- Aldo Sohm of Thor and Blaue Gans
107 Rivington St., 212-796-8040
139 Duane St., 212-571-8880
There is no dearth of acutely talented wine wizards roaming New York’s restaurant scene, assembling rarefied cellars and compiling lists as thick as phone books. But to the average diner, what makes more of an impression than encyclopedic knowledge and a discerning nose is sheer, infectious enthusiasm and a refreshing lack of pretension. An award-winning sommelier in his native Austria, Sohm, wine director for all of Kurt Gutenbrunner’s restaurants, could parse the finer points of Grüner Veltliners and Zwiegelts all day, given the chance. But his modest, user-friendly list at Thor roams the globe, unearthing great values on food-friendly wines that match the restaurant’s youthful spirit and moderate prices. The “Sommelier Discoveries” section showcases unusual varietals and lesser-known regions, like the $40 Slovakian Riesling that Sohm had a colleague lug over to Blaue Gans, his current post, so a customer could try it.