Liquid Diet: What a Sommelier Drinks During a Restaurant's Opening Week
In our series, Liquid Diet, a professional drinker journals every sip of one beverage-packed week. Here, Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey, owner of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado, the brand-new Tavernetta in Denver, Pizzeria Locale in Boulder, Denver, and other locations, co-founder of Scarpetta Wine and, as you'll see, an avid runner, documents a week of espressos, post-workout recovery drinks, lots of Anchor Steams, amazing Italian wines and restaurant-opening-night sabered Champagne.
6:05 a.m. I start my day with two single espressos and one glass of water before I head out for my training run. Sundays are my long run days. During my 18-mile run, I drink three 16 ounce bottles of lightly mixed Skratch Labs Hydration (it's hot today). On my ride home, I drink 16 ounces of Skratch Labs Endurance Recovery Mix (chocolate).
11:00 a.m. At brunch with my wife, Danette, I have a draft saison and one liter of sparkling water at one of our favorite brunch locales, The Kitchen.
4:15 p.m. I get to Frasca, and have two single espressos before pre-service. Tonight, we’re doing a Sunday Supper Dinner honoring our local farmers—so excited about this one. Carlin Karr, our wine director, lined up some great pairings for our dinner tonight, so I have (along with six glasses of water from our filter machine) a taste of 2016 San Lorenzo Verdicchio, a taste of 2014 Comte Abbatucci Cuvée Faustine Rouge from Corsica (which went perfectly with our agnolotti with squash, tomato and a touch of Calabrian chile), a taste of NV Chartogne-Taillet Cuvée Sainte Anne (ok it may have been a little more than a taste), a taste of 2013 Joseph Swan Cuvée de Trois Pinot Noir, one Anchor Steam and a half a margarita I split with our events coordinator to finish off the night. This week is going to be a long one with Tavernetta opening, but I’m ready.
6:45 a.m. Always in the morning, a glass of water and two single shots of espresso. Run-wise, it's a recovery day. I do four easy miles with 5 x 100 meter strides, and have one liter of sparkling water and one serving of Skratch Labs Raspberry Hydration.
10:10 a.m. We have a big day today at Tavernetta, finishing up mock service and final preparations. I head down there to taste through our cocktail list (with a straw of course)—everything from a classic gin and tonic to our Stagione Smash with plum syrup, vodka and Cardamaro. Water during the rest of the day except two more single espressos at 4:00 p.m. during pre-service.
6:30 a.m. Two espressos in the morning at home. Always two singles. Run 11 miles up and around Poorman Loop and when I get done, have Skratch Recovery (chocolate) and Skratch Hydration (raspberry), 16 ounces of each. I have a 1.25 liter bottle of Crystal Springs sparkling water for my drive to Tavernetta, and four 16 ounce glasses of water throughout the day.
3:20 p.m. Three single-shot espressos—one in the afternoon, and two during pre-service.
7:30 p.m. During service, I taste a 1997 Emidio Pepe Montepulciano, a 2015 Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis, an Anchor Steam, a glass of Tiberio Trebbiano d'Abruzzo and half a glass of Bollinger Champagne out of magnum that the staff gave to me for my birthday (which is today). So fun to get to saber and share that with the Tavernetta staff. When I get home, I have an Anchor Steam and bag of potato chips to finish off the night, and talk to Danette about the day.
Opening day of Tavernetta!
6:30 a.m. Two single-shot espressos to start the morning before my 12-mile run today—a two mile warmup, followed by a 10 mile tempo run around the Boulder Resevoir. It is brutal, I’m exhausted and it's too hot. After the run, I have one 16 ounce bottle of Skratch Raspberry and one 32 ounce bottle of water mixed with Skratch Recovery. On my way to Denver, I have a 1.25 liter bottle of sparkling water.
9:40 a.m. I have one small bottle of sparkling water during my real estate meeting in Denver for our fast casual Pizzeria Locale locations and one single espresso when I get into Tavernetta. I also taste Krug Grande Cuvée off of the beautiful Champagne cart in the new Riedel glass we’ll be serving the bubbly in (though we usually use all Zalto in the restaurant).
Opening night: What a wild night—over 250 covers and so proud of our staff to just dive into the deep end and open. I get to taste lots of great things tonight: 1997 Alois Lageder COR Römigberg Cabernet Sauvignon from Alto Adige, 2015 Miani Friulano that a guest offered, Pian dell’Orino Brunello di Montalcino and 2014 Monteraponi Chianti Classico. I also get to taste some Bérêche & Fils Champagne out of my wife’s glass on the dining room floor because I was dying of thirst. And, although we don’t have Anchor Steam at Tavernetta, a great guest of ours brought me a six-pack, so I have one after service in the restaurant. Then, I saber a magnum of Pierre Péters Blanc de Blancs for the staff, which I enjoy a full glass of. Ready to wrap up the night—Danette brings me two more Anchor Steams down to the hotel room with a bag of chips before I go to bed.
6:30 a.m. Wake up and have a green juice from Citizen Rail, a drip coffee and go for a run. I ran out of Skratch, so I have a carrot juice after my run. Lots of water today.
2:40 p.m. Before pre-service, I had my typical two single shots of espressos.
8:20 p.m. During service, I taste the 2015 Peter Dipoli Voglar Sauvignon Blanc. I also get to taste some Delamotte Champagne, and some Ronco del Cerò Sauvignon Blanc from my dear friend Giampaolo Venica at Venica & Venica. I drive home drinking a 16 ounce bottle of Perrier to keep myself awake while talking to my wife on the phone. Once I get home, I am too exhausted to open an Anchor Steam (which, as you can see, I normally do every night). Instead, I pour myself a glass of 2013 Ronco del Gnemiz Salici Sauvignon Blanc as I eat a Whole Foods California roll, and have two glasses of water before bed.
6:30 a.m. Wake up, have two single espressos, a glass of water, then run 11.4 miles up and around Poorman with my friend from Nike. Finished with one 16 ounce bottle of Skratch Hydration and one 32 ounce of Skratch Recovery.
10:25 a.m. I have a 1.25 liter Crystal Geyser lime sparkling water bottle as I drive around Boulder to and from business meetings and pop into Frasca to sign a few birthday cards. I’m about to drink a second one as I drive down to Denver.
7:40 p.m. During dinner service, I have tastes of Charles Heidsieck Champagne, Ulysse Collin Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs and 2010 Stella di Campalto Brunello di Montalcino. At the end of the night with my dinner, a taste of Marisa Cuomo Furore Bianco and 2011 Il Colle Brunello di Montalcino. I drink a full liter of Perrier on my way home.
10:20 p.m. When I get home, I have an Anchor Steam and half a glass of Venica & Venica Ronco del Cerò Sauvignon Blanc.
6:30 a.m. Two single shot espressos in the a.m. per usual, and go for a six-mile easy run with five 100-meter strides around the North Boulder soccer fields. 16 ounces of Skratch Hydration and 16 ounces of Skratch Recovery.
So in hindsight, I think doing a drink diary during a week of opening a restaurant is totally insane because I think my consumption of fun things goes down due to exhaustion. This Sunday, however, was great. Two single espressos, a glass of water and a 20-mile run. 32 ounces of Skratch Hydration and 32 ounces of Skratch Recovery, then went to brunch at Arcana with Danette. On Sundays, they do 25 percent off bottles of wine, so we share a bottle of Miani Pettarin Ribolla Gialla, and a guest sends us two glasses of tequila—no idea why, but I enjoyed it. That night, we had roasted chicken and a bottle of Krug Champagne to celebrate surviving the week.