Here at Individual Restaurants we’re passionate about good quality wine, so we put just as much care and attention into creating our wine lists, as designing the dishes themselves.
This month, we’re excited to announce that we have a new sommelier on board, to help us on our wine journey!
We caught up with wine expert, Dario Barbato to find out what he has in store for a site near you…
Tell us a little bit about your background, how did you become so knowledgeable about wine?
My passion for wine began during my time working behind the bar in my brothers nightclub, at the ski resort Val Gardena. When I first started working as a bartender I struggled to recognise a gin and tonic from a Coca Cola but my knowledge quickly expanded.
After two years at the nightclub, I spread my wings and took a job as a bartender in a hotel in Sardinia, where I stayed for eight years. The owner was extremely passionate about good wine and I learned a lot from him.
How long have you been a sommelier and where have you worked?
I have always been interested in wine throughout my career but I officially achieved my sommelier title in 2012.
Since then, I have worked for a variety of companies including; Cunard Cruise, where I worked on the Queen Elizabeth 2, Bermudian catering company MEF, who run 12 restaurants and the five rosette hotels; Costa Smeralda in Luci di la Muntagna and Hotel le Palme in Lake Garda.
Tell us a little bit about what you’ve been doing since joining Individual Restaurants?
I joined the company two years ago as bar manager at Bank Westminster. Since becoming head sommelier, I have been working with the drinks development team to update the wine lists at Piccolino, The Restaurant Bar & Grill and Bank Restaurant & Bar.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My job is never boring. I learn new things every single day and each day is different to the previous.
Do you have any exciting plans for our wine lists?
I have been tasting a few wines from Lebanon which are amazing. I am really excited by some of the producers and you may well see a few of them on our wine lists in the future.
What should we be looking for when choosing a wine? Can you give us a little bit of advice?
Take me with you or ask the advice of a sommelier or wine shop owner.
Wine is culture, it is poetry, it is alive in your glass. The right wine can transmit a lot of feelings, so it is important to get it right.
Which wine will you be enjoying alfresco on our terraces this spring?
I love bubbles, so I would always recommend a chilled Franciacorta Saten.
What bottle of wine do you always have in the house?
In a dark corner sleeping, I always have a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino, Biondi Santi, 1998.
What id your favourite wine on our wine lists?
I love Italian wines, so I would have to say the Stefano Antonucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. It is a nice fresh wine, with great sapidity, a bouquet full of fresh fruit and a fantastic almond finish. Delicious!
Click HERE to view our wine lists