When it Comes to Choosing Wine, Think Outside the Bottle


Wine With Me Wednesday: Marco Maccioni of Le Cirque

Satisfying customers one glass at a time

When you think of hallmark New York establishments, you cant help but think of Le Cirque. The name may also conjure up thoughts like "special occasion and formal wear.

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But when the economy tanks, even the cr�me da la cr�me has to change its ways.

So in 2008, the infamous restaurant, run by the Sirio Maccioni and his three sons, opened a more approachable wine bar with comfy chaise lounges and -- wait for it -- got rid of its jacket requirement.

Yep, the famous high-scale eatery that has maintained its coveted position as one of the worlds best restaurants for the last 37 years, had no choice but to give in to the masses (like me) and serve mini burgers.

In the middle of Le Cirque's wine bar is an immense wine tower, with 20,000 bottles of wine, which is managed by Marco, one of the Maccioni boys.

I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Marco, who called himself the wino of the family, which basically means hes in charge of all that wine.

And its probably why his biggest recommendation to new wine lovers is to start trying new ones. Clearly, there are tons!

So ask the sommelier. Ask the wine steward. Get suggestions. Promise yourself that the next time you go out you will try something new.

If an old-school New York institution like Le Cirque can get out the box and serve burgers to the plebeians, you alter your ways too.

Cent Anni!

Questions for Our Wine Pro

What is your death row wine?

Krug Ros� Champagne- vintage

What region produces the best wine?


What is the best wine and food pairing you've ever had?

Champagne and his mother's fried zucchini flowers

What will the U.S. wine industry look like in the next 10 years?

The wine industry will look similar to how it does today - though a lot of small micro-wineries will be established similar to how a lot of micro-breweries exist today. Atypical regions will begin producing better wines (as the Finger Lakes has). It is like a "Perfect Storm" for lesser experienced wine makers. People with maybe little knowledge of the wine industry, but with a passion for wine-making, will begin to establish wineries in lesser known areas. People who don't have the means to go out and start their own winery will find ways to do so.

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