The spirit of collaboration is built into our DNA. Proxies are curious, experimental and creative, and so are our friends. The best things in life—a happy memory, an exquisite meal—are best shared.
In our fourth collaboration, Proxies teamed up with world-renowned chef Dominique Crenn.
A Note from Dominique
"Growing up in France, wine was a central part of the dining experience. Whether at home with your family, or in a restaurant with friends, almost every meal was accompanied by wine. Proxies has done something beautiful by creating an alcohol-free alternative that is as thoughtful as wine, offering the opportunity to enhance a meal, stimulate discussion, and enable shared moments, for those who aren’t drinking. When I first tasted Zephyr, I was blown away by the layers of flavor and complexity—not to mention the beautiful color… all without alcohol! When I’m cooking at Atelier Crenn, dining out, or even at home, swapping a glass of wine for Proxies is a wonderful way to stimulate the palate while keeping the mind sharp.
For my own blend, I wanted to design something for anyone at the table. Crafting Pétanque was a truly delightful experience. I wanted to capture the culture and diversity of my new home in California, so we explored different flavors, herbs and textural components that I use in the kitchen to express creativity and our community in the glass.
How do you win a game of Pétanque? A little levity and a lot of focus—a flash of light as the boule takes flight. Chef Crenn has played since childhood, and carries that balance of recreation and resolve into her kitchen. Inspired by this tension of intention and exuberance, Pétanque’s linear backbone—from Riesling, verjus and yuzu—is rounded out with floral notes and herbal depth. Underscored by a trio of teas, the midpalate leans into honeysuckle, osmanthus and sage, while makrut lime lingers on the finish, daring you to take another sip.
About Dominique Crenn
Dominique Crenn is the chef and owner of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco—and the first and only female chef in the U.S. to have earned three Michelin stars. Also among her accolades: A James Beard Foundation Award and multiple nods from World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
An activist and storyteller, Chef Crenn offers a unique perspective on food and hospitality. We’re as impressed by her dishes—including ingredients sourced from her Sonoma garden, Bleu Belle Farm—as we are by the poems that make up the Atelier’s daily menus. In this quest for harmony, Chef Crenn dropped meat from the menu, favoring a more sustainable pescatarian pantry.
If you’ve seen Dominique on Iron Chef, you’ll agree that she is delightfully unaffected by the highest of praise. She takes food seriously, but approaches everything else with an infectious sense of whimsy.
If you can’t nab a seat at Atelier Crenn or Bar Crenn, just open a bottle of Pétanque, cue up Dominique’s episode of Chef’s Table, and settle in for an evening of inspiration and indulgence.
Club Release 2023.01
Proxies x Dominique Crenn
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Miguel de Leon
In our third collaboration, Proxies teamed up with award-winning sommelier Miguel de Leon.
Meet Sommelier Miguel de Leon
I want to engage restaurant spaces in the bigger non-alcoholic conversation and really challenge them to think about what the full spectrum of hospitality looks like. A considered non-alcoholic beverage program is one of the ways we can extend that warmth and generosity, by offering something that is more thoughtful, more enjoyable, and frankly, more grown-up in terms of palate and experience.
I hope my background, growing up culturally Filipino, offers a new take on global cuisine. This is why I have chosen particular flavors to introduce with Proxies. I want to show that the bounty of flavors I've considered as nostalgic and relating to my original 'home' are actually flavors that transcend distance—tropical and stone fruit, over-steeped tea, fragrant herbs that can grow on just about any windowsill—and prove that we have many things in common that make us happy.
Vinta is named for the small vessels found on the shores of the Philippines, whose bright, patterned sails are depicted on the label. Orange in color, texture, and style, Vinta draws inspiration from the golden glow, intense aromatics and tannic structure of skin contact wines.
Vinta is a memory of Miguel’s Filipino childhood, marrying tropical fruit with citrus, tea and pandan. Riesling offers acidity, while a duo of black teas—Nepal and Jasmine—lend grippy tannins and a balancing bitter finish.
About Miguel de Leon
Born in Manila and raised in California, Miguel grew up surrounded by food and flavor. He began his career at the iconic Chez Panisse, followed by a stint at Momofuku in New York. Currently, Miguel heads up the beverage program at Pinch Chinese in Soho, New York, where he champions all sorts of delicious drinks—alcoholic and otherwise.
As his appetite developed to include advocacy and politics in the wine world, Miguel swept up the inaugural Michelin Guide Sommelier of the Year Award in 2021, a James Beard Foundation Media Award in 2022, and several illustrious writing bylines along the way. At home with both pen and corkscrew, Miguel’s thoughtful approach to the drinks world has earned him a cult following. He was chosen for Imbibe Magazine’s 75 People Working to Build a Better Drinks World and Wine Enthusiast’s Future 40.
Proxies x Miguel de Leon
André Hueston Mack
For our second collaboration, we teamed up with star sommelier, restaurateur, and winemaker, André Hueston Mack.
INSPIRED BY OREGON
Often referred to as the black sheep of the wine world, André gained renown as sommelier at The French Laundry and Per Se before leaving to make celebrated wines under his own label, Maison Noir Wines. Andre’s chosen region is the Willamette Valley, which offers “an American echo of the Burgundian wines that pair so seamlessly with most cuisines—high or low brow.” We set out to capture that glorious terroir with this collaboration.
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Chef Sean Brock
We collaborated with the James Beard Award-Winning chef to create a blend inspired by his biggest culinary inspiration — his grandmother Audrey.
"My first thought for this collaboration was to recreate the wine that my grandmother used to make from the wild elderberries picked on her property. To complement the elderberries, we chose some of my favorite Appalachian ingredients like pawpaws, pine, and an old-fashioned bean preservation technique called leather britches. The result instantly transports me back to my grandmother’s home. I hope you enjoy this piece of living history."