Bobby Asare is not your average beverage director.
He’s shaking things up in the beverage world by taking a fresh approach to wine. He’s looking in history books to decide what’s in your next glass, he’s orchestrating six-course champagne dinners, and most shockingly, he’s suggesting that you drink what you like.
With Asare there’s always an element of surprise. Recently he hosted a wine dinner at Lobster Bar Sea Grille, but what guests were served weren’t strictly the crisp whites and bold reds you’d expect. It was champagne. “ People gave us these looks when we poured champagne in their wine glasses”, says Asare, “ but it was really about having people think about champagne as something that can nicely accompany food and challenging the stigma that when it comes to sparkling wine is that it’s for celebration, you pop it open on graduation day or at a wedding.”
That’s not the only way Asare works to make wine accessible and enjoyable to oenophiles and novice tasters alike. Asare’s wine list spans from classic Italian reds and whites from Napa to unique bottles from regions widely considered “new” in the wine world. His top regions to watch include South Africa and Greece. No matter your taste, his list has something that will excite you.
His geographical approach to pairing is one that’s got people paying attention. “ Let’s take Lobster Bar Sea Grille’s menu for example. It’s mainly seafood, so I’ll research wine traditions surrounding coastal regions whose diets have historically been seafood heavy. One example of this is Liguria which is south of Piedmonte, Italy. It’s a region that’s kept with the tradition of a seafood heavy diet, and not only that, but they have historically created wines that complement their foods, so wines from that region usually pair well with our dishes.”, Asare explains.
“I like to guide people and show them something unique” he says, “but ultimately it’s about your experience. A cabernet with your dorad? Sure, there’s no wrong way if you’re enjoying it.”
Asare’s passion for wine is contagious. That’s why everyone on staff at Lobster Bar Sea Grille learns about wine. “We talk about it a lot. We taste, we discuss, it’s a team effort.”, he says. Asare’s golden rule to wine pairings? “The best wine pairing is the wine you like.”