The Making of a Wine Bar Menu

Customers often have questions about how and why we select the wines we do at Savvy Cellar Wine Bar & Wine Shop in Mountain View, CA.  Many envision the life of a wine merchant as very exotic, full of traveling the world, visiting vineyards, chatting with winemakers and deciding which wines to showcase in the wine bar and wine shop based purely on one’s own personal palate.  Well, not to burst anyone’s bubble . . . but it doesn’t work like that.

Let’s have Sommelier, Apprentice Winemaker and Savvy Cellar Manager Joel K. give you an inside taste on how our monthly Savvy Cellar wine bar menu comes together.

Joel, why does Savvy Cellar change it’s wine bar menu monthly?
Joel:  “What better way to bring the vast world of wine to the consumer than to showcase new and exciting regions, wines, and producers every month.  We are in the business of keeping it fresh.”

How do you decide which wines to showcase on the menu monthly?
Joel: “For starters, we have trained our wine reps to bring us only 90-point rated wines that we typically can retail for $39/bottle or less.  From there I tasted well over a hundred (100) wines during the month of January in consideration of February’s menu.  We taste the good, the bad, and the ugly, so you don’t have to – we are “wine martyrs” for our customers! perhaps)?  After discerning my way through the pedestrian wines, I chose wines that will excite, delight, and inspire.”

Do you get to travel to all the wineries and meet the winemakers and taste their private cellars in order to select wines?
Joel:  “No, wineries want to break into the Savvy lineup so they have to come to us.  By appointment only.  Bring your “A” game.”

How many wines do you taste in consideration of each menu?
Joel: “It can be as many as 150 wines during a typical month.  Don’t try this at home kids.  I’m a professional not a drunk.  I’m a professional not a drunk.”

Any wines that you are most excited about this month?
Joel: “Oh man!  2 words: Nerrello Mascalese.  Julius Caesar’s Italian wine of choice, but more importantly, Joel K’s wine of choice.”
Click here to view the February 2011 wine bar menu Joel has curated.  Better yet, stop by and try for yourself!

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1 Response to The Making of a Wine Bar Menu

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