Grandlife guide


back to list

As the temperatures drop, cravings for red wine spike. We asked Aldo Sohm, sommelier at Le Bernardin and namesake behind the Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, for his advice on what red wine to drink, where to drink it, and what questions to ask a sommelier.

New and Noteworthy 

At the Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, the list of wines by the glass is constantly evolving. “If I see something interesting, I put it on,” Aldo says. “The list is changing all the time.” Recently, Pinot Noir from Germany (a dry, light red) has grabbed his attention. “No one associates Pinot Noir with Germany,” he says. “It’s fresh and delicate, but that doesn’t mean it’s short.”

For a Pinot Noir from Germany—Aldo recommends: Spatburgunder, Buntsandstein, Benedikt Baltes 2016.

What to Drink this Fall and Winter

As the weather cools, Aldo’s cravings change. “This year I’m looking forward to wines with a bit of age to them—like Bordeaux wines from the ’90s.” Wines from the northern part of Piedmont including Barolo and Barbaresco are also personal favorites. “These wines have a power, finesse, and elegance,” Aldo says. “I grew up not so far away from there—near the snow-covered Alps, the air is so crisp and clear.”

For Bordeaux from the ’90s—Aldo recommends: Chateau Gombaude-Guillot, Pomerol 1999.

For a wine from Piedmont—Aldo recommends: Gattinara, Petterino, Piedmont 2004.

What Customers Want Now

More than ever before, customers are interested not just in the taste of the wine, but in the story behind it. “There’s currently a focus on craftsmanship,” Aldo says. “Young, dynamic producers are popping up more and more—such as Comando G, from west of Madrid, making high elevation Grenache.” Instead of wines that are too oaked or taste too uniform, customers are gravitating towards unusual wines that grab you from the first sip. Aldo calls these, “wines that make you think.”

For a wine that makes you think—Aldo recommends: Marsala Superiore, Marco de Bartoli, Sicily 1987.

How to Pick Red Wine

When opening a wine list, where do you begin narrowing down options? “Questions are a good thing,” Aldo says. “Ask a question and you start a conversation, then I can find what you’re looking for.” Aldo asks his guests about their mood, the last wine they drank that they truly loved, and price range; he loves to hear questions from customers like, Can you give me something new? What’s grabbed your interest recently?

For when customers ask for something new—Aldo recommends: Mencia from Galicia; Castro Candaz, Ribeira Sacra a Boca do Demo 2015.

New York City: Where to Drink

“The best wine bars all have one thing in common: they don’t take themselves too seriously,” Aldo says. When it comes to favorite wine bars in New York City, you might find Aldo raising a glass at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels (“a happy place with an active, engaged staff”), Racines (“they always have new stuff, and are very educational and open”) or Ardesia (“it’s a very comfortable, calm space with great food”).

For when a customer asks for a local New York state wine—Aldo recommends: Cabernet Franc, Paumonk, North Fork Long Island 2016.

WORDS Jessica Colley Clarke

You May Also Like

New York Film Festival 2019 Noah Baumbach Illyse Singer

Lens Crafters: New York Film Festival Musts

Roxy Cinema curator Illyse Singer offers up her top picks and commentary. 
Babs Restaurant Greenwich Village New York Interview

New Classics: Babs Opens on MacDougal

We talk with the boys behind the newly opened neighborhood spot about the influence of the Basque Country, the importance of longevity, and why simplicity is key.
Editor Recap NYFW New York Fashion Week Laura Brown

NY Editors Recap the Week that Was

art & design
As we close out NYFW, we get the lowdown from a few influential editors on the looks, the vibe, and the downtown hotspots they favor.
How to Travel: The Ultimate Survival Guide

How to Travel: The Ultimate Survival Guide

Two Condé Nast Travel Editors on the travel accessories to know about before your next long or short-haul flight.
Fort Tilden New York Best Swim Spots

Get the Skinny on New York's Best Dips

Get yourself to any of these locations and come back once the sun has backed off enough to enjoy the cool air of the city's beautiful summer nights. 
Downtown Karaoke Bars New York Baby Grand Planet Rose Sing Sing Up Stairs Bar

No-frills, all thrills: Downtown Karaoke Bars

bars & nightlife
Our favorite downtown karaoke bars have something for everybody and we’re sharing them with you. 
Best Tacos NYC

A Taco Tour of NYC

These Mexican restaurants meet firmly in the middle between great taste and exciting atmosphere.
Summer Reads McNally Jackson Sam MacLaughlin

McNally Jackson Summer Reading List

art & design
For your reading pleasure. McNally Jackson’s Sam MacLaughlin shares his must-read list. 
Choose Your Stay
the hotel that made soho grand
meet me at the roxy
Book Now