Who says garnishing a Margarita with a salt rim is the only drink that will benefit from a salty pop of flavor?



Vinya’s in-house sommelier Allegra Angelo first learned about rimmed glasses in 2014 in San Francisco, inspired by her friend and talented barman, Robert Ferrara. She began experimenting with various salt-rimmed glasses and classic wine combos and has put together some wine glass rimming tips and different combinations of wine and salts for those looking to play with the flavors of their favorite wines.

The best part—you can sip from either side of the glass, constantly keeping your palate “on its toes” so-to-speak.

Salt Rimmed Wine Glasses

Salt Rimmed Wine Glasses

Here are Allegra’s Tips to Wine and Salt-Rim Combos

  1. Salt Application: A foam paint brush and a light, neutral-flavored olive oil for rimming. After much embarrassing trial and error. I found that a foam paint brush and olive oil work efficiently for rimming a wine glass. I’ve tried it all: from toothbrushes, to paint brushes, to cut citrus wheels, to lime juice, to lemon juice, to simple syrup, to canola oil… etc.
  2. The Technique: Essentially, dip the brush in the olive oil and blot off the excess. Then, make a “Nike swoosh” motion on rim of the glass just once. Then, briskly roll the glass on top of the rim (just like a proper Margarita) and shake off the excess. Pour the wine and… boom!
  3. Combinations: Try these flavorful combos. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
  • The Classic: Truffle Salt Rim and Champagne
  • The Twist: Popcorn Salt Rim and Champagne (or Chablis!)
  • The Curious: Spicy Espelette Sugar Rim and Mosel Riesling Kabinett
  • The Adventurous: Candied Bacon Rim and Northern Rhône Syrah
  • The Intellectual: Fennel Pollen Sugar and High-Brow Sancerre
Allegra Angelo - Sommelier, Vinya

Allegra Angelo – Sommelier, Vinya

Allegra Angelo

Sommelier, Vinya

From the northeast to the west coast to the southeast, sommelier Allegra Angelo has seemingly lived nine lives and counting, before bringing her love of wine, food, and community to Vinya as their in-house sommelier.

Working in restaurants since she was 15, her love of hospitality began at an early age, but her entrance into to the world of wine didn’t come quite as early. After graduating from Emory University with a B.S. in Biological Anthropology, Allegra decided to further explore her interest in the culinary world by enrolling at the Culinary Institute of America. Never having explored wine or spirits (personally or professionally) it was during this time that she was first introduced to wine. While she wasn’t drinking anything fancy, she learned about the wine drinking experience, understanding how a special glass can transport you to just about anywhere.

During her time at the Culinary Institute, she took an internship at Jean-Georges and eventually was offered the position of a pastry cook where she remained for two years. The restaurant’s head sommelier, Hristo Zisovski, would speak to Allegra about wine during her time there, which sparked her interest in beverage and front-of-the-house operations.

Allegra earned her Advanced Sommelier Certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas in 2012 and later moved to San Francisco, to grow, learn, and challenge herself as a sommelier and manager. She earned a 2-glass “Best of Award of Excellence” for her program at AQ, and then worked for a high-end wine importer, overseeing the California and New York markets as well as the website and copy. In addition, she created and executed a successful 2-year wine and beauty pop-up called, “Bottlecoat” in partnership with ZaZa Nail Lounge. Tirelessly working to achieve the highest level of knowledge, in her free time, she also was a ghost writer for SommSelect, reporting to well-known sommelier, writer and educator David Lynch.

To date, Allegra has developed more than 20 unique wine and spirit programs across the country and has certainly made her mark on The Magic City, working with local staples including, Mignonette, Stiltsville Fish Bar (James Beard Award-Winning Chef Jeff McInnis) and Café La Trova (Chef Michelle Bernstein). In 2019, Allegra was introduced to Nicholas Garcia who was in-the-midst of concepting Vinya, and the partnership between the two seemed inevitable.

Allegra’s work certainly doesn’t end on the dining room floor; she has worked wine harvests in Burgundy, Tuscany, and Spain and was the 2016 winner of TopSomm, the U.S. national sommelier competition and was a national finalist in 2014. Having passed all parts of the Master Sommelier Exam, she is currently preparing to retake the tasting portion in 2021.