Meet Rodolphe Boulanger, our Imported Wine Director
Rodolphe Boulanger grew up around wine thanks to his French father and wine-collecting American grandfather. He has more than 10 years experience in wine import, distribution and retail. Most recently, he was President of The Wine Messenger, a catalog and Internet specialty wine retailer, for six years. Rodolphe earned a Diploma with Merit from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust®, is a Certified Wine Educator and is a candidate for the Master of Wine, which only 27 Americans hold.
Q: How would you describe your wine personality?
RB: Diverse, international and esoteric.
Q: What are your favorite foods?
RB: Italian and Thai. Not that French food isn’t great, but it’s too close to home.
Q: What are your favorite wines to drink?
RB: Riesling, red Burgundy, northern Italian reds, Madeira, and aged Bordeaux.
Q: What’s the most epic wine you’ve ever tasted?
RB: Cheval Blanc from 1961 – it was old, elegant and definitely epic.
Q: Does your French background make you partial to French wines?
RB: Of course, but it makes me extra critical of them as well. French wines can be fantastic, but they aren’t always so great.
Q: What’s your favorite wine region to travel to?
RB: I love going to Piedmont but Madeira, Portugal is the wine region I’d like to go next. Madeira makes totally unique wines on a subtropical island in the middle of the Atlantic filled with history. What could be better than that?
Q: Why did you get into wine?
RB: It combines my interests and passions – history, culture, science, language and cuisine.
Q: Why did you join Lot18?
RB: Because it’s awesome. Seriously, we have a fantastic team and I see the enormous potential of exploring and expanding the online wine space.
Q: If you had one piece of advice for buying wine, what would it be?
RB: Buy what you like and find people who can recommend what you like – curators with similar palates.
Q: What do you like about New York?
RB: It’s the city that never sleeps! Where else can you get Chinese food or fresh Croissants at 3 a.m.?