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

    I must have missed this “ten Crack commandments” bit, when was it? Mott, True Grit is awesome, and in my opinion better than The Fighter; but I will watch anything the Cohen brothers make.

  • Anonymous

    What can he say, Michael Madrigale likes big bottles and he cannot lie. Great episode. I will definitely check out Bar Boulud next time I’m in New York. I would enjoy tasting the wine along with the sommelier, it would be nice to bounce off ideas and tastes with them, especially if it’s someone who seems to care as much as Mr. Madrigale seems to.


    Alberto makes pizza’s as far as I know! đŸ˜›

  • Anonymous

    Contador won by cheating!!!!!! đŸ˜› There is not enough room or time to explain and if your a cycling fan I’m sure you know why. :O

  • Anonymous

    I had lunch at Boulet recently and the sommelier was nowhere near as knowledgeable as this guy. I wish you would have still been there; we would have had a great conversation.

    QOTD: Go ahead and taste it, but only if you discount the wine to reflect the portion you take out, or let me taste another one. đŸ™‚

  • Right! And Armstrong only had oats and OJ for breakfast throughout his career… đŸ˜‰

  • Anonymous

    Wow! Great show and awesome wines. Big bottles – gotta love that! I had my Northern Rhone epiphany in 2008 when we visited the region and had tastings and some of the best wineries – Clape, Guigal, Vernay, Gangloff, Chapoutier, Gaillard, Cuelleron, Villard, Graillot, to name just a few – and I fell in love with those wines. Loved the show!

    QOTD: Great question, Michael. Personally, I think I know enough about wine to taste it and judge for myself. I certainly understand why the sommelier does this and I don’t really object, but I guess I would prefer to be asked my preference. if I have any doubts, I will surely ask the sommelier to taste the wine and render his opinion as well.

  • JDR

    Thx for the superb episode. I am 25 years old, thinking about studying for sommelier and I completely got the music-analogy. Just hope I can find some inspiring people like Gary & Michael in Brussels.

    QOTD : I like to be able to ask questions about the wine as the sommelier tastes and maybe react to the expression on his / her face.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Is it the sommelier tasting instead of the guest or prior to the guest. Prior to the guest is good because the sommelier can check that the bottle has been stored properly and that it is good enough for the customer. Instead of the guest is not as good because regardless of the guest’s ability to discern quality, it is my understanding that it is an opportunity to decide if they dislike the wine enough to reject it.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Tough one. I’m not in favor of the Sommelier tasting the wine unbidden. This is not to say that I think my judgment is better, just that it should be presumed to be. I don’t think I have a problem with being asked whether the Som can taste (“may I” or better, “do you mind if I…”) with, or after I do. If the wine is ‘off’ or not up to snuff for a ‘big’ bottle, it’s a nice idea to have an expert jump in to take care of it. It is also good to see that the cellar is being looked after personally.

    I have to say that with a trusted sommelier, if he tastes first, why should I? If he tastes only if asked, I’m missing an opportunity. I’m amazed to say, I haven’t encountered the situation. I’d say “offer”, and provide good reason to appreciate it in retrospect.

  • QOTD: I appreciate if the somm ahead of me, if it has gone bad for whatever reason then I don’t want to be the first to know and once had them inform me that it was not going to pair well even after the bottle was open.

  • Randall

    Perhaps you missed the last sentence of my prior reply…


  • Great episode guys!

    QOTD: I have no problem with the Sommelier tasting the wine…I think its a great option to have in a restaurant.

  • Alexandre-CF

    GREAT, Nice guest.

    QOTD: don’t have a problem with it.

  • NY Pete

    must be a snow day … đŸ™‚

  • Pirata Cofresi

    Hey Gary,

    Great show! Thank you Michael for your insight on Burgundy and large formats. I am getting prepared for the Sommelier Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers in Orlando, Fl on March. I hope I can keep tasting and reading to be able to pass and see where it takes me in my passion for wine, any suggestions would be appreciated! Will probably be in NYC after my test in March, so will probably check you out. Thanks!

    Gary I was still able to tour Fontodi and Fonterutoli, had a great time perhaps I did not give you enough time to get back to me, but I was able to make it happen. Met with the Marchese at Fonterutoli again and also met Giovanni Manetti of Fontodi, their wines were spectacular!

    QOTD: I always ask the sommelier to taste, but have not come across any that have done it with out asking or that have initiated the taste. I could see one doing it with a very rare and/or older vintage just to make sure that the wine is not spoiled.


    QOTD: Only been to a couple of dinners at a restaurant with a sommelier… they never tasted first…

  • Anonymous

    you hate the Pats now wait until SUNDAY…… you can cry in your Bubbly

  • QOTD: I think it’s fine for the sommelier to taste the wine being served, then he/she can comment very specifically about the wine as they are pouring it. Also, great way to avoid a bad bottle being served.

  • QOTD: I only want the sommelier to taste my wine if I detect a flaw.

  • Awesome guest. I had one of the wine specials last time I went…1/2 a case of an incredible CdP was being poured by the glass, if I remember correctly.

    QOTD: I think it’s great…I love people too, and I think it’s important for a sommelier to interact with the guests. Even if the diner is fluent with wine, everyone stands to learn something, or at least share the happiness of wonderful bottle.

  • Really nice show! Appreciated your passion and your story, Michael.

    QOTD: Yes.. I’ve not experienced this before (don’t frequent restaurants with Sommeliers) but would appreciate his thoughts about the wine.

  • Good episode guys..
    the story of Micheal makes me think we are always on time to change our lifes professionally and lead them towards the things we love, as Gary told many times in his book

    I’m actually trying to do that even though I’m 30 and this makes a little difference from being 21 when Micheal said he changed his horizons..
    Gary which do you think could be the best first steps to make great changes and move towards the wine industry?

    QOTD: I think there is always time and place for things.. A sommelier who tastes your wines probably means you are dining in a good and maybe expensive and surely client focused restaurant.. therefore you kind of expect it, and maybe like it
    I personally like when there is such a huge focusness on the client even though I do not go so often to places that act this way

    In general I love when you can spend few words on wines at the restaurant with the people of the staff

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I’d prefer the Somm only taste the wine if I think something is wrong with it. But it’s not like I’d get mad if they tried it.

  • QOTD: I like the idea. It would be nice in order to be certain that damaged wine is not served. Sometimes I might sense something that is not quite right, like a slight cork damage, but I am not certain or confident enough to complain about it.

    I liked the show and am keen on trying som Cote Roti. I would be happy if you could recommend some younger vintages that are fine and more easily available?

    Also you both commented on the Beaujolais 2009 vintage, as you have done before Gary. How does this vintage stand up against the 2008 vintage? In my vintage table both 2008 and 2009 have top gradings for northern Rhone.

  • Anonymous

    Classy brother!

  • Guest

    Classy brother!

  • Anonymous

    Hope the waiter liked the wine because that would have been his gratuity at table.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds about my speed.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Depends on the wine. If the wine has a significant amount of bottle age on it, I’d like to see the somm take enough interest in the wine and me, for that matter. . .to make sure the wine is sound. On the other hand, if he’s serving a wine with a plastic cork and only a year or two old, then there is no real need for it. But, I do like to share my wine with the somm, regardless.

  • Anonymous

    Great show! Makes me want to find a girl from Burgundy with a vineyard!

    QOTD: I’ve never been that high up in the dining experience. But I’m coming to NYC in May. I won’t have a problem with it if you what to taste my wine then. Making reservations for Bar Boulud today.

  • QOTD: I appreciate it when a somm tastes simply because I’d rather have him (or her) spot a corked bottle or one that is otherwise funked or just showing really strangely. It is uncomfortable getting a bad bottle and having to try to explain it to a server or somm (and your dining companions) after the fact In addition, the time that it takes to handle the process distracts from table conversation and the overall meal.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve watched about 2 years worth of episodes and I’d just like to say that this has been, by far, my favorite guest appearance episode.

  • Anonymous

    Great show, like the big bottles, we at http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk do not stock any of the larger bottles, after watching the show will now stock that size. We should have bought some wines when by girls were born 22 years ago bet they would have been great now. Keep up the good work.

  • Anonymous

    Big bottles are exciting. After writing this I am checking my local shop because I need more in my own personal cellar.

    If a sommelier wants to taste the wine, I would prefer he do so, since then I can discus my own thoughts on the wine with him and also to empower the sommelier to be aware of his own wines. In theory this can heighten the wine experience the next time I’m at the restaurant.

  • lurker from waaay back, GREAT episode, really could dig your teeth into this one.

  • RobinC

    Thank you. I expect to be ready for physical therapy sometime in March. Seems like forever.

  • Anonymous

    This is the kind of show that has made Wine Library great! Keep up the good work! I know you don’t need a reminder Gary cause you always seem in tune but as you get busy with your fifteen minutes don’t forget about the root of your stardom which this is. Don’t call it a comeback! I’ve been here for years. AKA Great comeback Gary! I wish you and your family the best in 2011! Keep it coming son!
    QOTD: I’m a server @ Houston’s in Pompano and in my opinion if I were to taste the wine before I bring it to the table I’d be eventually using my wine key to defend myself from my guest saying their job. Furthermore not enough people are exposed to that kind of wine service here in the states, then again culture and tradition are not a big focus in our fast paced to be first @ everything society.(in my opinion)
    BTW: The Ten Crack Commandments reference……..priceless!

  • Anonymous

    I have two opinions on the Som. tasting the wine…… If I bring a bottle from my cellar, I usaully invite the Som. to taste it. But, if I am buying / ordering it from the resturant, then i oppose that custom

  • Anonymous

    Certainement le show le plus intĂ©ressant depuis très longtemps. M. Madrigale me semble une personne intĂ©ressante et passionnĂ©e et en rĂ©ponse Ă  sa question – ça me semble tout a fait normal qu’il dĂ©guste le vin avant de le prĂ©senter – comment ferait-il autrement?


    Paul C

  • Anonymous

    Never had a sommelier approach me at a restaurant. Never really been to a lot of ‘fine’ restaurants, but the few that had somms always steered clear of me for some reason. I’m assuming it’s for the same reason that I get treated sub par in my opinion in wine stores. I don’t fit the ‘mold.’ I’m a younger guy, more working class, and just don’t emit the wine vibe to professionals I guess. I don’t mind the somm tasting the wine though for a quick answer. He is the one that knows (or should know) what it’s supposed to taste like, temp, faults, etc, I just hope their honest enough to refuse to serve it if it’s bad.

  • Kinda meh, not really my style.

    QOTD: Only think its appropriate if there is a potential issue with the bottling.

  • Anonymous

    cool episode, i definitely gotta check out bar boulud next time in NYC. for the QOTD I think thats what should happen, its just like a chef that is tasting the food, you should definitely know what you are serving for benefit of both the consumer and the service

  • passion4wine

    Awesome guest Gary, really enjoyed this one immensely!

    QOTD; I would have no problem to have the sommelier taste the wine… restaurants we have been to in France the sommelier did not taste the wine. But I think it would be beneficial to do so.

  • Anonymous

    I loved this show. thanks. I feel fine about my wine being tasted, but maybe the sommelier could explain why they are doing so in case people are surprised. Michael, as far as your statement about the US now making the best wine ever: OR? sure. WA? definitely. CA? I don’t think so. Not on the whole, not in general. I think that was the 1980s.

  • Anonymous


    Great show, I have mixed feelings about northern Rhone to be honest, I had some 2005 Hermitage recently and it tasted not ready which makes sense since it was an ’05 but it makes it hard to have it on a semy regular basis since you gotta wait it out for many years and its also quite expensive. The other thing is, I love the peppery and spicy aspects of Syrah but sometimes it is olives galore which I cannot stand in wine eventhough I love olives, just not in my wine.
    What do you guys think?

    For the sommelier to taste my wine … with pleasure but he better ask me fisrt otherwise I would be utterly pissed for him to take 2-3 ounces off my already expensive bottle without asking first, that is plain unacceptable.

  • Don Simpson

    Great show!

    QOTD: I don’t like it when sommeliers taste the wine because I paid for it and I want to drink it instead đŸ™‚

    Random comment that your question reminded me of – it really pisses me off when restaurants do not include vintages on their wine lists!!! That is the WORST!

  • Anonymous

    GREAT guest, GV. This is giving me some ideas for the by-the-glass program at the restaurant where I work…

    QOTD: Fantastic question, and I know this could get some passionate answers from people. As a Sommelier, I offer the guest the first taste. If, however, it is an older selection or a higher priced bottle, and there is an off aroma of any kind, I will ask if the customer minds if I taste to be sure that the bottle is as it should be. I do NOT want to serve any wine that is off for any reason (storage, cork taint, etc.) even if the customer if ok with the way that it tastes. It is ultimately the responsibility of the Sommelier to provide the product at optimum condition, especially if the wine is recommended to be paired with the meal and/or requests of the customer. How can the Sommelier be sure that what he/she conceptually recommended is what is actually coming out of that specific bottle if he/she is not given the opportunity to evaluate it??

  • Anonymous

    Overall good episode and good quest. My only issue is one that GV brought up…All sommeliers love Burgundy. Now, I might be jealous b/c I can’t afford that stuff, but there is so much great wine out there that is so much more reasonably priced.

    QOTD: That has never happened to me, but I would actually like that. On a negative side, I remember one instance when I was out at a very nice restaurant and I gave the somm my price range, and he recommended 2 bottles that were 30% more than I wanted to spend. That kind of stuff drives me nuts. If someone gives you a price range, don’t try to slam them with a more expensive bottle. This is true of wine retailers as well. I love my local shop (Peck’s Wine in Warwick, NY) b/c they always give me a few options in the price range I am looking for.

  • Anonymous

    What an awesome episode. Wonder how I ever missed this one when it first came online.

    QOTD: I much prefer to go to restaurants that have a decent selection of wines by the glass. However, I actually like it when a sommelier tastes the wine first. That alone tells me that he/she is probably good at their job.


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