Monday, March 2, 2015

After the tasting.....

A snowy afternoon interview with sommelier Nancy Clarke of MKRT after tasting 15 or so great red and white Italian wines...


ValleyLocavore:  
Are you a wine snob or are you a sommelier?

Nancy:  
I'm a sommelier because I love exploring the different wines, foods and cultures of the world.

Nancy Clarke, Sommelier, MRKT Restaurant 

VL: Where did you learn to drink wine?
Nancy: My dad always grew up drinking Napa Valley Cabs and so he's definitely the first person to introduce me to high quality wine!

VL: Where did you get your training?
Nancy:  I trained under Master Sommelier Alpana Singh in Chicago, which was my first introduction to the world of wine. After that, I worked with sommelier Richard Reich at Brix Wine Bar in Sunset Beach. I also studied at Boston University's Elizabeth Bishop School of Wine under the tutelage of William Nesto and Sandy Block, who are both Masters of Wine through the Institute of Masters of Wine.

VL: Brix....as in Bricks and Morter?
Nancy: A measure, the sugar content of an aqueous solution.

 











VL: Of course....what’s new in South Deerfield home of MRKT?
Nancy: South Deerfield is in the heart of so many great farms and beautiful scenery. We are so lucky to be able to work with talented farmers and people who truly care about creating great food and preserving the natural world for generations to come.

VL: Will all these bottles go to waste? 
Nancy: (no answer)

VL: How do you pair wine with local food?
Nancy: I like to think of pairing wine with food just like adding ingredients in cooking. If you have a salty, fatty dish what would you add to cut the fattiness? A squeeze of lemon juice? If you treat wine like just another ingredient, you can merge the wine seamlessly with the food. At MRKT, we use so many beautiful, delicate local ingredients that it's important to use the wine as a highlighter to really bring out the quality of the local produce.

VL: What is your favorite thing on the menu?
Nancy: Our menu changes seasonally but right now it's definitely the Crispy Pork Belly. It's like the best breakfast ever!

VL: What’s the most you ever paid for a bottle of wine?
Nancy: Hmm... Honestly? I really don't pay that much for wine. 

VL: Me neither.
Nancy: I'm much more focused on trying to find a high-quality bottle at an everyday price! Now, the most expensive bottle that I've ever tasted? Probably, the 1992 Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon.

VL: What’s the best glass of wine you ever drunk? I mean drank?
Nancy: Ah, the best glass of wine I've ever drank was a glass of 2001 Fattoria de Terrazze "Visions of J" Rosso Conero. I had it with my dad when he came to visit me in Chicago when I first moved there.