane Lacroix: Lot of fruits. Lot of variety of fruits, raspberries, squash berries that is nice earthy spicy elements to it.
Alexis Ewing: Yes and what would you pair with this wine from the small plate menu?
Stephane Lacroix: I would look currently we have great salmon, I think Alaskan Salmon which is being paired with very nice tea. We have some Chanterelle Mushrooms. We have a bit of – tradition.
Alexis Ewing: Yeah, the earthiness of the pinot and the earthiness of the mushrooms. Great! Well, Stephane thank you so much for your time.
Stephane Lacroix: [Foreign language]
Alexis Ewing: Cheers!
Stephane Lacroix: Cheers! Thank you!
Alexis Ewing: Stay tuned to behind the burner. Or we give you the tips, tricks and techniques that are live in the culinary world on fire.