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Interview with Carrie Lyn Strong | Wine Director Aureole

Interview with Carrie Lyn Strong | Wine Director Aureole

Carrie Lyn Strong, Wine Director, Charlie Palmer’s – Aureole Restaurant, NYC

An interview with Carrie Strong, Wine Director of Charlie Palmer’s, Aureole restaurant in New York City discusses the challenges of maintaining a wine list from a management standpoint, introducing new wines to guests, customer service and how she went from athlete to wine director in one of New York’s iconic dining establishments.

Had the opportunity while in New York City on a rainy day to sit down with Carrie Lyn Strong, Wine Director, Charlie Palmer’s – Aureole Restaurant, NYC.  Aureole is now in its 25th year!  I worked for Charlie Palmer at the River Cafe in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge back in the 80’s.  He’s an intense chef, football player big and hands to match.  It was amazing seeing his talent for cooking and pastry.  I remember watching him decorate a cake once, he was doing the lettering with a hand made parchment paper pastry bag with such grace and perfection.  Fast forward,  he’s expanded on his restaurant empire and producing delicious, Russian River, Pinot Noir,65% Calegari Vineyard, 27% Dutton “Campbell” Vineyard, 8% Palmer Vineyard, under the label of Charlie Clay.  My wife and I enjoyed a glass of Chalrie Clay and a glass of Dolcetto d’Alba, Brezza, Piedmont, Italy 2012 after the interview. The Charlie Clay was seductive with jammy notes of cherry and plum, excellent acidity and a smooth palette with soft tannins. The Barbera d’Alba was muscular with powerful extraction, dark ripe fruits and an layered palette with a slightly tannic finish you’d want from a classic Italian wine.


Quenching our thirst with Charlie Clay, Pinot Noir (l) and Dolcetto d’Alba (r), at Aureole after our interview. Attention to detail in every facet of service is what separates the good from the remarkable:  Our wines were served to us in gorgeous, Schott Zweisel, Austrian crystal, stemware, enhancing the sensuality of our wine service. 

As of this writing:  Chef Palmer’s, Charlie Palmer Group has fourteen restaurants:  New York City, Las Vegas, Sonoma, Orange County, California, San Francisco, Reno and Washington D.C. All top flight food and service centric restaurants with well thought out wine lists.

What I really like enjoyed while interviewing Carrie was her approach to Aureole’s wine list.  Her approach is form a management stand point, not only a sommelier. Her approach to the wine list at Aureole is more macro than micro because she oversees the entire beverage program, the budget, maintaining the highest standards for customer service, wine trends and food pairing are always at the heart of her decision making process. Sit back, grab a glass of wine and enjoy her story.

Marc Weisberg is a photographer, educator, chef, former wine buyer, cellar master; and lover of wine. Marc owns and operates a successful Southern California based photography studio, founded in 2001, and is the founder of Wine Photo Workshops. His work is widely published and sought out by luxury brands. Wine Photo Workshops are for photographer-wine-adventurers and image makers. We’ll visit and explore wineries and food destinations throughout the world. Visit with Sommeliers, wine makers, vineyard owners and restauranteurs, with special behind the scenes access. You’ll have the opportunity to learn, make new friends, have fun and raise the bar on your photography skills. Contact Marc by phone 949.494.5084, or email.

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