In Short... Biodynamic Wine

In Short... Biodynamic Wine

I have always been a huge fan of new beginnings. Sunrises, breakfast, new friendships, a clean kitchen before service, discovering a new wine, a new organizer, Mondays, the fall (reminds me of a new school year), and January are all causes for excitement for me. What can we do this year different from the year before to delight our guests? How can we get our servers excited about learning? When can I meet with the bus-staff to go over some role-playing? And how can I write the perfect calendar to foresee all events and perfect my strategy of managing this great place?

As I walked into work today, a staff member stopped to ask what biodynamic wine meant. I slowly answered in succinct way, since he was tending a full bar at the time. A few cocktail servers walked up to listen. I only spent a few minutes, and promised them that I would post some more information in our next internal newsletter. As I made my way to my desk, I thought, “wow…every day is a new beginning!” We can never stop teaching and training and re-training. I often stop a teaching moment, because I assume that “everyone knows that”, and it turns out I am wrong. Not every person pronounces "meritage" correctly, has an educated opinion about cork or screw cap, or is familiar with Niman Ranch, one of our longstanding purveyors. Some very important people, the employees I trust my guests with, are still “new” to a few things, and eager to learn too.

Most of the choices we make about food, wine and service are complex. Trey, George and I (along with many of our team members) are information hounds, who read as much as possible about each small part of every decision we make. But most of the time, when a friend or guest or employee asks a question, they just want a simple answer, right?

So here, I am promising to post what may be some perfectly mundane and boring stuff, especially to the oh-so-experienced of us who have been running or frequenting great restaurants for quite some time. But I encourage you, if you don’t need to read this, than teach it. What we do and how we do it, makes us who we are.

Biodynamic wine is that which comes from a winery which practices biodynamic methods. It is similar to organic in that there are no chemicals or pesticides used in biodynamic farming, yet it encompasses so much more. It is a holistic approach to farming which incorporates the astronomical and lunar calendars, self-sustainability, crop rotation, composting, and homeopathic fertilization. Rudolph Steiner gave a series of lectures in 1924 on this method where it gained popularity. Some interesting minutiae is that everything on the farm must be made of organic matter, no plastic storage containers, etc.

Here at George's, we decided to notate our wines which were organic and biodynamic, as more and more guests asked us about it. A favorite “value wine” of mine is the Cremant de Bourgogne by Domaine des Chambris. I love a good story and selling bubbly from a part of France that isn’t Reims makes me a little giddy. One you might be more familiar with is the big, bold Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon.

This is my short and sweet answer on the topic of what biodynamic wine is. But, if you're interested to learn more, there is a ton of research in this area. One very good article can be found here.

My assumption is that our guests know everything, and who am I to give you information that you’ve already researched yourself? But, please always let us know if there is a topic you’d like to hear a little more about. We're always happy to share.