I’ll Drink to That: Michael McCaulley of Tria Restaurant

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Episode 322 of I’ll Drink to That! has been released and it features Michael McCaulley, who is the Beverage Director and a partner in the Tria restaurants in Philadelphia.

Michael McCaulley found himself in a tough situation when he was a kid. His mom was a single parent, they were in a bad neighborhood, and there wasn’t much food around to eat. Initially, he was attracted to working at a restaurant because he knew that if he went he would get a meal that day. But while there he also found a surrogate family, and they looked after him and brought him through, giving him more and more responsibility and training. Along the way, he used to read wine books on the school bus so that he could be better prepared for the staff wine classes when he got back to the restaurant. This was a guy who used to like to unpack the bottles from the deliveries, because all the wine names sounded like they were from far away places. Fast forward two decades and if you ask a number of the wine directors in Philly today where they first got interested in wine, they’ll tell you it was at Tria, with McCaulley. For the last several years McCaulley has been trying to give back to the community what he found through wine, which was a ticket to the rest of the world. In the process, he has mentored a good amount of Philly’s professional wine culture, in a state where there is no independent retail to help with that. If you want to hear about how restaurants can change lives and communities, listen to episode 322.

Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes.

I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine