Sommelier of the Month (US): Raj Vaidya

Sommelier of the Month (United States)

Introducing Riedel Sommelier of the Month - Raj Vaidya, Head Sommelier of Restaurant Daniel and The Dinex Group. Vaidya boasts an impressive history of experience in fine dining working with some of the countries most celebrated wine lists and wine service.

Here is our interview with Raj:

Food and Wine – Favorite combos? What do you find to be the hardest/easiest to match up? 
I love pairing the fattiness of foie gras with off dry Riesling from the Mosel Valley. Spring flavors can be tough, especially asparagus and peas, but I lean on aromatic whites from Austria or the Loire to pair with those.

Your restaurant - What is your must eat dish on the menu and which wine do you recommend with it?
Our signature Duck ala Presse, Roasted duck served with a sauce made from a duck jus and the cooked blood of the bird.  It pairs perfectly with old Hermitage, especially from Jean-Louis Chave

Any tips that you have for decanter newbies?
Don’t be as shy decanting rich whites, but be more shy to decant very old wines as they can oxidize easily in their delicate aged state.

Can you recommend one red and one white that you find to be crowd pleasers. Suggestions?
For white dry Melon de Bourgogne from Muscadet. For red Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara.

In your opinion, how do Riedel glasses enhance the wine drinking experience?
They focus the aromatics of specific varieties and allow wines to breath and change as the guest drinks their wine.

Any big trends that you have been noticing in the wine industry?
A movement towards consciously grown grapes, be it organic or something of that ilk.