Eli Zabar, Owner
Born and raised on the upper west side of Manhattan, Eli Zabar was destined for the world of food and wine. After graduating from Columbia University in 1967, he ran a restaurant in Nantucket for a year and spent a short time at various food and wine businesses in New York before opening E.A.T. at 1064 Madison Avenue in 1973.
Since then, Eli Zabar’s name has become synonymous with great food.
While he was expanding his food empire, Eli’s love affair with wine continued to blossom, a passion that began over a half a century ago when he discovered the wines of Burgundy.
“I have been cooking, eating and loving the food and wine of Burgundy for most of my adult life. I discovered Burgundy in my 20’s and I have never faltered in my devotion. The wines never fail to engage me at the highest level.”
The Start of Eli's List
As such, in 2002, Eli opened Eli's List (formerly W.I.N.E.) Wine and Spirits next to Eli's Table (formerly Taste) Restaurant Wine Bar. Eli's List's 600 + wines are all carefully chosen by Eli himself and his team of experts who surround him: German Caille, Jean Emmanuel Simond, and Kilian Robin. The selection that is heavy on Burgundy, Piedmont and Champagne, reflects Eli’s passion for carefully, traditional, pure and naturally made wines that are open and ready to drink. Often, Eli will buy wines, but he will not sell them until they reach their optimal drinking period.
Eli personally chose the staff at Eli's List for their knowledge and communication skills in order to help customers in choosing wines. The shop has daily tastings often paired with food from Eli’s market next door. Every year, during the vendange (harvest), Eli and his team go to either France or Italy on a tour, visiting vignerons that they know, discovering new ones, tasting new vintages of wines they know and trying new wines.
To create a selection of wine that is expressive of provenance, terrior and tradition at the same time remains pure through natural, sustainable, organic and/or biodynamic farming.
To focus on wines of integrity, elegance and only the old world, especially Bourgogne, Piemonte and Grower Champagne. To offer service that is knowledgeable, approachable and interactive.
The selection at this expertly stocked shop reflects Eli’s passion for carefully and naturally made wines that are open and ready to drink. He is firmly committed to keeping prices accessible. The able staff brings a depth of knowledge and great communication skills to assisting customers in their choices, as well as to the daily tastings held in the shop. Opened for business in 2002, It’s a cozy sliver of a shop, next door to Eli’s Market at Third Avenue and Eli's Table Restaurant & Wine Bar.
Shopping Services include custom orders, wine gifts, and deliveries by the case are available by phone 10 am –9 pm daily. Wine consultations and private tastings by request.
Germán Calle, Manager
With sixteen years in the Restaurant Industry in New York City and education in the French Culinary Institute and the American Sommelier Association, Germán has been Sommelier, Beverage Director and General Manager in prestigious organizations as Tour de France Restaurants, Flatiron Restaurant Group and Industria Argentina. In 2004 with a group of partners opened Camino Sur, a pioneer project in the perception of Latin food, with an innovative wine program. Simultaneously, he is a member of Calle-Suarez, a consulting agency, specialized in gastronomy with focus on the Latin American market. Germán joined Eli Zabar’s team in September 2010.
Germán shares Eli’s passion for wines that are a true expression of origin, made following respectful farming practices and traditional methods. The wines from Burgundy, the Loire Valley and the Rhone are particularly close to his heart and object of constant study and research.
Jean - Emmanuel Simond, Consultant
After general training ( Masters of Law, Sciences Po Paris ), he transformed his passion for the world of wine. A sales manager in New York from an importer for two years, then he joined, as a buyer, Magnumvinum Internet site. Since 2001 , he has contributed as a consultant in the development of Legrand Filles & Fils, one of the finest wine shops in Paris. He was involved in the selection of wines, implementation and managed the event activities, travels and tastings. He has worked as well as a journalist, exclusively on French wines, and this led him to collaborate in different publications. He is part of the tasting committee for La Revue du Vin de France, an essential magazine for its expertise in French wine and which he holds a monthly column and frequent articles.
He is the co-author of the definitive guide to French wines, "The best wines of France 2012", and the guide "The best wines under €20 - 2012." In 2005, he founded the company Oenotropie, which educates on tasting and cultural aspects of wine and imports and distributes a portfolio of foreign wines in France exclusively ( Italy, Spain, Austria, Portugal, South Africa, California). It is a selection and distribution of a range of wines from wineries chosen for their excellence. Since October 2006, he oversees and manages the Sciences Po Paris an open teaching on "Understanding the wine market : The French companies in a changing global market." Focused on marketing, strategic and economic understanding of the challenges facing the sector wine. Since 2007, Jean-Emmanuel has been a consultant to Eli’s List, helping to guide the shop’s selection and a grand selection of wines that are cellared for the future.