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KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast:
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The “World’s Best Sommelier” is how may refer to Larry Stone, a moniker he richly deserves and here’s why? He became the first American to win the prestigious Grand Prix de Sopexa for the title of the Best International Sommelier in French Wines in Paris over 20 years ago. After winning this momentous title within a few months of becoming America’s 9th Master Sommelier, he continued as a restaurateur and sommelier, opening the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago. He then became the General Manager and Sommelier of Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant, helping to bring it to world prominence at the side of its talented chef/owner, for a while even serving aspatissier.
Wishing to be closer to vineyards again, Larry relocated to San Francisco to open Rubicon Restaurant with New York restaurateur Drew Nieporent and Chef Traci des Jardins. Partners with them were Robert deNiro, Robin Williams and Francis Ford Coppola. There they established a restaurant with a wine program that attracted and trained some of the best young sommeliers in America. At the same time Larry started to make wines under the label of Sirita, named for his daughter.
In 2001, Larry became a board member of Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery, and then in 2006 its General Manager. Larry has also served as a Trustee for the prestigious James Beard Foundation since 2005.
In 2010, Larry moved to an exciting winery project called Evening Land Vineyards, which focus on terroirs of fire, fog, fossil and fracture. It manages vineyards and makes wines in distinctive vineyards in Oregon, Burgundy, Sonoma and the Central Coast of California, guided by a winemaking team led by legendary winemaker Dominique Lafon, and including Christophe Vial, Sashi Moorman and Isabelle Meunier.
The International Culinary Institute recently announced Larry as Dean of Wine Studies with fellow Master Sommelier Scott Carney. Larry has already mentored some of the best in the industry and now a new generation of culinary students will enjoy the gift of this wise wine man’s vast experience.
Over a lunch hour recently at Piperade restaurant (thanks Chef Girald) in San Francisco Larry shared stories about his extensive and impressive journey in wine. His vino voyage started early so we had much to discuss over some rather lovely bottles of his choosing.
Grab a bottle, pour a glass and enjoy the conversation – we did.
5 Tasty Questions With Master Sommelier, Larry Stone
1) A Good Glass of Wine Is…
The wine you have with your friends and your family
2) It’s midnight at your house, I go to your fridge, what will I always find?
You’ll always find champagne inside my refrigerator
3) “Desert Island Disc” – One record by one artist, what will it be?
That is such a hard question to answer, because I love so much. But, you know, I’ll probably will say Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s Die Winterreise, with Jörg Demus at the piano.
4) In a second life, if not a sommelier, what would you be?
I would be a photographer. My idol is Greg Gorman
5) Finally, your last supper, Larry, couple of guests, dead or alive, famous or not, who will it be and what will you eat and drink?
They would be Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, probably Joseph Kennedy and just for the hell of it, and also my Uncle Doley, who was in the underground in France in the second World War. I think that will be an interesting group to have and knowing my Uncle Doley, he would have to have lobster to start with. I don’t anyone would object to that. We would probably have lobster and maybe rack of lamb. Drink? I think with that group, we would end with the 1795 Terrantez Madeira from Buderim.
WINE NOTES: KRACHER GRAND CUVEE – 2010 NO. 6
The varietal composition is 60% chardonnay and 40% Welschriesling this year. It has a decadently rich texture, with around 20% residual sugar. This amount makes for a luscious wine but yet not too heavy, and it is balanced with a thrilling jolt of bright flavors.
The noble rot, or botrytis, which has transformed the grapes, has given the wine a deep color, amber and apricot. A strong aroma of quince and rose wafts from the glass.
The acidity is moderate, and the wine finishes with a fresh, citrusy note.
The citrus flavor comes from the intensely affected Chardonnay grapes, says Gerhard.
Price: $80 h/btl (95pts)
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