Josh Groban on Jewish food, wine and gourmet travel destinations

says Josh Groban

Josh Groban says “we all have way too many clinking glasses for this holiday season.” This is what he is thankful for this year. (Photo: Getty; designed by Areta Gjicali)

Because food connects us all, Yahoo Life serves up a plate full of table conversations with people who are passionate about what’s on their menu Deglazeda series about food.

Josh Groban is known for his outstanding vocal skills coupled with a long list of awards and achievements. Stars in the upcoming Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd: The demon barber of Fleet Streetthe Grammy award winning artist also happens to be a passionate philanthropist and a important wine lover.

You could say that wine has always been in the blood of the platinum selling artist “You Raise Me Up”, who also likes to raise a glass. “Growing up as a Cali guy,” he says, “I was very lucky to be a Los Angelo that — once, you know, I turned 21 and had a car — I was able to go to Napa anytime. to go. wanted, and go to Sonoma and Santa Barbara.”

The entertainer says he always had a special pleasure in wine education and a love of learning the stories about where wines came from. As his career – and eventually travel opportunities – grew, so did his wine research footprint.

“Probably my favorite wine region in the world is Burgundy, France,” Groban tells Yahoo Life. “You get to experience things that were bottled a few years ago in buildings that are 2,000 years old. Because of this, there’s so much rich history and so many stories being written because of wine. That made it a really fun trip.”

The enormous opportunities that his gift has given him have not gone unnoticed by the 41-year-old. “Every time I travel for music, there’s always a glass of wine involved, there’s always a bottle of wine, there’s always a winery nearby, there’s always a region I’ve never thought of before,” says him, including South Africa and Australia as up and coming spots that he otherwise would never have experienced without his career.

“Music gives me access to so many different experiences,” he says, “and I think wine is the same when it comes to creativity.”

When it comes to pairing wine with food, Groban adds, “I try to eat my way through everything.”

He recently returned from Italy. “That was a great country to eat a lot,” he says, “lots of cheese and pasta and tasty things.” His favorite foodie town? “Tokyo was probably the most incredible city I’ve been to for food,” he shares. “I like Japanese food.”

He also appreciates places much closer to home. “California is an incredible state to grow up in,” he says. “There are so many different parts of California to eat and there’s such a rich melting pot of styles and cultures all coming together.”

Groban reminisces about backyard family barbecues with his mom, brother, and dad — whom he playfully refers to as the “grill master.”

“I don’t eat a lot of red meat, but food is love,” he says. “If my dad cooks it, I’ll eat it.” The Groban family loves cornbread and baked beans, but they also have a Jewish background. “I’ve learned to love matzo balls and pickled fish,” he adds.

But Dad wasn’t always responsible for the cooking. “My mom makes a great chili,” says Groban. Every year on Christmas morning, she also makes an egg dish, chock-full of cheese that the whole family looks forward to. “That’s just below being excited about what Santa brought us in the morning, smelling that dish when we wake up,” he says.

Yahoo Life chatted with the artist ahead of a rare night off — where Groban had big plans. “I’m going to roll some pasta,” he says. “I’m going to make some sauce — it’s going to be garlicky, it’s going to be red, and it’s got some cheese in it.” Not surprisingly, he planned to pair that with a bottle of Merlot.

Groban spoke to Yahoo Life as part of a philanthropic partnership with Josh Cellars and its founder, Joseph Carr. “Josh Wine is a wine I’ve enjoyed for a long time,” says Groban. “Friends used to give me bottles of Josh wine as a kind of gift and as a joke [because the two share a name] but it was one that I would enjoy and love and continue to buy.

Josh Cellars recruits people named Josh for the very first ‘Joshgiving’. With the goal of giving back on Thanksgiving, the campaign focuses on giving back through meaningful acts of kindness. These acts of kindness can be anything from fundraising for a local bookstore to organizing a community coat rack.

The synergy between Groban and Josh Cellars was immediate, he adds. Josh Cellars uses his wine platform as a means of giving back—to the tune of more than $1 million to various charitable organizations in his lifetime—much the same way Groban does through music.

Yahoo Life spoke to Groban from the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center where he, along with Josh Cellars and the nonprofit organization Sing for Hope, unveiled a piano designed for the facility and a $100,000 donation. “We all have a lot to ring for this holiday season,” adds Groban.

Giving back feels natural to the acclaimed singer. “I recognize that I have been given so many incredible opportunities in my life,” he says. “The reason I’m here is because there were people in my life who were kind enough to give me access and opportunities to follow my dreams.”

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