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Ask the Sommelier

By Stett Holbrook


THE PLUMED HORSE in Saratoga has long had one of the country's deepest wine lists. When new owners opened the restaurant after a $9 million remodel in 2007, they committed to adding even more selections to the already prodigious cellar. With a wine list thicker than the phone books for some small towns, it takes an expert to guide you through the sea pricey juice. That's what Seth Sutherlin does. He's Plumed Horse's newly named head sommelier.

METRO: Why did you decide to pursue a career in wine?

SETH SUTHERLIN: I have always had a love for wine, but it was several years ago shortly after doing a stage in a couple of Washington wineries and making my first Oregon pinot (a disaster) that I was absolutely hooked and wanted to pursue it as a career.

What makes the wine list at the Plumed Horse special?

The Plumed Horse list is one of the largest cellars in the country with over 2,100 unique selections. But it is the restaurant's commitment to the local wineries and winemakers that makes it special.

What wine or wines are you passionate about right now?

In this economy I believe in giving back to the community of that surrounds us, that's why my focus is on locally produced and grown wines. The Santa Cruz Mountains also represents some of the top wineries in the county with the likes of Kathryn Kennedy, Ridge and Mount Eden.


What are some of the best wine values now?

There is a lot of value out there right now especially as there is a glut of wine coming on the market. I still like looking for the lesser-known varietals like roussanne, grenache blanc and mouvedre.

What is your go-to wine for every day, casual drinking?

My go-to wine right now is a white blend from South Coast Winery in Temecula called "GVR," a blend of grenache blanc, viognier and roussanne. It evokes the flavors and freshness of spring and summer.

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