Grace starts monthly wine program at “pour man’s prices”
As corkage fees drop like flies across the city, Grace Upstairs is hosting a monthly wine event starting on September 23 at which owner-sommelier Lesle Gibson will be serving glasses served at break-even points. “Now that I’ve settled here for a year and a half I want to start focusing more on what I love because I’m a sommelier first and foremost,” she says. “I became a sommelier in the late ’90s, back when there weren’t a lot of women doing it. It was a real boys’ club back then so it was a lot of fun cracking into that.”
This month, Grace is featuring rare California wines (Gibson previously opened three celebrity hot spots in L.A.) such as Santa Rita’s Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir ($24 a glass). On October 21, it’ll be Napa Valley’s Ramey Wine Cellars Chardonnay ($18) and Rouge ($18). On November 4, winemaker Tom Eddy will be at the restaurant with his Cabernet Sauvignon ($34) and, on December 9, it’s Biale Zinfandel ($22) and Petite Sirah ($23). The wines also come with canapés made by chef Dustin Gallagher.
“I privately ordered all these wines. You can’t just go into a store and buy them,” says Gibson. “We’ll just see how this goes through until December. After that I’d love to get some Ontario winemakers on board.”
As for those who’d like to purchase these limited edition wines at the restaurant, Gibson says she’ll refer them to Barrel Select, the importing company she worked with to bring the wines into Grace.