Behind the Wine List with Ganga Das

The wine list at Cottonwood Restaurant has recently taken a new turn and has been carefully curated by on staff expert Ganga Das Welch. In this article, we take a seat with Ganga Das for a short Q&A to learn about the details behind the wine list selections.

Q – 1: Ganga Das, how do you summarize your recent update to wine list at Cottonwood Restaurant? What’s you overarching goal…

The thought process behind my updates and goal to the wine list at cottonwood is to reach as many of the right niches and regions throughout all corners of the globe with a strong representation our own backyard too. All the way from California to Washington state. There’s so much good wine from so many regions, old world and new, that there’s never enough space for all you want to get on the list. I want to try and offer the best quality of wine the world has to offer while at the same time making sure that wine comes at a value. It’s my belief that nobody should have to break the purse strings to enjoy a good bottle of wine.

Q – 2: How do you think the wine list differs from other establishments in the area?

I truly believe it’s the value. I’m always looking to find great wines from all over the world that drink twice as good as their value. I always make sure I have wines on my list that are in the low $40 to high $30 range. If there’s a way to pass on a great buy to the customer then I’m going to do it.

Q – 4: How did you get into wine?

I became more and more fascinated with wine through my years in the service industry. There’s so much to know and learn about wine and everything that it entails and it’s constantly changing too. I find it an amazing challenge that you really can never know everything about wine so you’re always learning. Not to mention that it’s just delicious too.

Q – 5: In your opinion, what makes a great wine list standout?

I think a great wine list is one that has something for everyone. Some people are more buttery chardonnay fans while others may like more Burgundian style. Some people believe Rieslings are only sweet sugary wines (They’re not!) I think a list that can bring people out of their comfort zones and still deliver great quality at a great price is what I always look for when I go out. Wine is so subjective that we all get different things from it when we drink it. The best wine list is the one you find or learn something new from.

Q – 6: What is your favorite type of wine and entree from Cottonwood?

Well even though this is a constantly changing topic right now my favorite wine on the list is the La Ghibellina. It’s 100% Cortese from the Gavi region in Italy. It’s a wine that screams summer and at $42 it’s a great value. People think the more the wine costs the better it is and that’s not always the case. This wine is a great expression of Italian white wine. It’s filled with minerality, acidity and great fruit though it is a little more subtle. It’s also a great pairing with my favorite dish on the menu right now the Heirloom Caprese salad. It’s the perfect combination of fresh, local and organic produce with combination of taking something simple and letting it shine on it’s own.