This week on In the Drink, Hristo Zisovski joins host Joe Campanale in the studio to talk about about his career as beverage director for the Altamarea Group, and how he worked his way to becoming head sommelier. An Advanced Sommelier based in New York City, Hristo was raised in his father’s Greek diners where he worked the grill throughout his childhood. After high school, Hristo earned a degree from the Culinary Institute of America but increasingly realized his interest was in the “front of the house”. In 2001, Hristo became the Assistant Beverage Director at three-star restaurant March and began his educational journey to becoming a Master Sommelier. From March, Hristo moved to three Michelin-starred Jean Georges, where he spent seven years as Chef Sommelier. Under his tenure, the restaurant received the 2010 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Wine Service. Hristo was also personally awarded Wine & Spirits Best New Sommelier in 2007. In November 2010 Hristo joined the Altamarea Group at Ai Fiori. His role expanded to oversee the beverage programs at Osteria Morini, Nicoletta, Due Mari & OsteriaMorini New Jersey as well as Costata & the Butterfly. Hristo’s wine expertise contributed to Ai Fiori’s 3- star NY Times review. Ai Fiori’s wine list has been awarded Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. Hristo has also been featured in numerous wine publications including Wine & Sprits, Beverage Media, Wine Spectator, Allure Magazine and the New York Times. Also tune-in to learn more about binwise, a new cloud based technology that allows Hristo to have complete control over his wine inventory, and look forward to the future of his career. This program has been sponsored by Whole Foods Market. Thanks to PEELS for the today’s music.

“My father said whatever you do, be the best at it.” [05:03]

“You have to put your amplifier to 11 – it takes time to understand wine” [33:02]

Hristo Zisovski on In the Drink