Sexy New York sommeliers tells us where and what to drink

Three Manhattan wine experts reveal the power of their most favorite bottles and inform wine enthusiasts on the next best up and coming wines.

the Nomad: Benoit Linero

Thomas Pastuszak
NoMad, 212-796-1500,

The bottle that changed his life: “While I was at Cornell studying neurobiology and classical piano, I often explored the Finger Lakes wine region, where I discovered Riesling, the greatest grape in the world.”

Why he’s hot: NoMad’s list includes 1,000 selections of both Old World classics and new discoveries from independent producers, mostly from regions with cool climates. “Right now I’m studying for my Master Sommelier accreditation, exploring wines from the Canary Islands to Jura, France’s smallest wine region. So I’ve got a lot of good stories for my clients.”

What’s currently turning his head: Bloomer Creek Vineyard’s little-known Finger Lakes Riesling, by winemaker Kim Engel, and small-producer Champagnes like Jacques Lassaigne’s Blanc de Blancs.


jordan salcito
wine director, the momofuku group,

The bottle that changed her life: “I was on a date with the man who eventually became my husband, and he wooed me with the 1980 Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée premier cru Les Brulées Burgundy and a 1962 Comte Georges de Voguë Musigny.”

Why she’s hot: After serving as a sommelier at Eleven Madison Park, Gilt, and Crown, she recently joined Momofuku and has also launched her own wine brand, Bellus Wines ( “I am releasing Les Roches Soeurs, a white Burgundy from Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault, and Girasole, a Tuscan wine from Montalcino.”

What’s currently turning her head: “American wines! Especially from old-vine heritage sites in California, which blend balance and composure with history and terroir, like Morgan Twain-Peterson’s Bedrock wines and McCay Cellars in Lodi.”



aj ojeda-pons
The Lambs Club, 212-997-5262,

The bottle that changed his life: “While I was growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, there was often a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape on the table. My father used to tell me, ‘You must always find a good Châteauneuf-du-Pape to go with your meal.’”

Why he’s hot: Passionate about wines from small producers, he has created both a seasonal featured wine list and a sommelier’s wine list at lunch, where he specializes in under-the-radar choices. “My favorite regions right now are the Alto Adige, Languedoc-Roussillon, Croatia, and Sardinia.”

What’s currently turning his head: Winemaker Robert Eden’s Château Maris, from the Languedoc, near Carcassonne. “He’s sustainably—almost biodynamically—bringing the Carignan grape to new expressive aromatic heights.” And Duemani, an estate in Tuscany at 800 feet above sea level, “produces the most intense Cabernet Franc imaginable.”