Friday, April 1, 2011

Kevin Burns "Wine Profile"

In 1976, my passion for wine was cultivated in a Zen-like motorcycle trip through California wine country. Anyone could buy expensive wines and portray themselves as wine experts, but I didn’t have that luxury or privilege. Passed the “jug” wine factories in Los Gatos and San Jose, including Almaden and Gallo, and headed into the mountains and valleys of Santa Cruz, where I started “two-a-days.” Two wineries a day was all I could handle on a motorcycle, but received many offers to stay.

I could write a book on that wine trip through Monterrey and Governor Ronald Reagan’s ranch in Santa Barbara, which “no place before, or since, has ever given Nancy and me the joy and serenity.” It was 1976, America’s Bicentennial Celebration, and it was time to gas up and head back to the Parade of Tallships in New York Harbor.

Back in New York, held corporate management positions with MasterCard and AXA Financial which included procurement and personally conducting wine tastings from Pebble Beach, CA to TPC Sawgrass in Florida. My wine experience was influenced by countless bottles and tastings at Zagats top ten restaurants in Manhattan, but the following people were my mentors:

Drew Nieporent (Tribeca Grill and Nobu)
Alan Stillman (Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Cité, Park Avenue Grill, Post House)
Michael McCarty (Michaels NYC & Santa Monica, CA)
Danny Meyer (Union Square Café)
Richard Kocher (Brass Rail, Hoboken)
Special mention to Jimmy Nicholas (Telepan)

Received Certificates of Recognition from the Wines of France and Wines of Spain, who graciously invited me to their annual wine dinners and tastings in New York when they brought new products to market and wanted educated consumer opinions.

Another special mention goes to Kevin Zraly, one of the greatest wine authorities and teachers of wine in the world! Took Kevin’s course at Windows on the World, the elegant restaurant atop the World Trade Center where he was the cellermaster of one the greatest wine lists ever assembled. Kevin’s answer to what is the best wine was, “the one you like.”
Blind Tastings are my specialty as I carry Kevin’s advice, “drink what you like” not what other experts say is good.

Please come join us for our Blind Wine Tasting, Wed. April 13th @ 7:30 - 9:30PM. For details please call Kyla Heo at 201.661.1715

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