Somms We Love: Juliette Pope

Currently at: Gramercy Tavern, 42 E. 20th St., New York, NY


While serving guests at Gramercy Tavern, one of New York City’s most celebrated restaurants, Juliette practices the Golden Rule: “Treat others as you’d like to be treated.”

 

She’s well aware that a large wine list can intimidate guests, but she will have none of that — she wants to bring the wine drinking/ordering experience back to basics: fun, relaxing and encouraging — no matter the price range. Juliette says, “I am not here to tell you what you should like or why but to suss out what is going to tickle your fancy. If up-selling were a job requirement, I would be out of a job for sure.”

 

If New Yorkers’ attitude can get a bad rap, look here for hope. Nothing is more New York than Gramercy Tavern, and no one is more hospitable, gracious and welcoming than Juliette Pope.

 

Favorite wine region in the world?

I would not want to live without Chablis, the Mosel or the Loire. That is not one region, is it?

 

Many guests are shocked to learn that we sommeliers drink beer.
Do you? If so, what’s your favorite kind?

Beer is virtually always what I reach for first — if not a cocktail — when off the clock. Bring on the IPAs, Saisons and Lambics, the bitter and the sour to scrub my mouth clean.


How’d you get started in the biz? What was your first job?

A line cook job on a ranch in Wyoming with an amazing chef who changed the direction of my life forever! Culinary school in New York followed, as did years as a line cook and a turn-about into serving thanks to Paul Grieco, who then taught me how to carry a plate and serve a bottle of wine.

 

Winemaker/winery you feel more people should know about?

Jacques Puffeney is extraordinary, but it’s fine to keep that quiet as there is hardly enough to go around for all of us Jura nerds. 

 

Favorite wine list (besides your own)?

Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn.

 

Friday night off(!). Where can we find you?

At Roberta’s, the Blind Tiger, Trestle on Tenth (my husband’s restaurant) or home on my couch with take-out are all pretty good bets.

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One Response to Somms We Love: Juliette Pope

  1. Steve says:

    Awesome interview!

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