This is an excerpt from Restaurant
Wine, issue 112, March/April 2006.
Operation Profile: Hearth
Eclectic, Seasonal Wine Selections,
an Unusual Wine List Format, and Daily Staff Wine Training
Bring Hearth’s Wine Program to Life
New York, NY—More and more upscale restaurants
in this country have seasonal menus, where dishes showcase
ingredients that are fresh and/or widely available
only at certain times of the year. Such menus change
several times a year, sometimes month to month, even
day to day.
But surprisingly few of these restaurants feature
wine lists that change appreciably when their menus
do. Of course, the wine lists in most upscale establishments
are, by definition, works-in-progress, since items
sell out and need replacing, and/or new wines are added
on a regular basis. Even so, “seasonal revisions” rarely
involve changing more than a third of the wines featured
(except in areas that truly have well-defined high-
and low-traffic seasons), usually less, and don’t
perceptibly change the stylistic center of gravity
of the wine program.
Which makes the wine program at Hearth noteworthy.
Here, co-owner Paul Grieco and beverage manager Hailey
Rose orchestrate a 250 item list that undergoes a major
metamorphosis four times a year. Grieco says that roughly
three-quarters of the wines change from quarter to
quarter, and that the general styles of the featured
wines, like dishes on the menu, shift from lighter
in spring and summer to fuller in fall and winter.
This focus on seasonality provides both a structure
for Hearth’s wine program and a major point of
differentiation for it in the intensely competitive
New York market.
is an excerpt from Restaurant Wine, issue 112, March/April
2006. Subscriptions start at $99 per year in the U.S.
Visit our subscription
page to place your order today. Also, browse
our complete back issue collection by
topic to buy individual back issues ($24 each / $27 outside USA) for