Boasting a stunning wine selection which is arranged by soil type, Husk Nashville is an absolutely fantastic place to sample a broad spectrum of wines of the world and consume probably the best fried chicken I’ve had in my life. While I was in Nashville I had the chance to catch up with sommelier Nicolette Anctil, who guided me through some awesome blind tastings. Nicolette talked about her background in wine, as well as some of her favorite current bottlings. I think you will really enjoy hearing about her journey in wine. Here is my interview with Nicolette Anctil, sommelier at Husk Nashville.
WWB: How did you decide to become a sommelier?
NA: I’d say, I got the wine bug fairly organically, in my early 20s I left the turn and burn life of a line cook, and moved front of house, as a server assistant or busser. Progressing my way through the ranks, I found myself starting to become very interested in wine. The sommeliers I worked with took me under their wing, I was gifted with tasting very often with Masters, along with traveling to NYC and Washington D.C. almost every week. From that experience I’ve come to create my own style for myself of what a sommelier means.
WWB: You have a wide range of somm experiences. What have your previous somm positions brought to working at Husk Nashville?
NA: I’ve realized that I’m super emotional with wine, the intimacy of wine and the time it took for us to be able to taste the juice is all the importance of my job. Previous positions have taught me that, the way to be success is to be authentic in what you do. I’ve tried to conform to the “somm” life, it wasn’t for me. Every bottle has a story, I have no interest in dissecting the wine so much, were the story then becomes an afterthought. Wine has to be the romance, and for me; I’ve experienced wine in restaurants under a restauranteur all the way to experiencing wine under a 22 person-seat restaurant. I now have the pleasure to take all those experiences, and create a list that’s classic, yet unique, and pushes our guests to trust what we are doing at Husk Nashville.
WWB: Can you talk about your training for your level 2 (certified) somm exam?
NA: I’ve had the privilege of tasting and learning under Advanced/Master Sommelier at a very early state of my training. I quickly pushed through my 1st & 2nd levels with the Court of Master Sommelier, I became very interested in more of the vinicultural side of wine. From their I took my CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine), and then I took a huge break. I hit this point of, contemplating why? Why was I doing this, for other people or for myself. So, I took about a 2-year break from wine. Coming to Nashville, showed me that wine is what you want from it. For me, seeing a guest enjoying a wine that they never in a million years would buy, then my job is done, and no test can fill that void for me.
WWB: Husk has a very strong wines by the glass collection. Can you talk about how this wide range of wines is chosen and how the wines have been arranged by soil type?
NA: With the wines by the glass, I wanted to push varietals that you normally wouldn’t drink, but had somewhat similar characteristics of wines that your familiar with. For example, instead of your classic California Chardonnay, we have Garganega from Soave, Italy. It’s my favorite wine to pour people, they always have the best reaction. The soils types were set into place to show that, not only does our food come from farmers who have families and stories, so does our wine. It shows that the wines we are pour, have a place, just like our food.
WWB: What are some of your favorite wine regions of the world and their producers?
NA: Bubbles, always tons of bubbles. Currently drinking this awesome little wine from an importer called Savio Soares based out of Brooklyn, NY. The wine is Latitude 50 N, it’s a unique sparkling rose of Portugeiser, Dornfelder, and Pinot Noir from Rheingau, Germany. Its wicked delicious, and super affordable.