A Fine Wine Lounge ….

With the 10th anniversary of the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival coming up next week, the Insider thought it’d be cool to check in with sommelier Jeffrey Birkemeier of the Stave Wine Lounge at the Inn of Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach.

Last night’s dinner? Nice rack of lamb with stuffed mushroom.

I’m trying not to drool, was that at the Spanish Bay restaurant? An amused laugh from Jeff… No, my wife is a personal chef, so she had some left over from a client and I was the lucky recipient.

Favorite drink? Well, it’s got to be wine. I’ll say champagne. But it’s got to be something I can afford, he says with a dry as Brut chuckle. Say a bottle of Jacquesson.

Some wine guys say it’s got be champagne but I’ve had some decent California sparklers. Absolutely. Ultramarine out of Sonoma makes a terrific sparkler that stands up to champagne easily.

Favorite music? Bob Dylan. I got to see him six or seven years ago in Monterey at an outdoor gig and he was great.

Favorite dinning spot? I’m pretty much tied to the Stave right now and I got to say my wife’s cooking is pretty hard to beat.

Any brush with celebrity? Not at Stave so far, but I had a bunch when I was at Casanova but I prefer to be discreet and not say.

What does he like most about living in Monterey? I love the weather and the sense of community here.

Final thoughts? Just let your readers know that I’ve been to a fair bit of trade shows and the like, but the Pebble Beach Fest is the best. It really exceeds all the others.