Contributor Profile

Paula De Pano, Sommelier

Paula joined The Fearrington House team in 2010 after graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. On August 2013, she became one of the seven Advanced Sommeliers (The Court of Master Sommeliers) in North Carolina. She also holds an Advanced Certification from the Wines & Spirits Educational Trust, passing with distinction. Check out her blog to read updates about the wine program at the restaurant!

I only drink champagne when I…

I only drink champagne when I’m happy, and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty. - Lily Bollinger My name is Paula De Pano, and I am addicted to bubbles. Prosecco, Cava, Sekt, Sparkling Wine, Franciacorta, Cap Classique, and especially Champagne – as a certified bubblehead, I love them all the... Full Post >

Why I love my job…

To start with, The Fearrington House Restaurant team has an amazing dynamic. Without that kind of camaraderie and support, it’s quite hard to make things happen properly in a fine-dining environment. There is also great work-life balance. Over the years, the experiences that I’ve gained while working the floor helped me in achieving my Advanced Sommelier certification. Aside from that, it’s fun to have access to a lot of wines that I would normally not be able to experience and share... Full Post >

The Art of Blind Tasting

I get it. I really do. I understand why it may seem impressive or look like a magic trick to people who get to see someone who can pinpoint a wine’s provenance just by looking, sniffing, tasting and spitting out a wine. Out of the thousands of different grapes in the world, a gifted wine taster can tell you what grape a wine is made of, where it’s from, which vintage it came from, and if it is worth its salt to have that price attached to it in a wine list. I remember my jaw dropping... Full Post >

Affordable Luxury with New Wines by the Glass this Fall

It is that time of the year again when the cooler air of the fall season descends upon us here at The Fearrington House. One by one, we exchange the crisp and refreshing white wines of summer for the richly textured red wines more suitable for the cooler months. This year, Max and I are delighted to be able to offer our guests some iconic wines that are rarely seen on any restaurants’ wines by the glass offerings -– Guido Porro’s Vigna Lazzairasco Barolo, and Angelo Gaja’s highly... Full Post >

Experience the Wine Pairings at The Fearrington House Restaurant

One of the best things about dining at Fearrington House are the custom wine pairings that we offer to our guests. Max and I believe that it enhances the complete dining experience – the perfectly executed cuisine complemented by the perfectly chosen wine. Most restaurants tend to list down the particular wines they will be automatically serving their guests on their menus – while that is convenient, it loses that element of adventure – of trying new things. I, personally, do not believe... Full Post >

Springtime and Fabulous Wines

  Starting today at the Fearrington House Restaurant, we will be offering new wines by the glass from magnums to usher in this beautiful Spring season. It doesn't happen too often, but when we open up magnums of wine for our guests, you can bet you'll be enjoying some of the best expressions of wines from those regions. First on the lineup is the 2009 La Pepiere, Clisson, Muscadet Sevre et Maine from the Loire Valley in France. This particular wine has been aged on its lees for... Full Post >

Amuse Bouche and Pre-Dessert Treats

Chefs Tom and Thomas recently acquired some Wagyu Brisket, and what better way to use it than for a Reuben? Of course, no ordinary Reuben would be enough for them, they had to make it all fancy and beautiful! I've never seen cleaner amuse bouche plates after our guests were through with them...   Our Pastry Chefs didn't want to be outdone that day, so they also made a tasty pre-dessert. They made a Brown Sugar Panna Cotta with Grapefruit Espuma and Cranberry Gel, topped of with... Full Post >

Southern Cuisine Inspired Amuse Bouche and Canapes

Amuse Bouche for Friday evening was inspired by Thursday night's event with Charleston, South Carolina-based authors Matt and Ted Lee. She-Crab Custard with Sherry Gelee, Crab Salad, Roasted Pecans and Lotus Root Chip Canapes for tonight were Garlic Sausage with Butternut Squash Puree, Truffle Aioli, and Pickled Shallot en Croute and a divine Shrimp Salad with Pickled Fennel and Fresno Chilies. Full Post >

Demystifying the Wines of Burgundy Class

In the photo from Left to Right: Lucien Muzard 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Santenay 2009, Domaine Joseph Voillot 1er Cru Les Fremiets Volnay 2009, Domaine Trapet et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 2009, Domaine Francois Lamarche 1er Cru Les Chaumes Vosne-Romanee 2009, and Frederic Magnien Vieilles Vignes Chambolle-Musigny 2010 Guests joke to us about how it must be fun to be able to taste so many wines and say they're just about to change career paths out of envy. I tell them that there's more... Full Post >

Amuse Bouche and Canapés from March 1st

Chefs Tom² decided to have some fun today and use some of our granite slates while Chef Bedford's on vacation. Looks like it worked pretty well for the evening! I know I can put away quite a bit of these...   Full Post >