We recently sat down for a question and answer session with Patrick Cappiello, the Sommelier behind GILT’s carefully curated wine list. Read on to learn about the experiences, vintages and parings that have shaped the career of our esteemed sommelier, who won Wine Spectator’s prestigious Grand Award in 2011.
1. What is your favorite wine being served currently at GILT?
Jean Foillard, Morgon, “Côte du Py,” Burgundy, France 2010
In my opinion (Jean Foillard is) the best producer in Beaujolais. His wines are made in tiny quantities and I feel very lucky to be able to pour it by the glass (while it lasts…)
2. Do you have any suggested wine pairings this spring?
Lighter wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling are always great with dishes featuring early spring vegetables.
3. When did you first become interested in wine? (When was your first taste? How was the experience?)
My interest in wine began in my early 20s. I grew up in Western New York, which is close to both the Finger Lakes wine region and the Niagara wine region in Canada. It was at this time that I started taking tours of the wineries in these areas. I was immediately impressed with the seemingly infinite flavors and aromas that these wines had to offer. I then began reading different wine publications and tasting as much wine as I could.
4. Do you have a favorite varietal or region?
Burgundy, I love the reds and whites from the region. The wines from Chablis are some of my favorites.
5. If you don’t order wine at a restaurant or bar, which beverage do you choose?
Beer – I’m a big fan of Belgium and Germany.
6. What is the first thing someone learning about wine should know?
Keep an open mind.
7. What are some of your favorite food and wine pairings?
Côte-Rôtie and Peking Duck.
8. Do you think any rules should be adhered to when pairing?
No! It’s fun to try unconventional things.
9. Do you have any favorite wine gadgets? Are there any new ones on the market? If so, what are they and where can people get them?
The “Franmara 1030 Cork Retriever.” Google it!
10. What are your three best tips, tricks or techniques for wine lovers?
When you are talking to a Sommelier at a restaurant:
1. Give your price range. It’s our most important piece of information.
2. Be specific about your wine likes or dislikes.
3. Ask for labels from wines that you love, so you can remember them in the future.
Make a reservation at GILT by calling 212-891-8100 or by booking online.