Allegrini 2018

Wine in restaurants according to top sommeliers: curious and increasingly critical customers

Valentina Bertini (Terrazza Gallia), Vincenzo Donatiello (Piazza Duomo), Giuseppe Palmieri (Osteria Francescana) and Marco Reitano (La Pergola)
Wine in restaurants according to top sommeliers

In the culinary experience of a large restaurant wine has an essential role. Those who have made their second homes in dining rooms, building their professional careers on wine lists and impeccable cellars know this very well. The top Italian sommeliers have given WineNews a picture of the relationship between wine and customers, uncovering increasingly curious customers who willingly rely on the advice of the owner and are in love with Barolo, Barbaresco and Brunello di Montalcino, in a rich and faceted landscape. Valentina Bertini of “Terrazza Gallia” in Milan, sommelier of the year award from the Guida de L’Espresso, said, “Italians at the restaurant are curious, looking for something different than the usual big names, but still many depend on wine guides. When they sit down at the table, though, they rely on us sommeliers. The top choices are always Barolo, Barbaresco and Brunello”. Things change, though, from the metropolis to the Langhe, because territory, both in the kitchen and on the wine list is of paramount importance. As Vincenzo Donatiello, sommelier of the three Michelin stars restaurant, “Piazza Duomo” in Alba, said, “Piedmont is always our clients’ first choice, and they are also looking for more and more comprehensible, gourmet, fresh and above all clean wines. There is a big request for organic wines. Fortunately, the customer is building a critical knowledge on his own. Here, after Barolo and Barbaresco, Etna is very often requested”. Giuseppe Palmieri has been the sommelier for years at the tables of one of the best restaurants in the world, “Osteria Francescana” in Modena by chef Massimo Bottura, who added, “Our customers require a meaningful food experience, so the role of the sommelier is essential. Even if you drink less you must drink well, and thus the wine culture grows. The bubbles of Franciacorta, Lambrusco and Trentodoc are going strong, but so are the Piedmont reds and there are also some surprises from the South”. And, finally, Marco Reitano, sommelier of “La Pergola” of the three Michelin starred Rome Cavalieri. “Our customers want exclusivity and they trust the sommelier; they ask for advice on emerging companies and artisanal producers, but there are still those who come in with a guide under their arms. Brunello, Barolo and Amarone are at the top here”.

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