Eric Railsback, from Les Marchands in Santa Barbara, CA, is one of Food & Wine's 2014 Sommeliers of the Year. Here, he names 5 key bottles that have defined his career.
Fred Loimer Lois Grüner Veltliner
"My introduction to wine was through my older brother when I was super-young. He was a sommelier while he was in college, and he'd come home and have all these bottles hidden in his room. We'd look through them with the door locked and sometimes try them. I think I was about 13 when he opened up this bottle of Lois Grüner Veltliner. It was round and spicy and easy drinking. It was the first wine that made me think, Wow, I really like this! I think it was a $10 bottle or something, but in my mind, it was epic."
Raveneau Valmur Chablis
"I was working as a clerk at the Wine Cask in Santa Barbara during college. This was the first grand cru I bought, and it was $140, which was a lot for me at the time. My dad was a professor, so I didn't really have tuition bills. I pretty much spent $1,000 a month learning about wine."