SFoodie is calling up food types around the city to ask them about
their favorite discovery of the past year, whether it's new or ancient,
an ingredient or a person. We'll be running their responses through the end of the year.
Yoon Ha, head sommelier at Benu, astonished SFoodie last year with his precision and flair for the expected in his pairing of wines, beers, and sakes with chef Corey Lee's food. So when we asked Ha about his favorite find of 2011, it was not a total surprise when the sommelier asked if he could share the story of the encounter that made the biggest impression on him.
“A couple of months ago,” Ha said, “I had the pleasure of meeting the wine writer Matt Kramer. He's had a regular column in Wine Spectator for many years, and wrote the “Making Sense” series of wines, a sort of “Wine for Dummies” series back in the 1990s. The book of his that really made an impact on me was Making Sense of Burgundy. I came across it some 20 years ago, when I was a complete ignoramus about wine. For someone who didn't know anything about wine, reading a book on burgundy is the last place you should ever start. But I was an English major, and had entertained the idea of writing. So despite the fact that the content was over my head, I loved Kramer's writing.”