This week on In the Drink, Joe Campanale is joined by wine importer/distributor Philippe “Fifi” Essome. French born & raised, Philippe moved to NYC on Bastille Day 2000 with 1 bad luggage, $1500 & a phone number. He came with the desire to become a mixologist, he loved to mix things up back in France and wanted to explore the cocktail world. But he worked in places that only had wine & beer licenses!!! So he discovered French wine here — his first gig was @ Le Bateau Ivre, then @ Le Père Pinard in the Lower East Side for over 9 years along with Les Enfants Terribles on Ludlow & Canal Street.
He got hooked on natural wines in 2005, and got so into it that he opened the first natural wine bar in NYC in 2008, The Ten Bells.
5 years later, he opened a natural wine shop in Brooklyn — Passage de la Fleur, and after 1 year he got rid of the shop and launched his wine importing/distributing company in July 2014. This program was brought to you by Visit Napa Valley.