By Peg San Felippo
City & Shore Magazine
The one subject as popular as the boats this month in Fort Lauderdale may be the wines:
Who: Stephanie and John Herring
The boat: Red Herring, a 2014 64-foot Hampton Endurance with enclosed fly bridge. Currently the couple split their permanent docking time between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
The background: “We have always gravitated to water,” says Stephanie, a Boston native. “Either family or friends always had a boat for us to go on. In 1990 we got a boat of our own, a 35-foot Chris-Craft.” Eight years ago, when they became empty nesters, they moved to living on the boat fulltime.
The wine: “When I first met John he drank mainly Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I come from an Italian Family and grew up drinking red wine that relatives made. I’ve never really been fond of anything other than Italian wines.” Over the years John’s appreciation for Italian wines grew and the majority of their collection now consists almost exclusively of Brunellos. Their son was married in Rome this summer and during the trip the Herrings visited Tenuta San Guido winery in Bolgheri, known for producing the Super Tuscan Sassicaia. It’s their new favorite.
Favorite water/wine spot: Snorkeling off Paradise Cove in the Bahamas and afterwards enjoying a bottle of 2010 Poggio Rubino Riserva Brunello with chateaubriand.
Who: Victoria Allman
Her career: “There is no better way to travel and see the world than by boat,” says Victoria Allman, a yacht chef and wine buyer. Already cooking on the high seas for over a decade Allman says she felt it would enhance her yacht guests’ culinary experience if she became well versed in wine, too. So three years ago she began taking classes with The Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and the Napa Valley Wine Academy. She now oversees the wine list, and guests can make special wine requests or bring their own.
The boat: My Odessa, a 160-footer that can accommodate 12 guests and 10 crew. Based in Fort Lauderdale the boat is chartered for trips in a variety of locations, including the east coast, Caribbean and Mediterranean. The charter fee per week is approximately $250,000.
The wine: Their list contains a variety of $20-$200 wines from France, Italy and California. Recently a guest brought a selection of California cult cabernets that included Schrader, Hundred Acre and Screaming Eagle. If guests are looking for something outside the list, however, Allman will acquire it. “Someone recently asked for a tokaji, a sweet wine form Hungary that I wasn’t familiar with,” Allman says. “It’s great as an aperitif and pairs well with a variety of food.”
Who: Mark Osterhaven
The history: Osterhaven began his career in boating as a teenager cleaning and maintaining boats for the DeVos Family (co-founder of Amway) in Holland, Mich. “I learned early on that there is nothing better than spending a day on the water,” he says. After college Osterhaven went on to be a boat captain for 12 years before becoming a yacht broker in South Florida in 2006.
The boat: 34-foot Jupiter center console. “It’s a great boat for casual trips with friends and family as well as fishing in the Bahamas,” Osterhaven says. He especially likes spending time in Staniel Cay where he serves as Commodore of the Yacht Club.
The wine: “Boating is a social lifestyle and when it comes to wine and boating, especially on a hot summer day, it’s all about whites – especially Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand.” His favorite is White Haven. “That said after a day of fishing there’s nothing better than Stag’s Leap Artemis Cabernet.”
What they’re drinking
Don’t have a yacht but want to drink wine like you do? Here are 10 wines popular on luxury boats in South Florida.
– Collalto Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry NV, $15. ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.
– De Margerie Grand Cru Brut NV Champagne, $39.99. Total Wine.
– Château Léoube Rosé, Côtes de Provence 2017, $22. Virginia Philip Wine Spirits & Academy.
– Clos du Roy Sancerre, Loire, France 2017, $19.99. ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.
– Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand 2017, $29.97. Crown Wine & Spirits.
– Grand Vin Pouilly-Fuissé, Burgundy, France 2017, $22.99. ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.
– Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2016, $49.97. Crown Wine & Spirits.
– Cardwell Hill Cellars, Willamette Valley, Estate Bottled Pinot Noir 2014, $25. Total Wine.
– Château Marquis de Terme, Margaux, France 2010, $78. Wine Watch, Fort Lauderdale.
– Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2012, $133. Wine Watch, Fort Lauderdale.
Peg San Felippo is a certified sommelier and has served as a judge on the American Fine Wine Competition, South Florida’s home-grown wine event.