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An Interview with Le Metro’s Wine Curator Aaron Epstein

When Tina Morey, Operations Manager for Protocol Wine Studio in Sorrento Valley, told me she was creating a wine business I knew it would be a class act just like she is. It wasn’t too long after Protocol Wine Studio started that she and her partner launched another aspect of their business called Le Metro. I was curious, and thought maybe you would be too, to find out what these wine aficionados were up to.

Tina thought Aaron Epstein, Curator, would be the best person to answer the questions I was posing.

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Q: Why underground? What’s the idea behind taking your business “underground”?

A: “Underground” is intended to convey the journey that each Le Metro collection takes you on (think Paris Metro and London Underground) and also speak to the provenance of our wines. Most of the wines we work with are such tiny production that it takes some cajoling to obtain them, and in many instances we’re literally snapping up the last few cases available in the market. Often they’re elusive bottles that wine lovers have read about but never actually been able to taste.

Q: How is Le Metro different from other wine shops/events in San Diego?

A: Not just here in San Diego – Le Metro is different from every other wine purveyor in the world! I’m immensely proud to say that we’ve been doing this for fifteen months now, and I’ve yet to come across anybody out there providing context remotely like this for their wines. There are countless delicious bottles out there, and curators whose palates I deeply admire. But our content is totally unprecedented. Whether you prefer visual art or the written word, our goal is to make these wines resonate with you.

Q: Where are you going? What do you envision for the future?

A: I’d like to see this develop to a point where we can have multiple product offerings, at different price points and for different audiences. I’d be thrilled to have a higher end club where I can rock out themes like grower champagne and single vineyard Barolo, but it would also be great to offer one for $100 that more of my friends could actually afford. It’s hard to overestimate the production value of what we send out there, and at the moment it’s only me, Tina, and GUY, with the invaluable support of Sean Kelley over at Mother Sponge Design and, of course, the brilliant Elaine Chukan Brown.

Q: And that iconic question with a twist, If you could have a glass of wine with anyone, either dead or alive, who would it be?

A: Ha. You had to go there? :) At the moment, I’d probably say Thomas Jefferson. After my research into off-the-beaten path domestic wines for our July edition I’m a little fixated on the development of a US wine culture, and it would be hard to identify somebody more historically influential than he.

Protocol Wine Studio is open for scheduled educational events and by appointment only. Visit their Studio Events page to see upcoming events. www.protocolwinestudio.com

4186 Sorrento Valley Blvd Suite H
San Diego CA 92121

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