Hey, there have been several new additions to the I'll Drink to That! neighborhood lately. Some real fine upstanding individuals - and also Matt Stinton - have joined us on the show. Here's a rundown of all the new arrivals.
Ruben Sanz Ramiro recently decided to leave New York and his Head Sommelier gig at Veritas. But before he packed up his belongings we asked him to sum up a career that has spanned two continents and some world renowned restaurants. We also got the skinny on cleaning out the foudre at Zind-Humbrecht, something that used to be Ruben's job when he staged there. Ruben said it took him a week to figure out how to twist and turn his body so as to get inside those big barrels.
Ryan Ibsen just went through some tough cleaning jobs of his own, having to deal with the aftermath of 6 and a half feet of flooding at the wine shop Pasanella & Son, where he is the buyer. Ryan, who clearly knows who to ask for an excellent headshot, has been running a retail program like one might run a restaurant program, emphasizing the discoveries. He told us what that means to him and how he ended up there.
Matt Stinton, who was recently elevated to Beverage Director for not only Hearth Restaurant, where he has worked for many years, but also for all the Terroir Wine Bars, told us that the Summer of Riesling drives him to drink - and he's happy about that. He also shared some sage advice from that other OG, Ice-T.
Joaquin Simo was our first cocktail dude interview yet on the show, and frankly I wanted to know how it was that he and I could have gone to the same college in the same town and studied the same thing at the same time, without ever knowing each other. Joaquin didn't come out and say it, but it sounds like the explanation is that he was just much more popular with the ladies than I was. And I'm okay with that. Watching Joaquin behind the bar at Pouring Ribbons, I know that he is a people magnet. He talked on the show about just how important being nice is to what he wants to do, even in the era of the secret password speakeasy.
And Joe Salamone from Crush raised the IQ of the show for 50 minutes, dropping science about the transformative power of the email blast on retail. He talked about working his way up at the shop, a rise which has had a lot to do with reminding people on the phone to taste wine.