Sara Bareilles will be performing at the Woods at Fontanel on July 30.
As one of the city’s few officially designated sommeliers, Travis Brazil is a hot commodity. A Brit by way of Los Angeles, he consults on the wine list at Flyte and recently started on as the wine director at newly opened Aura. “All sommeliers dream of building something from the ground up,” he says. For Aura, run by Mathew Igwonobe, formerly of Quails in Brentwood, that meant putting together a list that is eclectic, worldly, and approachable (the space is the former home of Virago). “You can pick almost any country that grows wine and we’ll have something from there,” he says.
It’s the house wines, though, that might give guests pause as they’re the first in town to be offered on tap. “When you’re serving a house wine, you want it to be as vital as every other wine you open by the bottle,” says Brazil. The tap system allows the wine to stay fresh at a stable temperature (47 degrees for whites, 60 degrees for reds) but also makes for an eco-friendly alternative to glass. All four house wines—cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, gruner veltliner, and pinot noir—are single-vineyard varietals produced by Darcie Kent in Monterey, California and are well-priced at only $8 by the glass. Brazil notes that the selection might change as the restaurant evolves but rest assured, he says, “you’ll never have to feel like you’re rolling the dice on a house wine.”
BY THE GLASS:
Darcie Kent Pinot Noir (on tap, $8): Made with single-vineyard grapes, it boasts a very distinct, American style of pinot.
Darcie Kent Gruner Veltliner (on tap, $8): Gruner is rare grown in America but the winemaker had an Austrian grandfather and decided to introduce it to the States by planting a small plot in California.
BY THE BOTTLE:
Mother’s Milk Shiraz ($60): It has this old batman-style cartoon on the label but it’s also really approachable, good stuff.
Monsters, Monsters Attack! Riesling ($60): It’s a great Australian Riesling that goes well with food. I’m also having a bit of a laugh since it’s an homage to old B movies, and to my wife who used to act in them.
1811 Division St.