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Petra and The Beast’s Josh Moody Wants Dallas To Try Funkier White Wines

Welcome to "What's Dallas Drinking?", a periodic pulse check with the city's brightest beverage pros.
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The bar at Petra and the Beast. Brian Reinhart

The best way to learn what’s trending in the food and drink industry is to ask folks who are at the heart of it. When it comes to drinks, that means heading for the person behind the bar or tapping the person holding the wine menu. To get an idea of what Dallas is drinking now, we’re asking experts in the industry about the trends they’re noticing among diners.

Josh Moody is a server at Petra and the Beast and a major ambassador for their wine program. If you have questions about their list, he’s likely coming to see you at your table. You’ll also see him on Petra’s Instagram, giving a rundown of his latest favorite bottles. We sat down with a bottle of sparkling Vinho Verde to discuss what Dallas is drinking.

This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.

How did you start working in the wine and beverage world, and what got you hooked?

I grew up in Austin and originally I was in the industry just to make ends meet. I was a musician, and I thought I wanted to [someday] be a pastry chef or something. I started working back of house for a couple of years, but I realized that I didn’t love working in kitchens, and being a queer person in kitchens was very difficult too, particularly at that time, around 2010.

So I went to front of house and started working at a beer bar. From there I helped open a spot in the South Congress Hotel, a steakhouse concept with wine and cocktails. After that, I moved on to a Thai restaurant called Sway and learned a lot about Riesling and sake, too. After the pandemic, I came to Dallas and worked at El Carlos Elegante and now Petra. Now [co-workers] have just been like, “Oh, Josh is the wine guy.” And I love drinking wine and I love teaching people about it too. I think it’s just something I kind of fell into.

What differences have you noticed moving from Austin to Dallas?

The first thing I noticed was I didn’t see orange wines here as much. When I worked at Canje [the awesome Caribbean restaurant and James Beard semifinalist in Austin], people got upset if we didn’t have at least two orange wines by the glass. Dallas crowds go for the classics a lot more. A lot of people want big reds, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

Another thing that was shocking, and I’d never thought I’d say this, in Dallas, I feel like I have to convince people to order rosé, which is really interesting.

What from the Petra wine list do you wish people ordered more or needs more love?

Funkier whites. I’m trying to get people to try Vermentino, you know? It’s mind-blowing for people because they don’t recognize it, but they’ll still love it almost every time.

Light and acidic reds also don’t get enough love. And orange wines too. People don’t know what they are as much, but I like educating people and getting them to take a risk and try something different.

What are you drinking at home most of the time?

I’m a white wine drinker—I’ll drink anything from a gas station white to a nice bottle from a wine shop. So if you come over to the house, I’m probably going to offer you a white. I have some reds, I’ll make a cocktail here and there, but there’s always gonna be white wine.

Do you have a go-to white wine that you always have on hand?

I don’t have a particular producer in mind, but I like German and Austrian whites. My favorites are Gruner Veltliner or Rieslings, like a dry Kabinett or something just a little bit off-dry.

What’s your favorite watering hole in your neighborhood?

Living in Lakewood, I go to Cosmo’s a lot after work, and if it’s not there, probably Mike Gemini.

What’s your go-to dive bar order?

Espolon and Austin EastCiders or if they don’t have that, this is an embarrassing one, but Deep Eddy Lemon and water. It tastes slightly like lemonade and you’re hydrating!

Author

Chase Beakley

Chase Beakley

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