• Creating a restaurant’s wine list

30 Nov

NEW YORK — Sara Jenkins (right) — the chef/author/restaurateur Mario Batali said “is one of the few chefs in America who understands Italy and how Italians eat” — is in the process of creating her latest restaurant, Porsena, which opens Thursday of this week in the East Village.

That’s a detail-mad undertaking, with decisions on menu, staff, decor, suppliers, pricing, licensing and more things to balance. In a city in which there are, conservatively, a gajillion other places customers can eat, Getting It Right is of paramount importance to be a success. That’s why her musing on The Atlantic magazine’s website about selecting a wine list for the new space is so interesting.

As she confesses:

“Creating the wine list is humbling and challenging. I love Italian wine. I’ve worked for a winery in Italy before. I can explain malolactic fermentation. But I never really paid attention to the details. Wine is like Italian politics — the minute you think you have a grasp on it, it changes again. I’ve always been happy to find a few wines or varietals I liked and stick with those. But here I’ve got to write a list that will cover a broader swath of Italy then I know, yet I want the list to be a reflection of my personal taste. I’m scared about making the wrong choices. Today I just need to bite the bullet and sign off on the decisions made so far. Changes can be made later. … “

Go here to read the entire blog posting.

Porsena is located at 21–23 East 7th Street, near Third Avenue.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

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Posted by on November 30, 2010 in NYC, Restaurant, Wine


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