Ask the Barman: A Cabernet Sauvignon fit for Obama

Wine expert Seth Weiser shows off his extensive knowledge (and love for Caroline Glick) at an event to promote Israeli wines at Clara Bar in Tel Aviv.

August 30, 2011 17:21
3 minute read.
Barman Seth Weiser

Seth Weiser 311. (photo credit: Yoni Cohen)


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Hailing from New York, 35-year-old wine expert Seth Weiser recently made a special guest appearance at Clara Bar on the beach in Tel Aviv to promote Israeli wines.

Weiser is currently living in Israel and planning on making aliya shortly. Though he is not a barman by trade, he was serving Israeli wines at a special event hosted by the popular outdoor bar, arranged by

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He learnt about the world of wines while working at his family's wine store in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which has been in the family since 1941. Most of his bartending experience comes from serving the locals in the shop.

Weiser’s family also has a long history in Israel; many of his relatives lived here well before the creation of the state, and had to flee because of ties to the Irgun and Palmah movements. He is proud to be returning back to the country which his ancestors helped to build. 

Photo: Yoni CohenHow long have you been serving drinks?

For six years.

Where did you learn the trade?

While working in the family wine business in New York.

Who’s the most interesting customer you have ever served?

There was a lady that came into the store every day for over a year and never bought anything. One day I asked if she would like to buy some wines and she said that she’d been waiting for someone to ask her. She ended up buying a whole case.

Who would be your ideal customer to serve wine to?

Barack Obama.

Photo: Yoni CohenWhy?

I could ask him what in the world is he really thinking. I would want to get him drunk to figure out what’s really going on his mind.

What would you serve him?

I think he would like a nice Cabernet Sauvignon.
You know what, I‘d serve him a Cabernet Sauvignon from deep within the West Bank. From way outside the ‘67 borders.

So, getting back to the matter at hand – what does it take to be a barman?

You have to be fast-paced and you have to be able to read people. A lot of the time people come up to you and ask – What do I want? After talking to someone for five minutes you can usually tell what they want. You just need to make some small talk. It becomes like an intuition.

What’s your least favorite drink to serve?

I don’t like serving sweet Passover wine.

Any tips for anyone that wants to get into bartending?

Take a class in psychology first. It helps to understand people and what they drink.

Do many people try to hit on you?

Let’s put it this way, I’ve been on hit on more times working in my family's store than any club in New York.

Oh and one last thing – I love Caroline Glick. Is she married?

I am not sure; you’d have to ask her yourself.

Details of Weiser's family wine shop can be found at

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