Women in Wine: Molly Rydzel, Head Sommelier at Public Restaurant

Categories: Unscrewed

Are there any wines you tire of carrying but do because people want them?
I'm really over Sauvignon Blanc. I know it is summer and Sauvignon Blanc is the easiest choice for someone looking for a "dry white wine," but come ON! Our most recent staff training focused on dry white alternatives in an effort to teach guests that there are other options out there. For example: Grüner Veltliner, Clare Valley Riesling, even Manzanilla Sherry.

Alternatively, are there wines you wish you could offer but doubt customers will order?
I discovered a rosé from Clos Cibonne in Provence that is aged under flor. It was one of the coolest things I've ever tasted, and I'm dying to carry it. I'm hesitant because the average rosé consumer tends to stop at "Provence-style" or "strawberries."

Have you noticed any consumer trends over the last few years?
Did I mention Sauvignon Blanc yet?

Do you have a favorite wine and food pairing?
I'm a big fan of non-wine pairings. Junmai sake is delicious with ceviche dishes. Moa lager from New Zealand has expressive cardamom flavors that complement our kangaroo falafel dish. A tasty espresso-based dessert cocktail with a chocolate dessert can be exciting instead of the same old port. People get excited when they get to experience something unexpected.

What do you like to drink off the job?
I'm into sake right now. When I order it out I always ask the server to "sake it to me." I really embarrass my friends sometimes.

What interests do you have outside of wine and work?
I'm a playwright. I'm producing a piece I wrote in this year's New York City Fringe Festival. It's called Certifiable, and it's about a love triangle and a crazy sommelier. I'm also a massive horror-movie buff.

If you could be traveling anywhere right now, where would you be?
On the Trans-Siberian Railway between St. Petersburg and Moscow. I studied Russian literature in college, and a trip to Dostoevsky's homeland has been a dream of mine for many years.

Lauren Mowery writes the Unscrewed column for Fork in the Road. Visit her blog, Chasing the Vine, for more on wine and travel.

Location Info


210 Elizabeth St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

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