Sometimes it’s your first taste of something that you remember forever. Other times it’s the experience you were having, or you you were with, that creates that palate memory,

My first wine memory and taste- at age 15- was my Dad teaching me how to properly serve and taste wine. he wanted me to learn that good wine existed from many parts of the world. My only experience with wine was sipping Mogen David at Passover, so any wine would be an upgrade. With my Dad it was an adventure.

Proudly wearing his tastevin around my neck, I demonstrated to my classmates how to open and serve a bottle of wine in my public speaking class. The only issue was my teacher would not actually allow me to open the wine since we were all underage. The first wine I actually tasted was Mogen David during a Passover seder. But that doesn’t really count! Fortunately, I had nowhere to go but upgrade in my wine life.

Rajat Parr with his new wine from Oregon

Rajat Parr with his new wine, La Source, from Oregon

Sommelier-turned vintner Rajat Parr‘s early wine memories came from his uncle in London. Born in Calcutta and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Rajat apprenticed with Larry Stone at Rubicon in San Francisco, whom he credits as his mentor. He brought his expertise to Fifth Floor restaurant and became wine director for The Mina Group. He’s traveled the world to visit the finest vineyards and has a special affinity for the wines of Burgundy.

But it’s stateside where he’s making his mark as a vintner. Rajat has transitioned from working the restaurant floor to tending the vines. In 2011 he launched Sandhi, a partnership with Charles Banks and Sashi Moorman, to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from select vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills. In 2013 he released wines from his estate vineyard Domaine de la Côte. We recently saw Rajat at Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience where he was debuting Seven Springs Estate “La Source” from the Eola-Amity Hills of Oregon.


Rajat Parr with Mentor and Friend Larry Stone at the New York Wine Experience

Here’s our November 9th show with Rajat Parr on and the free iHeart App.


Want to learn how to enjoy great wine from a world’s top sommelier? Purchase a copy of Rajat Parr’s book, Secrets of the Sommeliers : How to Think and Drink Like the World’s Top Wine Professionals. Winner – 2011 James Beard Cookbook Award – Beverage Category