Wine Director Lauren C. Daddona and Chef McClelland share the philosophy that while choosing a wine should be both simple (drink what appeals to your palate) and complex (in flavor) it should never be intimidating. With that in mind, sommelier and waitstaff alike taste Chef McClelland’s creations every day, matching the food with selections from our ample wine list in an effort to find combinations that create magic at the dinner table.
As a result of weekly tastings and seminars, the staff at L’Espalier is among the most knowledgeable in the industry. This working knowledge of food and wine gives the staff a level of ease and comfort when interpreting the extensive wine list. The ultimate goal is to find a wine that suits each guest’s sense of taste and flavor, food choices, and budget, thereby enhancing their dining experience.
For the last 20 years, L’Espalier has been committed to buying outstanding vintages and cellaring them, on occasion for 12-14 years until they reach maturity. Those bottles along with 500 other selections make up L’Espalier’s award winning wine list, overseen by Lauren C. Daddona. While there is a stellar collection of the classic French food wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux, there is also a wide selection of wines from the Rhône Valley, Southern France, Alsace, and Champagne. Rounding off the list is an exceptional variety of domestic wines from California, Oregon, and Washington.
Daddona is always eager to discover small-scale artisanal producers who are dedicated to crafting high quality, distinctive wines. She and Chef McClelland constantly taste new wines, yet purchase less than 1% of what they taste. As Lauren is fond of saying, “It is our job to kiss all the frogs so we can bring you the prince.” This devotion has lead to the creation of two private labels exclusive to the restaurant: 1996 Westport Rivers, “Cuvée L’Espalier”, Brut from Westport, Massachusetts and 2002 Alex Gambal, “Cuvée L’Espalier”, Fixin Blanc, from Burgundy, France. Due to L’Espalier’s longstanding close relationships with these winemakers, we were able to collaborate with them and craft wines that pair perfectly with Chef McClelland’s cuisine.
Like the ingredients on the menu, the wine list and wines by the glass change almost daily to reflect our latest wine discoveries and are in step with the change of seasons.
During spring and summer, we offer a wide array crisp aromatic whites, refreshing rosés, and lighter style reds. In autumn and winter, the list abounds with heartier robust reds to fend off the infamous New England chill.