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Somm Sez: Southern Comforts

Posted on  | August 28, 2013   Bookmark and Share
Written by |

Elise Loehr, Beverage Director/Proprietor, F. Scott’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar and Table 3 Restaurant & Market, Nashville, TN

F. Scott’s, in Nashville’s bustling Green Hills neighborhood, has earned a reputation for delivering quality on many levels: farm-to-table food, elegant atmosphere, friendly service, creative cocktails, well-chosen wines and—apropos of Music City—great jazz. Having established F. Scott’s as a destination, Beverage Director Elise Loehr and Co-Proprietor Wendy Burch opened a second, more casual brasserie, Table 3.

THE BEVERAGE NETWORK: What is a favorite current pairing from your menu and list?
ELISE LOEHR: Crispy squash blossoms stuffed with lamb confit and pimento cheese, drizzled with a strawberry and white balsamic reduction with 2012 Château de Coudray Montpensier “Le Grand Bouqueteau” Chinon Rosé.

TBN: Do you do special wine  promotions on a regular basis?
EL: We host occasional wine or beer tastings for our guests, and we offer half-price wine promotions throughout the slower summer months.

TBN: Do you do wine dinners?
EL: I avoid doing them as much as possible. Dinners tend to be more expensive for the consumer and laborious for the restaurant. I find that tastings offer the better value as well as focus of attention on the wines. Tastings also provide a far greater benefit to the winery, importer, wholesaler or producer showcasing their wine.

TBN: What are some wines that have done especially well for you by the glass?
EL: Cantine Valpane Barbera; Vinchio-Vaglio “La Romantica” Bracchetto; Emile Beyer Pinot Gris; Pali “Huntington” Pinot Noir; Viña von Siebenthal Gran Reserva Carmenere.

TBN: How many distributors do you do business with?
EL: Nine.

TBN: Do you have a system/routine for managing your wine orders?
EL: I usually order twice a week and prefer to send my orders via email or text so that I can reference my orders at any time.

TBN: Do you have a strategy for displaying wines at the restaurant?
EL: We have a sideboard table in the center walkway of our restaurant, where we display and hold all the wines we serve by the glass. The servers actually bring each bottle to the table to pour.

TBN: What recent trends have you noticed in wine?
EL:  Interest in wine has driven an enthusiastic interest in cocktails and beers.

TBN: What tips do you find yourself frequently telling your staff?
EL: Listen to the guest. Find out what they have had recently that they really enjoyed. And most importantly, be the hero by introducing your guest to a less expensive wine than they may have been willing to pay for—they will be impressed and appreciative!

TBN: What is another wine list/program that you admire?
EL: Spruce in San Francisco, for depth and breadth. They also offer a really terrific selection of half bottles and wines by the glass, cocktails, spirits, beers and ciders. A most clever addition to their wine list: the Under $80 section, for those customers who may not necessarily want to navigate through pages of Grand Cru Burgundy or cult Cabernet.


Cuisine: F. Scott’s – Contemporary American;
Table 3 – Traditional Brasserie
Selections on the wine list: F. Scott’s
- 375; Table 3 – 100
Bottles in inventory: 2,500
Price range of list: F. Scott’s – $25-$675;
Table 3 – $20-$150
Sweet spot on list: $75
Wine list strengths: Diversity—regionally,
varietally and stylistically
Wines by the glass: 35 (11 White, 10 Red, 2 Rosé,
 7 Sparkling, 5 Apéritif); changes every 2-3 weeks




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