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Get in the backseat and let Jason Drive!
Jason Baumgarten loves it when regular Willi’s Wine Bar customers ask him to “drive.” This means they want him to guide them through the many delicious choices on the menu AND choose wines that pair perfectly.
Jason has worked at Willi’s Wine Bar for 10 years, and has gained a loyal following of customers who entrust him with their palates, and rely on him to create a fun dining experience.
He’s a good person to trust. Before coming to Willi’s Wine Bar, he worked as a “cellar rat” in Napa. He learned how wine is made from some of best, spending time at wineries like Domaine Chandon, Beringer, and Robert Mondavi. He then made a career transition into fine dining and learned early in his career to anticipate the needs of customers, and make memories.
“My introduction of food and wine pairing for people is to think of it like drinking coffee with cream and sugar,” says Jason. “You get this tannic black cup of coffee and you want to make it palatable. Some people like more cream, some like more sugar. I try to figure out where their palate wants to go.”
With the wide selection of wines on the menu at Willi’s, and the option to purchase a 2 oz. or a 5 oz. pour, Jason says it gives him a whole “tool chest” to create fun and interesting pairings for guests.
So what is Jason’s favorite food and wine pairing?
Goat cheese, beets and Pinot Noir.
“This was the first wine and food pairing that blew my mind.”
So what’s your favorite food and wine pairing? Please share in the comments below.