Wine Guys Get Updated
"The traditional image of the sommelier, with the monocle and the tastevinÂ is long dead -- I hope."
Brad Dunn considers himself a modern version of this notoriously stuffy member of the food service industry. As the Sommelier and Beverage Director at Uptown Cafe, he's responsible for more than just wine. He covers the entire beverage experience, from cocktails and beer to coffee.
"The modern som is really about getting people to try new things, to enjoy what they like, maybe explore a little bit," he says.
The hot, dry conditions in Indiana this summer have been encouraging Dunn to pour himself glasses of dry Rieslings, "what I call porch pounders."
Dr. Konstantin Frank, from the Finger Lakes,Â has a dry Riesling. It has lovely citrus and just a hint of minerality, and maybe hint of sugar, too. It's really refreshing. It's actually one of my favorite summer wines.
In the mood for something red? Dunn recommends saving the expensive bottle of Grand Vin de Bordeaux for a special occasion and instead mixing up some sangria.
I take a big, earthy Garnacha from Spain or any of your favorite reds that are under $8.00 -- something affordable and something with a little bit of weight to it. Cut up some pineapple, apples, pearsÂ and whatever is nice and fresh. Throw it in there and serve it over ice. Sangria is delicious.
But when he arrives at the restaurant for work, the first thing he pours himself is not a glass of wine, but rather a beer.
One of my favorites right now is People's Brewing Company's Mr. Brown. I like brown ales. I'm not a huge hop fan, so I'll tend to drink things that are more malty.