GM/Sommelier/Wine Director, Alinea
If you don’t truly understand wine and food pairings—and few really do beyond, say, a big red and a hunk of ribeye—go see Joe. Like most sommeliers Catterson has an incredible palate and taste memory, but he also has the discipline of a monk. If he can’t pinpoint a perfect pairing with his brain, he’ll open up twenty bottles and taste them side by side with the course he’s trying to nail. In the end, whether it’s matching Slovenian Veliko Bianco (who knew they made wines in Slovenia?) with orange and lemongrass broth or hooking up a funky sherry with turtle soup, his pairings are as logical as ice-cold milk and a chocolate-chip cookie.