:: HISTORY ::
Formerly based in New York City, The Noble Rot set out to redefine wine culture and reinvigorate the wine tasting and educational experience through salon-style pop-ups.
The first event was held on Terry Girard’s rooftop in Brooklyn in 2009. Damian Gutierrez (then of Cabrini Wines) supplied the wine and Brian Quinn provided baguettes and booked a live bluegrass band. Jonathan Cristaldi hosted in character as “Jonny Cigar,” who declared himself that very day, “A Self-Appointed Master Sommelier,” and who became the Noble Rot’s celebrated antagonizer, shouting Cigar wine-isms from his bully pulpit.
It was a joyous beginning to a series of highly successful avant-garde wine events, which remained largely under the radar during the club’s tenure producing several lauded and sought-after experiences. The press did come, and did it ever.
In the above photo, Jonathan Cristaldi (with a copy of a French version of The Great Gatsby in his pocket) pours celebratory glasses of wine for the Stag Dining Group, during post-event revelry in San Francisco on Bastille Day in 2011.
The Noble Rot was dubbed a “traveling wine saloon,” by TastingTable.com and was the host of pop-up experiential wine tastings often hosting innovative collaborators, musical and theatrical performances.
Sometimes they came and went without having met
Gatbsy Jonny at all, came for the party with a simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission.
:: FOUNDER & NOBLE WINE EVANGELIST ::
Jonathan Cristaldi (a.k.a. Jonny Cigar) launched The Noble Rot during the summer of 2009, eventually partnering with former musical booking agent, Brian Quinn, to blend wine tastings with musical acts and storytelling. Quinn and Cristaldi parted ways in 2011, while Cristaldi continued hosting Noble Rot events. As of the Ides of March in the year 2014, let it be declared that the Noble Rot is no longer hosting events.
Presently, Cristaldi is a full time writer, critic and storyteller of all things wine. He is a regular contributor to FirstWeFeast.com/drink, Thrillist.com and Los Angeles Magazine’s “Liquid LA” blog. He is also the Deputy Editor at Tasting Panel Magazine + The SOMM Journal. His best advice to wine amateurs and pros alike: don’t be afraid to poke fun at yourself, trust your own opinions and don’t take this wine thing too seriously—unless of course the time and place calls for some serious wine geeking, then plunge full force and take no prisoners. Cristaldi lives in Los Angeles with his wife and together they raise a small, but bourgeoning outdoor garden.
Awards: Cristaldi was dubbed a new “Wine Prophet” by Time Out New York and holds the WSET Advanced Level 3 Certification in Wine & Spirits.
:: MANIFESTO ::
The Noble Rot was imagined to break the snobbish mold of wine culture and to foster an atmosphere around the tasting and education of wine that mirrored my hopes of how people engage with this wonderful fermented juice. Wine as a story, a piece of history and the language that defines wine culture is all incredibly fascinating to me. The best scenario for learning combines an experience that encompasses those elements and presents them to you, simply put, in a fun and unpretentious way. The Noble Rot for me, is the answer to unpretentious wine snobbery because wine is subjective – do you like what is in your glass or not? – JC