The values on which the construction of the wine list is based
The food and wine culture grows more every day. This cultural heritage can be found in every restaurant and in most homes, but it is in haute cuisine that it finds its highest expression. Gourmet restaurants are not approached merely to eat, but to live experiences. Here then it becomes essential to find someone to guide the diner on his journey. Thus the wine list becomes an exceptional map that marks the stages dictated by the dishes, in which the sommelier takes on the role of modern Virgil.
We interviewed three great sommeliers of the Venetian restaurant, to find out how and why the wine list is taking on more and more nuances.
Giovanni Zanon, owner of the Hotel Villa Abbazia, La Corte restaurant
“I want my guests to feel as much at home as possible” says Giovanni Zanon, owner of the Hotel Villa Abbazia Ristorante La Corte. “For this reason, in every moment of the meal, we try to nourish all five senses. The difficulty lies in understanding what kind of diner I am dealing with, so as to be able to guide and accompany him on the food and wine journey best suited to the single person. So a properly structured wine list allows you to create an experience within the experience. My favorite situation are the tasting menus, with which I can combine a wine with each dish. In this case, I never show the label to the customer before tasting, but only at a later time. ” Zanon loves his work and this is immediately perceived, but only later, does he also understand why he is so good at doing it: “The wine list is a fundamental piece of the diner’s experience. France must never be missing, but otherwise the choice is very subjective, I like to make known the territory and the niches: through the menu the mentality of the restaurant is also transmitted, for example I will never insert a New Zealand wine, I can’t insert a bottle that creates pollution to get here. ”
Marco Scandoliero, sommelier of the Locanda Quattro Ciacole
The sommelier of Locanda Quattro Ciacole proposes a menu rich in seasonality: “For me, the wine list, like the kitchen, must follow seasonality, a cellar must not be a museum but a lively, sparkling environment in step with the times . A great wine list of a great restaurant must be a hotbed of novelty. ”
“It is essential to follow the seasons and, at the same time, enhance the dishes proposed by the chef. Certainly there must be big names, but I prefer to offer wines from less known companies and wine-growing areas, in order to make customers more and more curious. The wine list becomes important when reasoned. Like all arts, inventions and choices become important when the touch of the human being is placed in a reasoned and humoral way “.
Matteo Bernardi, sommelier of the Le Calandre restaurant
According to Matteo Bernardi, being part of the Le Calandre empire is a great advantage: “It allows me to do great teamwork and compare myself with other highly trained colleagues. Each label is discussed together and this allows us to broaden our points of view. A wine must be straightforward and fully represent the grape it comes from. Our wine list must be representative, both of the territories and of those who give life to wine. It must be able to give voice to both the largest and the smallest realities. We believe in the wines we offer, it would be impossible to serve a wine we do not share, the authenticity and naturalness of our work would be lost. For me, the wine list has the same role that a library can play, containing knowledge and passing on knowledge ”.