Chelsea Wine Vault - Meet the Staff

 

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Chelsea Wine Vault - Meet the Staff  
Robert Fritz
Director of Fine Wine

What did you do before you came to CWV?
I've spent most of my working life in the wine business, but have alternatively worked in Environmental Science and two start ups.

Favorite part of the job so far?
Meeting people who are passionate about wine and discovering new producers or wines that represent great values.

What are a few great wines or spirits that you've discovered here?
Alexandre Filaine Champagne Cuvee Sensuum Vertigo
Lustau Solera Brandy
Chidaine Montlouis

Standout/favorite/most thought-provoking customer question?
Intricate food and wine pairings are my favorite questions, followed closely by a customer asking me to source hard to find wines.

What's your single most important tip for wine lovers looking to learn?
Don't be afraid to try new things and keep notes when you do!

 

 Chelsea Wine Vault - Meet the Staff  
John Ferro
Wine Buyer

What did you do before you came to CWV?
I was in IT for over 30 years, and responsible for a multitude of disciplines.

What's your favorite part of the job so far?
Meeting and chatting with other passionate wine folks: customers, brand reps, and winemakers.

What are a few great wines or spirits that you've discovered here?
We are lucky enough to taste new, exciting wines and spirits regularly -- it’s hard to pick only a few. Bourbon has become a favorite spirit and I'm enjoying more Spanish wines these days.

Standout/favorite/most thought-provoking customer question?
We constantly get challenging food pairing questions. Blue cheese, rabbit, asparagus, venison--you name it!

What's your single most important tip for wine lovers looking to learn?
Drink a lot! Seriously, try different wines from different places to really experience the breadth of wine and to understand what you like or dislike.

 

   


Nicole Glover
Sales Manager

What did you do before you came to CWV?
I am a professional jazz musician and have spent most of my life studying music and the saxophone, but I also worked as a wine buyer before coming to CWV. I grew up in Oregon's Willamette Valley, so wine was always a part of my life.

What's your favorite part of the job so far?
My colleagues are a joy to work with and learn from. Each day is a learning experience, and a fun one at that. I also love working with such great wines, and selecting that perfect bottle for each customer - when they come back to tell me how much they enjoyed my recommendation, that really lights me up.

What are a few great wines or spirits that you've discovered here?
Lopez de Heredia (Rioja), Chateau Simone (Palette), Domaine Leroy (Burgundy), Jean-Louis Chave (Rhone), and Jean Foillard (Beajoulais) are some of the standout producers from my time here. I have been enjoying spirits more and more as well - Mezcal has been intriguing lately. I've also begun delving into the world of cocktails. I love a good Negroni.

Standout/favorite/most thought-provoking customer question?
I love when people come in to look for a hard-to-find wine, not expecting us to have it, and then we do, and they are just completely overjoyed. Alternatively, I love when customers are open to trying new things. I think that's extremely important in our understanding of wine, as well as the understanding of what we like.

What's your single most important tip for wine lovers looking to learn?
When you're drinking a wine, really delve into it - what does it smell like, taste like, feel like? What does it remind you of? You'll get a richer experience if you really allow yourself to pay attention to the wine. You'll also start to get a sense of things that you like, and that can lead you to new discoveries.

 

   


Julio Hernandez
Sales Manager

What did you do before you came to CWV?
I worked under the direction of Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans for many years. This is where my love for wine and food is rooted. I have traveled around the world tasting and learning about wine and terroir from renowned producers, but along the way I have met smaller, very creative producers that have enhanced my appreciation for the art that is wine. I've been lucky to have worked with, and learned from remarkable, influential chefs from all around the country. At this point in my career whether creating a restaurant's wine list, building a client's cellar or choosing the one perfect bottle for a perfect experience - it's what I love and love to do.

What is your favorite part of the job so far?
I am passionate about everything WINE. I love talking with people, sharing my knowledge and education from my world-wide experiences in the business. The best part is engaging with our guests and being able to listen to their questions and helping them feel that they have just made the best choice in choosing their wine.

What are a few great wines or spirits that you have discovered here?
When I was learning the business back in 1993, I was fortunate to have exposure to the most superb wines made available. What I love now in 2017 is that I am able to still find those same wines in our selection.

Standout/favorite/most thought-provoking customer question?
I am honored when I receive a request to secure a specific wine. I love nothing more than to make someone’s day by finding that particular wine that suits their request.

What's your single most important tip for wine lovers looking to learn?
Always remain open minded. Just when you believe you know it all a wine or a person will always come along and surprise you. In wine, as in life, remain humble and look for and appreciate the surprises.

 

   


James Yost
Sales Associate

What did you do before you came to CWV?
I have been bartending, which got me into spirits. This lead me to my first wine, a Port (fortified wine). After that, I tried my first Sancerre, and that is what got me into wine.

Favorite part of the job so far?
Working with so much great wine and with colleagues with such great knowledge is a fun challenge for me. Each individual wine has its own story, and learning these stories is a thrill for me.

What are a few great wines or spirits that you've discovered here?
Tannat. I didn't know much about the French varietal before, but now it's one of my favorites. I've also discovered some incredible Italian wines, like the Barone Ricasoli and the Elisabetta Foradori wines, wow!

Standout/favorite/most thought-provoking customer question?
"Do you have Spanish wine?" It seems that everyone wants Spanish wine!

What's your single most important tip for wine lovers looking to learn?
Learn the history. Research the regions and the role of wine in culture. And always remember to keep an open mind, because you never know what you will learn and love.