Meet Arvid Rosengren, the reigning ‘Best Sommelier in the World.’ Arvid leads the hospitality and wine team at Legacy Records, the 87-seat hot spot in Hudson Yards by the team behind Pasquale Jones and Charlie Bird. His passion for food and wine is rooted from a young age and has only grown throughout his studies around the world including Sweden, Stockholm, the UK, and of course, New York. We sat and had a chat with Arvid to learn everything from blind tastings to underrated labels.
How did you get your start in the wine world?
I discovered wine for real when I was in university. A friend of mine worked at a wine shop and helped me get a job there over the summer and I got hooked quickly. There was just so much to geek out on, to try and figure out what it was that made all these great aromas and flavors come together in a glass.
What inspired you to become a sommelier?
I grew up wanting to cook, but also had an academic mind. Wine was a great middle path for me, getting to take care of people but also to study and figure out this massive field of knowledge.
What does it take to become the Best Sommelier in the World?
Thousands of hours of studying, tasting and honing your practical skills. And nerve control – if you ever make it to the finals of the competition, on stage in front of cameras and a live audience.
What is your favorite thing about working with wine?
It’s not heart surgery, we’re not saving lives… but, we do get to reap the rewards of our work in a very direct way, making dinners more memorable and fun.
In your opinion, which wine is the most versatile?
That’s a hard one. A textured, acid-driven white wine like a Chenin Blanc from France’s Loire Valley is hard to beat.
Which wine do you think is most underrated?
There are several that seem to be perpetually underrated like German Riesling, Sherry. Then there are rising stars, there’s a lot of exciting stuff coming out of Spain and Portugal these days, as well as California’s Central Coast.
What is your favorite pairing at Legacy Records
The Honey Lacquered Duck with Northern Rhône Syrah – the duck is so powerful in flavor, rich in protein and fat so you need something that’s both intense and fresh. Classic Syrah is perfect.
Which wine region would you most recommend someone to visit and why?
Portugal’s Douro Valley is both extremely beautiful and produces world-class wines. A great one to visit leisurely.
What is a good ‘entry-level’ wine for someone who isn’t fully into wine but would like to be?
Muscadet. Not Muscat – a very grapey, often sweet wine. But Muscadet, from the French Atlantic coast. In its best iteration, it is a great Chablis-substitute; lean, mineral and refreshing, for a fraction of a price.
If you could choose only one wine to have for the rest of your life, what would you select and why?
Probably some great white Burgundy. Or Barolo. Or some Riesling. Or Madeira… Too hard to choose!