There's plenty to like about Steven Grubbs, the terrifically knowledgeable and highly approachable wine director at Five & Ten in Athens, Georgia, and Atlanta's Empire State South. But, ask us what we like most about the guy and we'll tell you that it all comes down to his refreshingly unfussy attitude.
"I've never been interested in the fancypants aspect of wine, that luxury end of it," Grubbs says. "I'm into wines that have some reason for being or some cool story that accounts for why they are the way they are."
The one element that he leaves out of the equation, however, is the intimidation factor. Whether you're looking at an old-school Italian red or a geeky California Sémillon, Grubbs says to keep an open mind and remember that sometimes, not knowing is the best part.
"The wine world is massive," Grubbs says, "and none of us know everything. My advice is to just go play."