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Which sommeliers have secret stashes?

ipsedixit Oct 18, 2013 07:19 PM

Do share. Please.

  1. J.L. Oct 18, 2013 10:33 PM

    Don't they all?

    1 Reply
    1. re: J.L.
      r
      revets2 Oct 19, 2013 04:04 PM

      We know a lot of somms. That was my thought exactly.

      And they don't have something you want, for the $ (and depending on special incentives and commission cycles) they'll get it for you!

    2. westsidegal Oct 19, 2013 01:13 PM

      if you have the $$$$$$$$,
      any decent sommelier will have the stash.

      9 Replies
      1. re: westsidegal
        l
        linus Oct 19, 2013 01:15 PM

        wsg, don't you think, for symmetry's and poetic's sake, you should have typed "cash" instead of dollar signs?

        just sayin.

        1. re: linus
          westsidegal Oct 19, 2013 01:45 PM

          sure.
          i was trying to get the point across that just asking about the presence or absence of a stash without mention of a specific high amount of money that you truly intend to spend on the stashed item, will not likely work as well.

          pulling out off-menu items for looky-loos is not a very satisfying experience for a sommelier.
          this is especially true if the restaurant is packed with people that really will utilize his/her services (i.e. spend real money on wine).

          1. re: westsidegal
            ipsedixit Oct 19, 2013 07:20 PM

            Agree that given the right amount of cash, any sommelier can probably source whatever you want.

            What I meant by "secret stash" was more about their own private "off-menu" list of wines that they have on hand that they particularly love - in a sort of personal idiosyncratic fashion - and keep for those certain clientele. I'm thinking in particular of "off menu" lists like the one at Rouge Tomate in NYC -- reasonably priced and personal "faves" of the somm.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              Porthos Oct 19, 2013 07:48 PM

              Sotto has a separate "captain's list".

              1. re: ipsedixit
                r
                revets2 Oct 20, 2013 01:30 AM

                Rouge Tomate is a great restaurant and Pascaline a great, thoughtful somm.

                1. re: revets2
                  ipsedixit Oct 20, 2013 10:34 AM

                  In many ways, I wish the sous chef was as passionate and stellar as the sommelier.

                2. re: ipsedixit
                  westsidegal Oct 20, 2013 08:31 AM

                  that's what i meant too.
                  if you are not already identified in the restaurant as the sort of customer that wants and will pay for "secret stash" types of wines, the best way to BECOME identified as such is to offer to buy that type of wine and to actually buy it.

                  typically "secret stash" sorts of wines are more costly than the stuff that gets normally stocked and normally gets printed on the wine list or blackboard.

                  1. re: westsidegal
                    ipsedixit Oct 20, 2013 10:33 AM

                    That hasn't been my experience. It's usually more about interest and an inquisitive mind about vinification than a willingness to spend large amounts of cash. And being a repeat customer doesn't really advance the ball much unless the aforementioned isn't demonstrated.

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      westsidegal Oct 20, 2013 11:49 AM

                      i used to date a man who normally liked to get wine from the "private stash."
                      when we went to a new restaurant, he would engage the sommeler in a wine discussion and would say something like:
                      "i am looking for an "ABC" -type of wine costing about "XYZ."
                      do you have anything not listed on the wine list that comes close?

                      the XYZ price level he specified was always well in excess of the "sweet spot" on the wine list.

                      his question would start the discussion that led to the "private stash" being made available.
                      can't think of once when he ended up ordering off of the wine list.
                      can, however, clearly remember the taste of the last Barolo i had with him in 1989. . . . .

          2. Porthos Oct 19, 2013 01:54 PM

            Hakkasan Miami had an off the menu rare/old cellar. Maybe the BH one has one also?

            The Patina list has enough goodies to satisfy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Porthos
              ipsedixit Oct 19, 2013 07:16 PM

              Patina does have an off-menu list.

            2. m
              manku Oct 19, 2013 06:22 PM

              Seeing as virtually every restaurant in LA has a BYOB policy, I'd avoid buying any high end wine when dining out...unless, of course, it's an expense account meal :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: manku
                Porthos Oct 19, 2013 06:47 PM

                I completely agree except certain restaurants have high end aged bottles that are on the list for less than what you could find at current retail prices. Very very rare of course, but Patina has one of those lists.

              2. r
                revets2 Oct 20, 2013 02:37 PM

                Ipse...I hear what you're saying. Those coveted high QPR bottles can be a somm's emotional gems. Most good somms have them, it's just a matter of cultivating relationships.

                We love being introduced to a new winemaker like Broc or Dirty & Rowdy by a wine manager/somm/merchant.

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