5 Questions with Jan Zvaifler

If you have had the opportunity to meet Jan, you know she is a wealth of information of all things wine.


If you have not, take a peek into her world and learn a bit!

She is the perfect mix of knowledgeable, friendly and approachable.

Without further adieu, Jan Zvaifler, Wine Buyer and Sommelier.

1.  What wines, by the bottle, are affordable and delicious? 

This is always a tricky question, because “affordable” is a relative term.  I define an affordable wine as one that is reasonably priced considering its “pedigree.”

That said, I love to trawl the markets looking for what I consider to be a truly tasty wine for under $14.  The thing about wine, which can be frustrating for some and exciting for others, is that everyone’s palate is different.  Just keep exploring and tasting to find the wine that suits your palate and your pocket book.

If you enjoy the $2 wine from Trader Joe’s, drink it unapologetically! 

If you like Rosé with your steak (which I often do, especially on a hot summer day), don’t feel you are required to drink Cabernet.

2.  What wines get a great “bang for their buck” at Julia’s?

We strive to find affordable wines from all around the world.

It could mean anything from the $27 Pinot Grigio to the $69 Lamborn Zinfandel (which, is a steal at that price – you won’t find it in another restaurant for less than $75 and it’s made by Heidi Barrett, who is considered to be “Napa’s best-known and most sought-after talent” according to Wine Spectator magazine).

3.  What are one or more of your favorite “off the beaten path” wines? 

I love the whites from Southern Italy; specifically the varietals Falanghina and Fiano; Gruner Veltliner and Riesling from Austria; the reds from the Montsant and Priorat districts of Spain; and Sauvignon Blanc from Chile…those are the ones you can find.

There are also some truly delicious wines being imported now from Turkey and Greece and many other regions that would surprise you.

What do you love most about your role?

My work requires that I seek out good food and wine – both separately and in combination.  What’s not to love?

What are some of your favorite food and wine combinations? 

 I am never comfortable with the term “favorite.”  I can’t name a favorite author or book, movie or actor, food or, well … anything.  Call me indecisive.  But I will throw out a few pairings I enjoy that come to mind at this moment:

Raw Oysters and Champagne (duh!)

Crab and Chablis

Mushroom Risotto and Pinot Noir

Burger and Côtes du Rhône

Lamb and Tempranillo (like a Rioja or Ribera del Duero from Spain)

…I could go on and on!

Julia’s gets raves for our great, varied wine list at reasonable prices.

Make a reservation to dine with us for Lunch or Dinner.

We would love to have you!

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