Hashi caught up with Richard Betts—former Master Sommelier, co-founder of wine label Betts & Scholl and Scarpeta, founder of spirits brands Sombra Mezcal, Komos Tequila and Superbird Paloma as well as a New York Times bestselling author of two essential wine and spirits guides—to get his Top 5 wine and spirits. Check out the picks that have “captured his imagination.”


Photo: courtesy of Richard Betts

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Komos Tequila Another Round, Make It Tequila

  1. KōHana Rum, of course. The Rum category is super crowded and much of it is made from low quality ingredients. KōHana, on the other hand, takes amazing care from the very first step, growing their own heritage sugar cane, all the way through to the last. The results are spectacularly beautiful and a joy to drink.
  2. Scherrer “Old & Mature Vines” Zinfandel. Scherrer is really a piece of California heritage and one of the most underrated wineries anywhere. I adore all of Fred’s wines so it’s tough to pick just one. If I must, I’d go for his Zin which is so elegant, detailed, and pretty you’d think you’re drinking Pinot noir with better body. I love it.
  3. Chateau Musar Blanc, Lebanon. One of the great wines on the planet is made by the Hochar family from their vineyards in the Bekaa Valley. Grapes are thought to be relatives of Chardonnay and Semillon but whatever they are, the wine is amazing. Importantly, it only gets better with age so go for it and try something older. You’ll be in love.
  4. Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc. The hill of Hermitage in the Northern Rhone Valley of France is a truly unique spot and it’s here that one finds the undisputed apogee of the grapes Marsanne and Roussanne. Rich, super complex, ethereal, and truly singular – this is my favorite wine on earth. Again, great with some age.
  5. Paradiso Di Manfredi, Brunello di Montalcino. Pure Sangiovese is my favorite grape when grown in Tuscany. If I could pick only one it would be Paradiso. It’s a tiny, traditional winery run by a lovely family doing it in the most thoughtful work. The wine so evocative of Tuscany and tugs mightily on the strings of my heart.  Worth finding a bottle.