Featured User: Peter Sultan

Peter Sultan is a born and bred New Yorker. He is an art school dropout who lived in multiple, previously affordable parts of Brooklyn and Bronx before settling in one of the river towns, Hastings-on-Hudson NY, with his wife and daughter for the last several years (along with all the other, newer and tattooed Brooklyn refugees). His wife is Argentinian and while not a wine lover, prefers Italian reds, Lambrusco and German Rieslings , so they always keep those in stock. He has worked in mental health and healthcare for close to two decades, the last twelve plus as a social work supervisor in the HIV/AIDS service of a NYC based hospital. Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Peter Sultan: Even though I grew up with a British mom who cooked good Julia Child cuisine (think chicken livers in red wine and pear clafoutis) and liked wine, and as a teen/young man I cooked professionally in kitchens in Nantucket, Massachusetts, I didn’t get the bug till a best friend introduced me to a $7 Spanish Borsao. At the time we thought it so cool that alcohol could be peppery. We were in our early thirties, so late bloomers. Then I was able to fan that spark by going to a local but super stocked wine store in Inwood, NY that specializes in Spanish wine. I spent almost any opportunity each month just hanging out with the staff, some of whom were uber knowledgeable and later started their own import companies or went to work for great importers, and attending their tastings. I learned as much by what the staff would tell me NOT to drink (they would literally take bottles out of my cart) as by their recommendations. That’s how I began to develop my palate, through the prism of good values like Sherry , the Loire , and of course old school Rioja , like Rioja Alta and Lopez de Heredia . I learned to trust good importers like good movie directors—if I dug their style, I went with them. I kinda side stepped Bordeaux and big Cali producers at the time. It was also helpful to learn that wine stores are like museums—just because they have it, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good or that it suits you. Since then, I read anything I can get my hands on, with the out of print Red Wine with Fish being one of my favorites. I've also kept up a weekly routine of drinking good wine with two best friends—usually tasted blind and eating my friends' great cooking—for about the last nineteen years. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? PS: The Canary Islands —they call it heroic viticulture for good reason, given the moonlike volcanic landscape, but the wines themselves check all my right boxes: strong acid spines, incredibly aromatic, medium bodied, layered, reasonably priced and always flex with food. High-toned but really develop in the glass. They strike me as where cru Beaujolais were several years ago, at the start of their renaissance—high quality, dedicated vintners, natural farming, food friendly and crazy reasonably priced. D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? PS: That’s a toughie, as I drink a lot of natural wines. Early on was a Puffeney Vin Jaune, but I wasn’t ready for it, but that would be my pick for an unusual wine I didn’t like back in the day (of course I adore Jura now). For one I did like, I’d have to pick a small Rheinhessen producer Rosé: Schloss Muhlenhof Spatburgunder Blanc de Noirs Trocken Rosé . It’s really a white wine with a gorgeous copper color. It’s remarkably seductive in its balance between acid and breakfast fruit, but also has some depth. It’s like a pale echo of a Pinot Noir, but filtered through a funky German looking glass. I’m not typically ga ga over rosé, so I’m surprised by my choice (which is partly what I love about wine—embrace the mystery). D: What is your golden rule for wine? PS: I once went to a poetry reading with Seamus Heaney, who insisted on reading a poem twice, to truly hear it (or at least start), and this practice has struck me as applicable to many areas of my life including wine. I like to try a bottle of wine at least twice to start to get a real sense of its nature, and my responses to it. Even then I still feel like enjoying wine is like a love affair—it all depends on where I am in my life. It can start hot and heavy but taper off, some are mere blips, and there are some I’ll always have a special fondness for (like old school Rioja, Huet Chenin Blanc or Olga Raffault Chinon ). Also, a mandatory chill on reds and a few tics above room temp for whites, try ANY woman vintner's wine as it will typically be better, don't drink wine when you're angry, and drink with ANYONE whose company you enjoy regardless of their wine knowledge. D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine, what is your second option? PS: My wife likes hoppy beer, and we have plenty of access to craft beers, so it’s not a bad option, but if it’s just me drinking, I’ll always go for an Italian spritz of any kind—could be a Negroni, or anything with Aperol or Amaro. Don’t get me started on Amaro! D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine PS: She by Graham Parsons: 2015 Edmunds St John-Rocks and Gravel (Rhône blend) -A quiet, laconic and fresh wine—everything I love about the ‘new’ Cali wine but by a serious old school maker. Both song and wine are American at their core. Vía Con Me by Paolo Conte: Azienda Agricola Moro Rinaldini Lambrusco Amabile -Lambrusco makes everyone happy, including my wife. It’s all about being a foil for food and setting a mood, but a small family maker like this also brings attention to detail—a lovely graininess and fine mousse, and the sweetness doesn’t cloy. Like the song. D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? PS: What I am drinking now: 2015 Rijckaert Coteaux Bourguignons Rouge “Correaux” - old (50+) vine Gamay produced in a Macon property by an excellent Jura (but of Belgian descent) producer who has a Burgundy pedigree. I can’t emphasize how much I love this wine. Will let you fill in the anthropomorphic pieces. It does fascinate me how one vintner's style can grab hold of me, as this maker’s Jura Chardonnay also does. It’s really a Gamay with a deeper soul-and can sing baritone as well .....and he drops the mike....

Château de Brézé

Clos Mazurique Saumur Cabernet Franc 2013

Didn’t notice the vintage till too late, but pleasant surprise: enveloping pillow of a cab franc, seamless soft tannins with the fine grittiness I love about the varietal. So not the end of its drinking window, though closer to it. Some importers’ wines I buy without question: Becky Wasserman (vía Martin Scott) is one of them. — 10 months ago

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Peter Sultan

Peter Sultan

Finding Thierry Germain still a challenge @Severn Goodwin ! even in Westchester/NYC Mecca market but check out my reviews of Saumur Domaine De L’Enchantoir CF-brought in by Daniel Johnnes, Burgundy meister
P A

P A Premium Badge

@Peter Sultan Peter Nice feature on you Cheers 🍷
Peter Sultan

Peter Sultan

Thanks Matey@P A !

Domaine de la Tour du Bon

Bandol Mourvedre Blend 2014

I’ve never had a wine that changed so dramatically with each sip. This does. Give it air, decant the hell out of it, just know the bass notes will deepen and amplify. Beautiful. — 10 months ago

Owen Mazon
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Jason, Erik and 4 others liked this

Edmunds St. John

Rocks and Gravel Dry Creek Valley Mourvedre Blend 2015

47% mourvedre, 39% grenache, 14% syrah (on front label!)—this opens up so beautifully. If only I had a case to lay down. Laser beam thread of acidity, St Josephs/ Northern Rhone role model despite Southern blend, high toned: subtle, crushed black fruits, cassis. Absolutely charming but refined as well. Viva old school Cali makers like St John. — a year ago

Owen Mazon
with Owen
Severn and David liked this
David Clinton

David Clinton

Gram Parsons 🤘🏻

Castello di Monsanto

Riserva Chianti Classico Sangiovese Blend 2014

So solid, dark fruits & grip, has a density & elegance belying its price — 9 months ago

Severn, Sharon and 4 others liked this
Pinotman /// Andreas

Pinotman /// Andreas

Good and always at a good price.

Fattoria Rodáno

Viacosta Chianti Classico Sangiovese 2013

Reminder that tannic beasts can still lurk in medium boned wines. Really needs time to unfurl from its raspy origin state, but when it does, is remarkably fine tuned, needle precise acidity, lovely black fruits. Drank really noshing on Parmesan roasted potatoes but could match all kinds of foods — 10 months ago

Jason, Severn and 3 others liked this

Tomás García

Amontillado Pedro Ximénez

A very decent & honest Amontillado—& crazy cheap, like under 20$. Just a slight chill helps the chicken bouillon & toffee notes pop. — 10 months ago

"Odedi" and Severn liked this

Chambre d'Hotes Rijckaert

Coteaux Bourguignons 'Correaux' Vieilles Vignes 2015

Favorite maker who brings soul & detail —a decant really makes it sing, this ain’t no one note gamay. Dry, structured, dark fruits ( not cherry compote like beaujo). — a year ago

Owen Mazon
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Ira, Jason and 3 others liked this

Nicole Chanrion

Domaine de la Voûte des Crozes Côte-de-Brouilly Gamay 2013

“Has both elevation & density” says my friend. Aged Brouilly after I saved just one out of a case. I thought a bit awkward & it’s lost it’s plum deeper notes, but my buddy thought otherwise. Still, wished I had saved a few more for comparison. Kermit importer — 10 months ago

Owen Mazon
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Severn and Alex liked this

Schlossmühlenhof

Blanc de Noirs Trocken Spätburgunder Rosé

Striking copper tone, a tell of its unusual flavor profile. I can t nail it but its juicy, balanced, a more integrated/ macerated fruit thing but don t ask what. Intriguing, under 16$, and Savio Soares import — 3 years ago

Erik and Severn liked this
Erik Longabardi

Erik Longabardi

Love this one!
Peter Sultan

Peter Sultan

@Erik Longabardi you are probably right-even though @Delectable Wine does list as a rose-look up @Stuart Pigott wine of the month review. It is indeed a unicorn wine. The dividend of following the importer savio soares

Château Cheval Blanc

St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend 2006

To bring in the new year with my homie. A monster & needs days not hours to unfold. We had the Richjaert old vine gamay to start, which was way more approachable. — a year ago

Owen Mazon
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Ira, "Odedi" and 7 others liked this