We can finally feel chic sipping on wine coolers (in a can - no less!) and we have Jordan Salcito to thank. Jordan spent a decade working her way through the wine and restaurant industries before becoming Wine & Beverage Director for David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants, and named a James Beard semifinalist multiple times for her wine programs there. In 2016, she launched RAMONA, an organic Italian wine spritz that is so deliciously refreshing we forgot all about that other "summer water". Read on to find out Jordan's go-to hostess gift, her hidden talent and a great way to break the ice!
On a scale of Oscar the Grouch to Martha Stewart, how much do you like to host at home?
Depending on the day, somewhere in between the two, but much closer to Martha! Before our son Henry was born, I hosted dinner parties regularly. Now, with RAMONA and a 2 ½ year old, it is a bit trickier to carve out the time to host, but every time we do, it makes it that much more special. Now we plan home entertaining a bit further ahead and make special arrangements for Henry so I can really be present and enjoy entertaining friends and family.
What’s your favorite icebreaker?
Asking people the best piece of advice they’ve been given. It’s a real eye opener to what makes a person tick and is a great entry-point to forging a more meaningful connection with guests.
If you are looking at a drink menu, what will you never order? Always order?
Depends on where I am and who is writing the beverage program. At restaurants / bars with thoughtful programs and a sommelier or bar director who is passionate, I love to let the sommelier / bar manager choose something that excites them at the moment - it always opens my eyes to new wines, spirits, cocktails. I’ll give a bit of general direction such as ‘something sparkling’ or ‘something textural and white’ depending on my mood at that time, but giving someone a chance to highlight something they’ve just brought onto the list has become my favorite avenue for new discoveries.
Favorite host/hostess gift to give?
I always love to gift a bottle of Champagne, something that the host can drink after the party. Current favorite producers include Fred Savart, Pierre Peters, Chartogne-Taillet, Raphael Bérêche or Agrapart & Fils - all small growers that make delicious bubbly.
You are stranded on a dinner party desert island and can only bring one beverage, one appetizer and one dessert, what do you chose?
Appetizer: radishes with butter & salt
Dessert: Mascarpone cream with roasted plums
Beverage: our new RAMONA Sicilian Lemon
What’s your go-to party playlist?
The Charlie Bird playlist on Tidal
If you could invite 7 people to dinner, dead or alive, who would it be?
Henri Jayer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, James Hansen, FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt, Michelle Obama and Ellen Degeneres. Henri would bring the wine, obviously.
What’s your hidden talent?
I am an excellent baker and enjoy making quilts from time to time.
What’s the last thing you drank?
Michel Autrand’s ‘Ciel Rouge’ Vouvray
What was the best party you’ve been to?
A tie between a friend’s annual Halloween Party, Lingua Franca x La Ligne’s holiday pajama party and the always glamorous NoMad Masquerade Ball.