“Tastemaker” is a term typically used to describe a person — either a sommelier or writer in the wine world — who decides what is good, cool or otherwise interesting. With my new #Tastemaker profiles, I’ve decided to usurp the term to mean someone who actually makes the wines, ciders, spirits, etc. that we love. A “tastemaker” should make something, after all.
There was one person I didn’t take into account when I set out to ‘take back’ the term tastemaker from writers and sommeliers with this weekly series: Christopher Bates. He’s also a sommelier — and well-regarded one at that. But he’s also as intrepid and qualified a tastemaker as you’ll find in New York. He’s not just a sommelier and a teacher of other sommeliers. He’s also a chef, a restaurateur, a winery founder and a winemaker. He’s also probably forgotten more about wine than I know.