Star Sommelier

Going 10 Rounds with Sommelier Eric Renaud

The wine director at Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, which stocks more than 6,500 wines, tackles our speed round of questions.

Courtesy Bern's Steak House

What do you like to drink after a shift? “White Burgundy.”

What is the all-time best dive bar jukebox song? ““Under Pressure” by Queen.”

Name the first good wine you ever drank and where you had it. “1989 Château de Beaucastel, Châteauneuf du Pape. It was on a date at my home.”

What book on wine, cocktails, spirits or food is your go-to resource?The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson.”

Name the wine region that took you the longest to truly understand. “Burgundy.”

What’s your favorite wine and food pairing?Shellfish and Chablis.”

Ever appropriate to sip white wine at room temperature? “It depends on the room temperature. French room temperature? Always. American room temperature of 72 degrees? Never.”

What’s your favorite bottle of wine under $20? “Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc les Setilles.”

What’s your favorite bottle of wine over $1,000? “Any vintage of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Though the greatest wines ever produced were the 1873 Château Rauzan-Ségla and the 1945 Château Mouton Rothschild.”

What tool do you use to open a bottle? “A Chateau Laguiole Corkscrew.”

Eric Renaud is the wine director at Tampa’s legendary Bern’s Steak House, which stocks more than 6,500 bottles of wine.

Interview has been condensed and edited.