EP 965 Tasting with Sommelier Michael Madrigale from Bar Boulud

Gary Vaynerchuk tastes with Michael Madrigale of Bar Boulud in New York City and they speak about the wine industry and how Michael became a sommelier. They discuss and taste two wines from Michael’s by the glass program, where he opens up older vintages of large format bottles and charges his cost.

Wines tasted in this episode:

2004 Bernard Morey et Fils Chassagne Montrachet Morgeot Premier Cru
1990 Domaine Clusel Roch Cote Rotie Les Grandes Places

Links mentioned in todays episode.

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luca bercelli


Line of the day (one of the best ever). The guest was talking about his ex-girlfriend and I’m sure he didn’t realise the double entendre when he followed up with ‘let’s get lubricated’. Also GV came out with ’10 Crack Commandments’ which I hadn’t heard of before.

Great show, loads of info, GV nerding it up…doesn’t get much better

Tags: Cote-Rotie, cru, French, red, review, Video, white, wine, wines

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  • Anonymous

    Did those large formats bottles have huge bunts?

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I don’t like the sommelier to taste it. I think sommeliers must know their wine list and what they’re serving. I think by the color and aroma of the wine, the sommelier should know if the bottle is good or not.

    That said, I think if I was ordering an old vintage or specialty, I would appreciate some expert view on the wine. The thing is, I don’t order that sort of wines due to the mark-ups. I drink them at home.

    Great show, wish I would see more passionate sommeliers around here.

  • Anonymous

    well said…

  • D

    QOTD: I typically offer for them to taste a wine I bring. Sometimes they give me a break on the corkage 😉

  • Anonymous

    Great guest, and nice job GV interviewing with minimal interruptions.

    qotd; No big deal, now if he was fixing me up with a girl he knows ….

  • Anonymous

    Great show, love the serious Sommelier guests. Michael and Rajat brought some thunder.

    QOTD: No problem at all, I know its only to ensure that the wine is what its expected to be.


  • Anonymous

    GOD I LOVE THE STORIES!!!!!!!! I Truely get lost in the stories! 🙂
    WHAT???? “The Ten Crack Commandments” WOW!!!!! 😛
    Great Show GV! I just can’t get enough when you have guests like this. Thanks for introducing us to Micheal. I literally could have sat here listening for another 2 hours at least. Thanks Gary! “THUNDER”
    QOTD: Sommelier’s tasting the wine before the customer doesn’t bother me in the least. I think it helps the novice wine drinker and for the more experienced it give a better perspective.

  • Anonymous

    Great show Gary, I think you’ve met your other soul mate. You two got on like a house on fire and will be friends for a long time. I’d love to visit NY. Your restaurants and wine scene is miles beyond the scene here in the UK.
    QOTD. As suggested early on in the show Michael is a ‘chef’ sommellier. At a restaurant I would hope the chef would taste all the sauces, marinades etc in his cooking. The same goes for the sommellier and the wine. Also, if they have given you great service and advice in picking the wine through their knowledge, giving them a tiny sample will only keep them 100%up to date on the quality of the wines they are serving.

  • Randall

    Second AndersN’s motion. All opposed? Anyone? Motion passes!

  • Alright Roi du Luker. I’m ready for you. Remember…dark chocolate and something sparkling.

    1. Toucan Sam
    2. Nick Mangold
    3. Ian Dorin

  • Two fantastic episodes (and back-to-back)!!!!!

    I love the big bottle format sooooo much. I would love to attend when I leave sunny So Cal for a vacation. Way to handle the white burgundy.

    QOTD: Totally acceptable practice. The sommelier is a trained professional and should be allowed to taste the bottle beforehand. I would like to say that if the bottle were corked that he could still offer a taste of the wine, as a way to educate the consumer–if he or she were willing to taste the off wine.

  • LurkerKing

    1. No, but I enjoy his cereal.
    2. No, not as large.
    3. No

  • Anonymous

    Wow another great show. Know where I’m going for wine when I go to NY.

    By the way Gary, dig just a little bit into Brazilian wines and teach us. Just went to Brazil a couple of months ago and I got lost and a guy helped me and he gave me his card in case I would need his help again and guess what- he was in the wine business and then we talked and talked about wine. He recommended me to try some sparkling, but I was not near a good wine shop and could only hunt one bottle down (not one of the ones that he recommended me), so it would be cool to get your input on that. And wines from India sounds so exotic.

    QOTD: I’ve never tried that. I’ve been to michelin restaurants in Copenhagen, but they have never done that. If he (or she) is gonna try the wine to make sure its ok I would not mind. If its just to taste it, I’m not sure how I would feel about it.

  • Anonymous


    Ive been to Bar Boulud..very nice.. 🙂
    Michael you seem to really know your stuff..and have passion for it. You were an awesome guest! Thank you.

    QOTD: I very much like when the Som tastes the wine. I feel like its a luxury service, and Im able to ask an expert opinions and questions. Of course, I wouldnt want him/her to drink a whole glass! LOL 😉

    Gary! How is Misha?! We need a photo..


  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Don’t taste my wine at $25 a glass. If it’s corked, I’ll let you know

  • Anonymous

    QOTD. By all means taste. It ensures no bad bottles go out. It refreshes their memory on a wine, and helps them to speak about that specific wine to educate the customer.

  • Nice guest. Wish it was other than French wine and regions again. I hope more Sommeliers watch this episode and see a huge opening to bring to the table different wines.

    QOTD: I think it’s a fabulous trend. I had a wine brought to me. I tasted it and I looked to the guy and said “I think we are going to be using this on are salad tonite” It was a wine that went bad. Happens.

  • TheSmirkingLurker

    TWO EPISODES…. *in*….*a*… *row*!!!

    and both were worth watching.

    Excellent… But I want a bigger bottle next time.


  • Rand! Happy New Year. I hope you had a good holiday season. 🙂

  • Grrrrr. 😛

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Oy. I don’t go out NYC sommelier style. Therefore I’ve never seen this. I guess it’s good if a professional checks to see if it’s corked.

  • Anonymous

    The first time a sommelier asked me if he could taste the wine, I think we had almost finished it. He explained it helped him and the chef, which seemed quite reasonable to me. It was some special occasion and a fancy bottle of something or other, and most restaurants can’t just pop these open to train staff.

    I think I would like to see the bottle opened, and the sommelier at the table with me for the first taste. That would be a good learning moment for me the consumer and I think for the sommelier first in tasting the wine and second in seeing the consumer response.

    Finally, as with any customer service, just tell me so I am not surprised!

    The word “chef”, as a quick google search will tell you, is a french word that translates directly to english as “chief”. Chef de cuisine just takes too long to say, so it has been shortened to chef.

    Very enjoyable show.

  • 10 Crack Commandments, I love it.

  • Braden G

    Biggie… rest his creative lyrical soul. I was spinnin’ a little BIG when I was wrapping xmas presents… I was also sipping the Crocker & Starr cab you tasted many episodes back.

    QOTD – If you have a good som serving you they should absolutely have the first taste. I like to think that they have been the caretaker, guardian, parent of the bottle you are about to enjoy and they are entitled and obliged to experience the magic or tragedy that has come to be under their attention.

    Great guest and welcome back. Hope you had a tremendous break with the family.

  • NJ Big Chris

    great guest…

    QOTD – Have never been to a restaurant where they drank my wine… But you seem like a person I would trust to do this for me.

  • Anonymous

    Funny how Scarface and wine can intersect. However, i do beleive that lesson 2 was don’t get high on your own supply. Lesson one, according to Frank Lopez was to never underestimate the other guy’s greed.

  • Anonymous

    Gary coming back, 2 for 2 on the week! Cool guest, its’ nice to see soms who are honest with thier personal preferences to wine, it specializes them to certain crowds and makes them experts.

    QOTD: It’s like buying a new car, if the dealership has put miles on it, it ain’t new and I’m not paying full price. If the wine sucks, I’ll send it back myself.

  • Very nice 😉

  • Anonymous

    Melba! Happy New Year to you too Girlie!! Yes, all was good, Im blessed…glad its over tho!! LOL How about you?
    (Could use some warm weather..a trip somewhere tropical is in order!)

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Michael, great question…I have to say that I think it’s important for the Somm or Wine Director to taste the wines. I also think that it’s important to decant for sediment (yet realize this is a personal preference that not all people share) to keep the wine brilliant and clear without allowing the sediment to cloud up the wines.

    On the same topic…do you taste the half bottles too? At that point I think I’d want to say no and if I have a problem with the wine I’ll ask the Somm to taste it. A 1-2 oz. taste out of a 375ml is a significant portion of the bottle to me. No problem when it’s a 750ml or larger though.

  • Anonymous

    GAry you da man !

  • I would love for you to try it, and give me your 2 cents. thanks mike, I love big bottle night. @wrollcia
    gv, never get high on your own supply.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I’d rather the Somm taste it to make sure it’s up to standards before serving it.
    Are you seriously going to take those bottles back with you and not let the WL staff taste them???

  • Great episode, Gary. Micheal was an extraordinary guest: comfortable and personable on camera, deeply knowledgeable, engaged in conversation with you. I would gladly watch future episodes of the two of you having conversations about wine, etc.

    QotD — The cooks, and likely the expediter, are tasting the food you’ve ordered. Why can’t the sommelier taste the wine? I have no problem with the sommelier tasting wine I’ve ordered. In fact, I prefer it. Why not use their professional expertise to its fullest extent? The sommelier isn’t trying to swindle you out of precious ounces, nor does he/she think that you are unable to detect off-flavors for yourself. The good sommelier is a partner working to coax your dining experience to its highest potential.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I would be disappointed if they didn’t.

  • Rock’n guest and rock’n show. I really enjoyed this episode. It is too bad that such amazing wines are not available to me locally.

    QOTD–If I am at a nice restaurant with a good sommelier, I expect him or her to sample the wine. It is also fun to have a moment of critical tasting with the sommelier at the table.

  • QOTD: I think if it’s that much a fine dining experience with good (moderate to expensive) wine being purchased, then it’s a perfectly find idea. Though I’d kind of like to see that experience done tableside.

    Excellent show. I still think Gary needs to not step on the guests’ speech so much, but hey, it’s your enthusiasm, Gary!

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic show might I say an amazing guest! Good conversation about the wine world in general. I like michael’s passion and enthusiasm.

    QOTD: When I was young like 16 or something. I was in this nice restaurant in France and the sommelier stood behind my father and sniffed the wine that he had ordered. After one sniff he cringed in disgust and dashed away from the table. Came back with another bottle and smelled it again and his face showed nothing but splendor. He happily showed and poured my father the wine. Because of events like these I am more than happy when a sommelier tastes my wine because they have the idea of what it is supposed to taste like. Not whether it is fantastic or not but what it is supposed to be like. I like that amount of care put into the wine, when the sommelier is happy with it it puts me that much more at ease.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I have no problem with the Sommelier tasting the wine. In fact, I usually save a taste for them at the end of the bottle.

    This was a great video. I love both white Burgundies and every type of Rhone wine, both north and south. Coincidentally, I have recently been drinking some northen and southern Rhones from 1985 through 1990 out of 750ml bottles. I have had them in my cellar since release, so I know their providence has been virtually perfect. These have been some of the best wines I have ever drunk in my life.

  • Anonymous

    I want you to taste it. that is why we are paying you

  • Anonymous

    TOP Hermitage wines year in and year out, EXCEPT Chave???? JL CHave Hermitage, $250-450, depending on vintage, what are the non-Chve all stars people!!!???

  • Yes! I want to see some non-pinot noir Oregon wine on here.

  • QOTD: I would like the somm to taste the wine. They are always knowledgeable about wine, so any chance to taste the same wine at the same time would be interesting.

  • Anonymous

    QOD: All good with the somm tasting my wine for me.

  • Anonymous

    EPIC show!!!! Gary, the thunder has been brought back into the building! Your guest was truly amazing and I could not help but smile throughout the entire show. Hopefully I will be in the same position Michael currently is in, in regaurds to his career,in about 7 years. Being a CKC and young striving Som. Gary thanks for the thunder, it truly bring thunder to my days at work!

    QOTD: being a certified som myself I think it shows pride in my recommendation. I mean I wouldn’t serve my guest something that would not pass my standards. However, I do not really care for when it is done in the back, I feel it is something that should be done in front of the guests.

    PS. hey gary I work in a large wine store and deal with a lot of customers of all sorts from high end to everyday people. But I came across something interesting a week ago that I wanted to share with you:

    I approached a customer walking in the “Loire section” and asked if they needed any help. They said they were looking for a chinon and wanted a recommendation for a good one, so of course I did. Then he wanted some portugese reds and I was like ” so you like portugese reds huh?” then he replied Ive never had one. I was like oh oookay? Then he wanted some more obscure wines like an asyrtiko and grower champagnes. So I said why are you looking for thes wines if you’ve never even had exposure to them? He said “well I was watching some episodes of wine library tv and was interested in trying some diferent wines”. I just smiled, it was an awesome moment where we both changed the wine world!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Oh yeah I’m in SoCal by the way!

  • RobinC

    I can see that it is a good idea if you trust your somellier, but I might feel a bit pre-empted. Once at a pretty nice restaurant three of us felt that one glass of our flight was bad, and no one would agree with us. The wait staff said that they took it back to the sommelier who said that it was just a taste preference but he never showed up at the table. So, if he had tasted it first, and approved it, it would have been even harder for us to assert our opinion. We all drink a lot of wine so I can’t think that we were wrong about the quality of the wine but it is a possibility. I don’t think that it was that great a wine to begin with. So – there are sommeliers and there are sommeliers. If I could choose I’d take the latter.

    I’ve eaten at Bar Boulud – last February. We go to the opera and it’s very convenient for that. I can’t remember the wines we had but I ate a truck load of mussels. My friend and I will definitely go there in May if I’m walking (injury).

  • John__J

    First I’d like to say this episode was a real joy to watch from start to finish. Mr. Madrigale was an excellent guest with great idea’s and a real apparent passion for wine. I was also quite impressed with his being very humble and approachable as arrogance can run quite rampant in the wine industry.

    Qotd: I think that is a Fantastic question. I live in the Baltimore area and I know a few of the very top restaurants in that area do that as well. I’m also a sommelier (at Antrim 1844), and have given it thought from both sides and I’m against it. As a consumer, if I’m spending my money on a bottle of wine (whether pricey or more modest), I don’t want someone else drinking my wine, even if it’s an ounce or two, that’s not myself or someone I’m dining with.
    I think it can also come across as quite condescending to assume that a guest isn’t savvy enough to realize whether a bottle of wine is flawed or not.
    One of the places I took wine training was with the Court of Master Sommelier’s. The guide book at the time for the introductory course (written by Master Sommelier Brian Julyan), addresses this and acknowledges that it is customary to do this in some restaurants. However he says when this is the custom, that it’s proper to obtain the permission of the guest first, and not to just assume this is alright. So having used that as a guide, it’s something I’ve taken with me when I’m the one serving wine to guests.
    With that being said, there have been times when the guest requested I do the tasting, in which case I’m happy to do so. There’s also been some times when after opening the wine I’ve been able to smell that the wine was “corked” or had another apparent flaw. Then I’ll let the guest know that I strongly recommend that I get them another bottle of that wine. But just to go ahead and taste a wine, even with good intentions, without the permission of the guest is something I’m against. I also know that that has kept some people away or something they take in mind when deciding which restaurant they will dine at (including myself).

  • Anonymous

    GV, long time watcher, first time commenter. Generally happy with lurking but MUST comment on how much I loved this episode! Michael Madrigale clearly has the passion and the knowledge that makes me love the wine world. Also completely agree about getting stuck in the ‘wine producing region bubble’. I have been living in Central Otago NZ for the last 8 months and, although I adore having the opportunity to taste many small production Pinots and the impact terroir and the winemaker make, I do really miss having the ability run down to the liquor store and get a little taste of Rhone, or Piedmonte, or Mendoza on a whim like I did at home in Toronto, ON. Perhaps grass is always greener?

    As for QOTD: Go for it! If you didn’t automatically, I would request that you do.

  • Randall

    Hope you are back and all healed… ahead of schedule. 🙂


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