Sommeliers on What Sells, What Doesn't, and What They'd Buy With Unlimited Cash


In honor of nothing in particular, Eater decided to take the temperature around the country — from down south in Atlanta and Austin to up north in Boston — to see what is flying off wine lists and what is stuck sleeping in the cellar. Here, now, June Rodil from Congress in Austin, Texas; Eric Railsback of RN74 in San Francisco, CA; Jeff Hagley of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, Georgia; and Colleen Hein of Eastern Standard Kitchen in Boston, MA; and Matthew Conway of Restaurant Marc Forgione in New York, on what's up in their respective cities.


June Rodil | Congress - Austin, Texas

Top selling wines: Domestic cabernet sauvignon. This is Texas. Red meat and a glass of cabernet sauvignon is as classic as Paul Newman. Pinot noir. This is the great mediator, and generally a great option to balance out an array of dishes at a table. Chardonnay. Because there is such wide range of styles, it plays to many palates; guests also seem to be able to communicate exactly what style they are looking for.
How has that changed over the years? I think changes have to do with quality, the class of producers, and the regions these wines are coming from. Rather than seeing a Napa-dominated cabernet sauvignon list, you see lists with wines from Sonoma and Washington, Australia, South Africa, and, of course, the Old World. There is also, in general, more attention paid to wines with a sense of place, rather than innocuous lists saturated with retail-heavy options or points-driven brands.

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