Keeper Collection #SommChat Guest Caleb Ganzer @ganzer_wein

5/2 Wine Director Caleb Ganzer, La Compagnie NYC


KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Welcome to #SommChat everyone! Tell your friends to join us to learn about #wine from Wine Director at @Compagnienyc in #NYC Caleb Ganzer @ganzer_wein!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: We're about ready to dive in w/questions, so shout out to #NYC Caleb Ganzer @ganzer_wein to say hello & so he knows you're here! #WineWednesday #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Don't forget that EVERY tweet during this chat should include the #SommChat hashtag in order for everyone to see it!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: As we ask Caleb Ganzer @ganzer_wein our Qs, you can ask your Qs as well! He'll do his best to answer all Qs in the order they come #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: W so many participants lots of gr8 Q's R asked! Even if u dont ask 1--give a S/O 2 @KeeperColl & @ganzer_wein 2 let us know u R here! #SommChat

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat hello everyone! Excited to be here! Thanks for having me!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Let's start talking #wine with #NYC Wine Director Caleb Ganzer tweeting on @ganzer_wein ! #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @ganzer_wein When did you first become interested in learning about #wine? #SommChat

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat got into wine in college about 14 years ago. Was a food runner then bartender at an Italian restaurant in Champaign, Illinois! ...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... started writing about wine for the local paper and working at a wine store — went down the rabbit hole HARD

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm @ganzer_wein what would you say are the biggest reasons for the success of @compagnienyc and anything you would do different at start?

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat the best way to be successful is put your guests and staff first — if they’re not happy then no one is happy. Foster a great environment and hopefully people keep coming back!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @ganzer_wein How do you identify a quality bottle of #wine to add to your #wine list @compagnienyc ? #SommChat

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat I taste wine all the time with reps and at all price points. I like to look value & authenticity, in addition to high quality. Wines that maybe taste similar to the great wines of the world...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... but also wines that taste unique, singular, and give a sense of place & time

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm how would you describe your customer @compagnienyc and waht do you think sets @compagnienyc apart from others in #NYC @ganzer_wein ?

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat our guests range from the complete novice to the seasoned pros. We love everyone who walks thru our doors. They are often creative, informed, well-traveled...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... they know what they want but they also give us a lot of trust. We are always eager to keep blowing away their expectations, whether it’s their first time or 99th visit...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... what sets us apart is i think that we bring a high level of food, wine, service into a casual atmosphere and keep the vibe casual and comfortable

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm can you describe your staff #wine training programs and what do you look for in hiring for the @companienyc floor @ganzer_wein ?

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat training is a little different than most places. We mostly just hire sommeliers who are already very well trained and we strive to give them a good home and a bunch of fun wines to play with! ...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... we look for people who love wine, love service, but are also fun, well-rounded people that can connect with guests on many different levels...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... training is less formal than in most places and more about being familiar with our products — from the killer food coming out of the kitchen to the latest verticals of Selosse!

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... we strive to have a healthy work/life balance and want our team to have many passions in life...

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @ganzer_wein Can you tell us how @compagnienyc came about? #SommChat

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat @compagnienyc is the NYC version of Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, which started in Paris about 8 years ago! My partners started Experimental Cocktail Club in Paris...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... and then wanted to open an “anti-natural wine bar” so they called it Surnaturels, or beyond-natural. You have to remember in Paris at the time and even today...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... natural wine has really taken over. It’s not that we’re against it — in fact i love many natural wines, but we prefer a non-dogmatic approach...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... @compagnienyc opened a year before me or my partner @ericwbolyard got here but they set us up for success to take it over and continue to build it up to what it is today!

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... it’s less about the politics of the wine or wine maker and more that it be a delicious beverage that brings pleasure...

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @ganzer_wein Q fr #SommChat #Somm How would you describe the atmosphere at @compagnienyc ? Do you find people are more buying BTG or Bottle? what abt Large format? is this diff than what U projected? #SommChat

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat We try to keep the vibe strong. From the decor to the music to the food to the wine, we aim to have @compagnienyc feel like ones own living room where there’s always a party going on...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... sales of BTG to bottles are about 50/50. Champagne is huge! Large formats do quite well. I guess what is most surprising is that nothing really sits around too long on the list! People are excited and that makes for a fun environment to share vino!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @ganzer_wein What R some of your Fav #wine and #food pairing at @compagnienyc ? Do you and #Chef discuss food as the menu changes? #SommChat

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat pairings are a little more free form here than at a traditional resto. We don’t really want to dictate but rather set our guests (and staff) up for success. We aim to have a wide array of textures, styles, prices, grapes, formats, etc. to pair with the exciting…

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... food that @ericwbolyard & his crew are putting out. We call it #fringefrance cuisine so we take inspiration not only from French heartland but also the brackish waters of the entire border and coastline of France...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... this allows us to reach far and wide for the best wines to complement that dynamic cuisine and we are not limited to the classics but can truly pull inspo from the entire wine world...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... that being said my favorite pairing is @ericwbolyard ‘a Buffalo Chicken Rillettes on toasted schmaltz baguette + blue cheese alongside a Riesling petnat by Fossil & Till from the finger lakes! Yum!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm @ganzer_wein how would U describe a typical week in UR position as #wine Dir @compagnienyc ? what positions did U have BF that made you ready for this?CG:

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat Great Q! My weeks are pretty crazy. In addition to running the wine program, were also running a business so i may need to head downtown and deal with a random NYC city issue or shoot a wine video with @vinojefftaylor ! ...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... my entire career I’ve worked in restaurants & mostly as a SOMM so that set me up to make the wine part of the job in a way “easier” that gets to be the fun part, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg! ...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... when you’re running a business you’re at the service of a lot of parties, from landlord, government, staff, guests, etc. It’s a lot to juggle but if you just keep in mind you’re in the service of others it also can make the non-wine parts both fun & rewarding...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of varied experiences and i encourage everyone to travel, taste, explore, experience as much as possible and that will help set you up for success when the time comes to run your own show!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @ganzer_wein The 20 plus page #wine list at @compagnienyc is quite extensive, what are some highlights on the list right now? #SommChat

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... many tend to be made by young kids, people working with unusual grape varieties, reviving forgotten vineyards, lower alcohol, fresh, clean, fun, sometimes funky, but always tasty! ...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... similar story in Australia too! Young winemakers starting new brands, working with unusual grapes, making fresher styles of wine & having a ton of fun. Lots of good vibes and surprisingly delish wines out there!

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat It’s good to have a lot of options but sometimes it can be overwhelming or daunting. Right now we’re super stoked on two regions in particular #fringespain & #newaustralia ! May 2018 we are collaborating with @VerveWine ...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... to promote the new hotness coming out of Spain right now, much of it in the fringe regions, on the borders, on the edge — Catalunya, Galicia, Canary Islands, Basque Country, etc... so were highlighting a lot of these wines...

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @ganzer_wein What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in the #wine industry? #SommChat

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat BE YOURSELF! the wine world is vast & varied and the best way to connect with it is by being as authentic as possible so that you can truly let your passions lead you into a potentially undiscovered corner of the industry!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm @ganzer_wein what is the biggest Challenge U have in getting #wines you want in #NYC for @compagnienyc list? How do you compete for getting allocations against long established restos?

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat we are fortunate in NYC for many reasons (1) we do get a lot of wines that may not make it to other markets, but yes competition can be fierce. (2) we also get a ton of wines that may not be discovered yet so it’s like a treasure hunt! ...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... well-known brands and producers are great to have but sometimes it’s good to zag when others zig. Finding the next generation, the hidden gems in portfolios is something i Iove to do too, just as much as sipping Raveneau or Coche ;)

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm @ganzer_wein Have you done any travel to learn about #wine, if so where? Is it possible with your position to leave to do this? If so, who does your work?

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat Travel is a MUST! I can’t stress this enough. I always encourage my team to travel. Without travel we’re just reading books and taking other people’s’ opinions as fact. You need to get out there and see the world firsthand! Somms are storytellers & translators...

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... if we’re not out there seeing the vineyards, meeting winemakers, tasting the food, drinking in wine bars, then why do we work so hard? Working as part of a team who shares this philosophy is key. They cover you when you’re gone, and you cover them when they travel!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm @ganzer_wein how is your #wine list @compagnienyc organized and why did you choose the format?

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat The list format is pretty straightforward. We definitely have not reinvented the wheel there. The most important thing to a wine list is having some sort of organization and sticking to it. Keeping it clear & concise. The guests & staff will appreciate the consistency..

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... and from there is just about keeping in mind that it’s your most important communication tool in the restaurant. So keep it organized (however you choose to do so) and keep it easy to read & Consistent... ours is geographical but it can be anything!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: #SommChat hellos to @PrimlaniKitchen @ricasoli99 @TraveleatloveMM @ENOontheMagMile @WarrenBobrow1 for your interest in @ganzer_wein on the chat today!

Katarina Andersson @ricasoli99: Hi #SommChat and @ganzer_wein 🍷 I am Katarina checking in from Florence

Leonardo Manetti @ManettiVino: Hi I am Lorenzo a young winemaker in Greve in Chianti #chianticlassico #sommchat Interesting info here

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Welcome back to #SommChat @ManettiVino glad you are enjoying our guest @ganzer_wein from @compagnienyc today

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat thanks for being a part of the chat! Great to have you here!

Leonardo Manetti @ManettiVino: Thanks ☺ @keepercoll...Hi Caleb @ganzer_wein #sommchat

Katarina Andersson @ricasoli99: Perhaps you have already discussed this...What is your strategy for Italian wines. Do you focus also on lesser know areas and grapes? #SommChat

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat hi katarina! I will admit Italian wine is not my field of expertise, that being said it was my first love in the wine world so i have a strong reverence for it! I look at Italian wines on the list 2 ways

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat ... (1) many guests are more familiar with Italy than France so i want to look for wines that will be delicious and make them comfortable (2) i like to explore the multitude of regions up and down and on the islands too that just overdeliver in terms of price/quality

Katarina Andersson @ricasoli99: Thanks for the explanation ☺ that sounds like a great strategy 🍷...was just curious as I know there are a lot of wines here that might be hard to find abroad...#sommchat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @ganzer_wein if you were not working in the #wine world, what would be your dream job? #SommChat

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat Hate to disappoint but i could win the lottery tomorrow and I’d be right back at work! I’ve found my dream job!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm @ganzer_wein do you see @compagnienyc expanding in the future with more locations ?

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat good Q! I think there is certainly more room to bring similar concepts to a lot of different markets! We’d love to have more locations, but 1 step at a time. Don’t want to grow too quickly and lose sight of our commitment to quality. Life is a journey not a destination!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm @ganzer_wein do you see @compagnienyc expanding in the future with more locations ?

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat good Q! I think there is certainly more room to bring similar concepts to a lot of different markets! We’d love to have more locations, but 1 step at a time. Don’t want to grow too quickly and lose sight of our commitment to quality. Life is a journey not a destination!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Time to wrap up! Hope you enjoyed this hour of #wine talk w/ #NYC Caleb Ganzer on @ganzer_wein! #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: It was great to have #NYC Caleb Ganzer @ganzer_wein join us today for #SommChat. We hope everyone learned as much as we did!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Please join us in thanking #NYC Caleb Ganzer @ganzer_wein for his time teaching us about #wine fr @Compagnienyc ! #SommChat

Caleb Ganzer @gazner_wein: #sommchat thank you so much for having me! This has been a fun experience and a cool format for getting to know a lot of different folks! Great idea and see you again here soon!