This month, RIEDEL had the chance to feature Thomas Muscolino, a sommelier from The Stone House Resturaunt.
What are your favorite food and wine combos? What do you find to be the hardest/easiest to match up?
My favorite food and wine combos tend to be normal, everyday ones. There is northing better than a spicy burrito with an off-dry Riesling, or a peperoni pizza with a good chianti. The hardest to pair for me would have to be artichokes. The easiest is chicken.
Tell us about your restaurant. What is your must-eat dish on the menu and which wine do you recommend with it?
Stone House is a picturesque, farm to table restaurant in the Watchung Mountains. The building itself is beautifully rustic, with an air of sophistication, and a contemporary American menu that changes seasonally. Our must-eat dish on the current menu would have to be the Seared Sea Scallops. The dish is served over a butternut squash puree, with poached apples, lollipop kale, pomegranate seeds, and pork belly. As a pairing I would recommend the 2015 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt spatlese Riesling from the Mosel in Germany. It is beautiful wine, with the acidity to cut the fat of the pork, and a slight sweetness to accentuate the sweetness of the scallop.
Any tips for decanter newbies?
Once you start decanting a bottle, don't stop until you are finished. Also, if you are using a flame, make sure you hold the bottle far enough away that the label doesn't catch on fire.
Can you recommend one red and one white that you find to be crowd pleasers?
My favorite red crowd please is Maison Roy & Fils Petite Incline Pinot Noir, from the Willamette Valley. Favorite white crowd pleaser is Txomin Etxaniz Hondarrabi Zuri, from Getariako Txakolina.
In your opinion, how do Riedel glasses enhance the wine drinking experience? Which is your favorite glass/product?
The first impression guests have of their wine is based on what they see, and there is nothing more beautiful than a well polished riedel glass. They may not even notice how the taste and bouquet of the wine is improved, but the mood is set before they even take their first sip. My favorite glass without a doubt is the Riedel Sommelier's Burgundy Grand Cru.
Any big trends that you have been noticing in the wine industry?
The general public is becoming more adventurous with their wine, more willing to try new and different things, and I absolutely love it.