Steve Olson

Beverage Consultant

New York

As a beverage consultant and educator, public speaker, restaurant owner and TV host, Steve Olson has traveled the world learning about and teaching the culture of food and drink. His company, aka Wine Geek, has focused on beverage education since 1992, and he is well known for his innovative beverage programs at several renowned restaurants, including the Dining Room at Mayflower Inn in Connecticut and Gramercy Tavern. Olson also sits on the James Beard Awards committee as the wine and spirits chair. He currently serves as the beverage consultant to Morgans Hotel Group in New York with whom he opened Isola, a Mediterranean trattoria in Soho and Hudson Common at Hudson Hotel.

  • On April 2, 2013
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  • On April 2, 2013
    Steve Olson answered the question: Steve Olson

    What does Steve Olson bring home from his travels?

    I bring home salt. Crazy, right? I love local salts. I also bring home hot sauces; I’m a fanatic for hot sauces. I go everywhere in the world and bring home the local hot sauce.

    From places that I love, I always bring back some cultural, artistic or craft-based artifact, usually historical. Often times it’s a musical instrument because I have a passion for music. I’ll bring back drums, tambourines or special instruments that are local. They exist in every culture, but every culture has their own way of doing it. That’s something that I’m passionate about.
  • On April 2, 2013
    Steve Olson answered the question: Steve Olson

    Who is Steve Olson’s favorite traveling companion?

    My wife. That’s actually why I married her. We were such perfect traveling companions. I used to love traveling alone, and I went all over the place. I met my wife in 1996 and shortly thereafter we took a trip and it was amazing. I realized at that moment that I, for the rest of my life, didn’t want to look back on all my cool memories and not have anyone to share them with. We created different memories together. I’ll never forget that as long as I live.
  • On April 2, 2013
    Steve Olson answered the question: Steve Olson

    What does Steve Olson always travel with?

    My flask. Since 1997, I have carried a flask that my wife bought me that has never had anything in it but San Miguel Single Village Mezcal Tobala. It’s Ron Cooper’s mezcal. When I tasted Tobala, I fell in love, and I used to carry a bottle around with me. Then my wife bought me this unbelievable flask.
  • On April 2, 2013
    Steve Olson answered the question: Steve Olson

    What are Steve Olson’s favorite things about Buenos Aires?

    My wife’s family on her mother’s side is Argentinean, so I see a side of Buenos Aires that’s a bit different because I get to see family there. We go there a lot, and often times we rent an apartment for as long as a month or six weeks and stay in the city. I just think Buenos Aires has an amazing energy. It’s a European city in the middle of South America, and I’m a Latin fanatic and I love South America, so to have that kind of magical combination of energy is special. The food is special. The arts scene is special. The street fairs are crazy. When you can go to a place where people dance tango in the streets, where you sit in a sidewalk café and people come and serenade you with tango and dance, it’s pretty amazing.
  • On April 2, 2013
    Steve Olson answered the question: Steve Olson

    What are Steve Olson's favorite cities to visit?

    I love Buenos Aires. I love Oaxaca. I love Barcelona, but I love Madrid just as much. Believe it or not, I love Athens. I love Istanbul. I think Istanbul is one of the most exciting cities in the world right now. I love Shanghai, but if I could only go to one city again in the eastern world, it would be Tokyo. I’m a sake fanatic, and I love Japanese food. To me, Tokyo is like New York in Japan; I just love the energy. At the same time, how could I leave London out of that?