The Somm Set by Benchmark Wine Group






Garth Hodgdon

Welcome to our newest series, The Somm Set. Each month we’ll be sitting down with a guest sommelier and uncovering their guilty pleasures, cellar staples, and everything in between! Follow as they hand-select their favorites from our warehouse, giving you the inside scoop on cellar must-haves!


This month on The Somm Set, we’re excited to feature Garth Hodgdon, Advanced Sommelier. Join us as we explore everything from his passion for wine, favorite wine and food pairing, and his newest endeavors.


Read Our Interview With Garth Hodgdon
The Somm Set Home
 

This week from Garth Hodgdon:

My name is Garth Hodgdon, and I am happy to be the featured sommelier for Benchmark’s Somm Set series for the month of June. I have spent my career around some of the best chefs, winemakers, and wine collectors in the country. Through their generosity and my inquisitive nature, I have tasted some of the best wines in the world. Through this exploration, I found myself going back over and over again to the wines of Champagne. I have a distinct memory of the first time I sat down at lunch with a friend, and he handed me the wine list and said, “Choose anything you want, my treat.” It wasn’t a question in my mind what I was going to order. That was the day I realized that I was hopelessly in love with Champagne, it’s a love that has not waned over the years; it has only become stronger.

This is the first of my weekly offers this month, and I thought I would look back to my first trip to the region of Champagne. It was 2010, and I was working as a Sommelier at The French Laundry. On our winter closure, I decided to go visit the region as it was quickly becoming my favorite to drink and offer to our customers, and I wanted to learn more about it. I was lucky enough to visit some of my then and still favorite Champagne Houses. Some of their wines are available below.

Agrapart

Pascal Agrapart’s family has been making wine in Avize since 1894. It wasn’t until the 1950s and 60’s that the family, then under the direction of Pierre Agrapart, acquired most of the vineyards they now own and farm. I was lucky enough to do a tour and tasting with Pascal, who was very generous and wonderful to talk with. The wines have always been some of the best in the region but were not as in demand as they are now; I have been enjoying them as often as possible in my life. They have become much harder to find every year, and I am happy to see so many of these great bottles available here, some with a lot of great age on them.

Taittinger

The wines of Taittinger hold a special place in my heart. Comtes de Champagne was the first Tete de Cuvee I ever tasted, and I still remember the flavor. I never wanted that glass to end. Luckily it does not have to end as there is a lot to choose from at Benchmark at all price points. No matter your selection, it will not disappoint.

Krug

I have always loved Krug. I am not alone in thinking that they are the pinnacle of Champagne. We poured the Grande Cuvée for the entire time that I was at The French Laundry, and I got to drink a lot of it. After I left restaurants, I was the National Ambassador for Krug Champagne for five years and got to enjoy even more. I did not know I would work for them when I visited in 2010, but Krug just keeps showing up in my life. I couldn’t imagine my life without Champagne, and as much as I love so many other producers, Krug is my all-time favorite.


Check out all the wines mentioned below!


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Agrapart & Fils
Krug
2000
6 In Stock
750ml
GG100
WSM96
WS95
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2003
6 In Stock
750ml
GG99
WS95
JS95
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2003
24 Pre-Arrival
750ml
GG99
WS95
JS95

Due to arrive Jun-Jul 2024

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Taittinger
2005
15 In Stock
750ml
GG99
D97
WE95
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2006
2 In Stock
750ml
V96
JS96
VC96
WS95
FM94
WE94
CT94
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NV
35 In Stock
750ml
V92
WS92
CT90
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Benchmark Wine Group

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