Marcus Gausepohl, Wine Guy
A native Houstonian, Marcus Gausepohl’s passion for wine began with a trip to Hungary in his early twenties in the region of Somlo, which piqued his curiosity and led him to consume as many books (and bottles) as he could get his hands on. He now helms the wine list at Brennan’s of Houston, the landmark Texas dining institution which celebrated its 51th anniversary this year.
Gausepohl got his professional start curating Houston’s first Champagne-focused wine list at a local champagne bar, before moving on to work under Charles Clark at Ibiza Food & Wine Bar, where he procured its first award-winning wine list. Beginning in 2012, he served as Wine Director at Mark’s American Cuisine, curating a 800+ bottle wine cellar with a diverse range of boutique and classic wines from across the globe at the award-winning restaurant.
In early 2016, Gausepohl, age 33, was appointed as Brennan’s of Houston’s “Wine Guy,” tasked with enhancing the restaurant’s iconic wine program. Since joining the team, Gausepohl has delved into the current collection, further fine-tuning the offerings by scaling back and filling in the gaps with selections that will propel the list forward. Often conferring with Proprietor Alex Brennan-Martin and General Manager Carl Walker, Gausepohl and the team have revamped the selection by focusing on the French and by-the-glass offerings, which are conceptually appropriate for Brennan’s of Houston’s Texas Creole menu. “Brennan’s of Houston has the most original wine program I’ve been involved with,” says Gausephol. “It has its own language—it moves and breathes.”
At the same time, Gausepohl is cognizant of Brennan’s of Houston’s loyal patrons. “The last thing I want to do is take a wine off the list that’s important to one of our guests,” he says, paraphrasing a favorite quote by iconic sommelier Aldo Sohm of Le Bernardin fame.
Two years into his position, Gausepohl has rewritten Brennan's wine list to over 2,000 selections bringing in a new era of wine culture establishing a "drink what you like" philosophy in the restaurant.
"Our wine program is one that celebrates both the past and the present. I spend many hours seaching the globe for classic icons, rare unicorns, the rock stars of tomorrow and under-the-radar gems. I have been writing my dream wine list in my head for hears, and every day at Brennan's is a step closer to it. There are many different regions and price points on the list; something for everyone. Our goal is to make great memories for you. Every bottle is chosen carefully in hopes it might be worthy of your meal." - Marcus Gausepohl
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