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Raj Vaidya |

Friend of Convive

I fell into the wine industry via hospitality, working first as a cook and then a gardener before becoming a waiter at a rural farmhouse restaurant with a great wine list. Tasting old Burgundy and Mosel wines from that cellar sold me on pursuing it full time as a career.


I was a sommelier in fancy restaurants for the last 20 years, most of that time spent running Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire as his Head Sommelier.  Today I act as a private wine consultant and work with top notch wine festivals like La Fête du Champagne and La Paulée. 


I am a mediocre but enthusiastic table tennis player and amateur cook.

Top 5 Champagnes (Usually Available at Convive)

  • Agrapart Terroirs
  • Chartogne-Taillet Cuvée Sainte Anne
  • Bérêche Brut Réserve
  • Ulysse Collin Les Maillons
  • Pierre Péters Cuvée Réserve

All Time Live Concerts

  • Ween/Les Claypool Jazz Fest NOLA 2002
  • Prince MSG Summer 2011
  • Wu Tang Clan 25th Anniversary, Washington D.C November 2018

Wines That Made My Life Better

  • 1934 Romanée-Conti, tasted in 2007
  • Prevost La Closerie Beguines 2008, tasted first in 2011
  • 1969 Roederer Cristal, tasted in 2008
  • 1999 Coche-Dury Meursault Perrières, tasted in their cellar 2018

Favorite Restaurants NYC (Dead or Alive)

  • Franny’s
  • Chennai Garden (original, 27th St)
  • Som Tum Der (Avenue A)
  • Momofuku Ko (Bar only)
  • Secchu Yokota

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Raj Vaidya - Convive Wine and Spirits