How to design an Award-Winning Wine List

Restaurant ACQUERELLO – San Francisco, 1722 Sacramento Street (near Ness and Polck) – has just received the prestigious Grand Awards from Wine Spectator. I have a meeting with Mr Giancarlo Paterlini (co-founder and general manager); I want to learn more about the restaurant’s cellar that deserves this prestigious award.

Mr. Paterlini takes me to visit the three cellars (at three different temperatures, for sparkling wines, whites and reds). Giancarlo says: “we pay much attention to serving temperature of all our wines, including the 18 wines always available for service by the glass“.

A Tasting Menu (following the seasonal ingredients) includes pairing of a a different wine for each course; currently 7 different wines. I ask to Giancarlo how they choose the wines to be offered in this Tasting Menu. “We work as a team: me, Giancarlo my son and our three sommeliers. I tell you what is just happened in the past few days. We are adding a new dish into the menu(braised oxtail). The Executive Chef (Mrs Suzette Gresham) prepared the dish in the afternoon and we met all five. Each of us has proposed few labels. We discussed on this matter for three afternoons, opening up a 5-6 wines each afternoon. The one that we now have chosen is the wine that best pairs with the complexity of this dish: the Nero d’Avola 2009 Nerojbleo from GULFI“.

Giancarlo and his son Giampaolo are deep connoisseurs of Champagne and wines from Langhe hills. The ACQUERELLO Wine List shows the personal knowledge they have with many small wine-growers: a large selection of Champagne Récoltant-Manipulant and a wide selection of Barbaresco from small wineries.

A pearl embellishes their selection: to the left of each Champagne is the disgorgement’s month. A first prize Wine List!

 

APR 18 2015

Marco Negro

 

 

 

Photo credit: Frank Guiller