Enthusiasm Pours Over the Glass …
Enthusiasm. It’s such a magical word. One of the reasons I love writing about food and wine so much is its purveyors bring so much enthusiasm to the table. None more so than the proprietor and winemaker of Sonoma’s Aperture Cellars, Jesse Katz. Aperture Cellars will be hosting a special event for the V Foundation to support cancer research on March 31, Thursday, Epicurean Winery Dinner, at his winery estate with Jesse as host, pairing his fine wines with Chef Dustin Valette’s exquisite cuisine.
Bubbling over with so much enthusiasm for every NSI quiz question asked, it was a little hard to keep up with Jesse, but a whole lot of fun. Cheers and enjoy.
What was last night’s dinner? Tacos! Really delicious!
What’s your favorite music? Anything live! I love all genres of music, except country which I’m working on. But at our harvest you can hear everything from gangsta rap blasting in the morning to classical at night.
What’s your favorite drink? Do I have to say wine? I just love everything about wine. Love champagne, whites in the summer, reds in the winter. Love pairing it with food. It truly is God’s nectar.
What’s your favorite place to dine in Sonoma? I really love Single Thread. But if you don’t have the time to do a 10 course, three hour tasting menu, then I can’t recommend what Dustin is doing over at the Matheson enough. Great food and atmosphere.
What’s your favorite thing about living and working in Sonoma? I’ve literally been around the world. Argentina, France, Napa, you name it, name a wine region and I’ve probably been there. But there’s no place I’d rather grow grapes and make wine than in Sonoma. And the people who make wine here all feel the same, just not a better place in terms of soil, viticulture and community.
What makes a great winery? I love when a winery has a pure expression from its soil and winemaker. Just a pure vision of what they’re trying to achieve with the wine and hopefully have the taster catch the vision and feel the same.
Any brush with celebrity? This is where I lost Jesse a little, he started naming so many ex and current NFL, NBA players, Ellen Degeneres, etc. that I jokingly said to him, “Are you sure you’re not a little self-delusional?” which made Jesse laugh his head off. No, I got the pics. I did the wedding wine for Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel and just came back from having a blast at their Montana estate.
Any wine, restaurant meal or trip on your bucket list? Oh, before the pandemic, I loved going to France every year, just so many great wine regions and incredible food. But now that things appear to be opening up, I’d love to go South Africa’s wine regions and explore something new.
Final thoughts? Just so honored and happy to be part of V Foundation’s fundraising events. But here at Aperture we couldn’t be prouder to be hosting the opening night dinner at our winery on Thursday, March 31st. I know it’s going to be a fantastic night.