Sommeliers are notorious for not staying with an establishment for no more than five years at the most. Even if they’re wildly happy with a place, it just seems to be the nature of the beast that wine people move on. So it was a pleasant surprise when recently conversing with Elizabeth Cahill, to learn that she has been a sommelier at Napa’s Auberge du Soleil The Restaurant for 14 years. But she laughed and said, “that’s nothing, our wine director, Kris Margerun has been here for 36 years.”
I had gotten in touch with Liz because I had come across a wine article that described how she tried to give her dining guests a unique wine experience by not pushing or forcing a Napa wine on them, but giving them a pour of a Napa wine and a similar wine from around the world to open their palette. “Before Covid we had about 40 bottles that were open for single pours, but now it ‘s down to about 20. But I still like to offer that and it’s nice that most people stick with the Napa pour.”
A wine gal who is into promoting Napa wines and others from around the world, was a gal after my heart and a natural for the NSI quiz and away we went. Cheers and enjoy.
What was last night’s dinner? Since Covid, my neighbors have been having a happy hour and she made a goulash type dish, pasta and tomato sauce.. And I supplied the wine from Savage Cellars.
Favorite music? What band or genre? Pink Floyd is my fav group but I listen to everything from Tupac to Biggie Smalls.
Favorite drink? A margarita. And it can be basic bar tequila, once you add the mix, who cares?
Favorite place to dine in Napa besides Auberge? I like Farmstead a lot. I’ve dined at those tasting menu places and I really could care less, I don’t want art on my plate. I want a good size portion that tastes great and Farmstead delivers that every time.
Favorite thing about living and working in Napa? The wine culture. When I see a top wine maker like Heidi Barrett at the grocery store it blows me away. These are my people and my kind of celebrities.
Any brush with the other kind of celebrity? At Auberge du Soleil every guest has celebrity status! Unfortunately I can’t reveal names since we always protect guests’ privacy.
What makes a great restaurant wine list? It’s got be well-rounded, but most importantly, it’s got to reflect what the restaurant is about. It drives me bonkers when a restaurant doesn’t have a wine list that matches the food and theme of their restaurant.
Any wine, trip or restaurant on your bucket list? I’d love to go to Italy, specifically the Piedmont region for the food, wine and truffles.
Final thoughts? What do you mean? What can I say? I love living and working in Napa. Weather is amazing, great community, people are great and love every minute.