Best Sommelier (2005)

Antonio Gianola

Sommeliers are often judged by how much profit they bring in. And the way to turn a big profit is to sell expensive wines. So the average Houston sommelier loads up the wine list with overpriced bottles and then tries to sell them with snob appeal. Italian wines are the worst. To hear the service staff at some Houston restaurants explain things, stratospherically priced Barolos and Barbarescos are the only Italian wines worth drinking. That's what makes Da Marco's sommelier, Antonio Gianola, such a hero. He seems to be in the business solely because of his passion for Italian wine. And he is delighted to share his discoveries, which often include inexpensive and unusual wines from little-known regions. He will make you an expert on affordable Proseccos and turn you on to red wines from the Slovenian border that you can afford to drink every night. If only we could clone him.


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