Uncorked: Giacomo Recchia

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Giacomo Recchia senior sommelier at Bob Bob Ricard City

Related tags: Giacomo Recchia, Bob Bob Ricard City, Wine, Uncorked, Sommelier

The Puglia-born senior sommelier at Bob Bob Ricard City on catching the wine bug in Languedoc-Roussillon, Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix and presiding over one of the best value wine lists in the capital.

Tell us about the moment you first became interested in wine

My father is restaurateur. But the most significant moment that brought me closer to the world of wine and to my career as a sommelier, was when I decided to go to the Languedoc Roussillon region in France and work for a wine producer. Waking up at 5am and spending all day in the vineyard, experiencing the hard work they do and the passion they put into it made my decision to pursue a career in wine very easy.

Tell us about your wine list at the restaurant 

Our selection is focused on Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. I do believe it is simply the best value list of fine wines in London. Bob Bob Ricard caused quite a reaction when owner Leonid Shutov decided to cap the mark-up on wine at £50, regardless of how expensive the bottle is.

Over the course of your career, have you had any wine-related disasters?

I was opening a bottle of wine and cut myself with the capsule foil and when I realised what had happened, the bottle, my hands, and my service napkin were all covered in blood. Luckily the cut was very little, but it was quite an awkward moment when the guest noticed it. 

Name your top three restaurant wine lists

Hide, because I could spend hours looking at it without getting bored. Galvin at Windows, for sentimental reasons, since that’s where I spent a formative part of my career. And finally Peckham Cellars, my local wine shop and bar.

Who do you most respect in the wine world? 

Matteo Montone MS, the most recent Italian to become a Master Sommelier. I had the chance to meet him when he was my teacher at my introductory course with The Court of Master Sommeliers. 

What’s the most interesting wine you’ve ever come across?

Inama Vulcaia Fumé, a barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc grown on the volcanic soils of the Soave Classico area in Veneto. 

What are the three most overused tasting notes?

I call them the three F’s: fresh, fruity, and floral. They could mean everything and nothing at the same time.

What’s the best value wine on your list at the moment, and why?

There are many on our list to choose from, but two great examples are Dom Pérignon 2012 at £159, or Château Rauzan-Ségla 2006 at £139.

What is your ultimate food and drink match? 

Stinking Bishop Cheese Soufflé served with pear, apple and ginger chutney and paired with Château d’Yquem Sauternes 2008.

Old World or New World?

Old World.

What is your pet hate when it comes to wine service in other restaurants? 

I don’t like it when sommeliers forget our first duty, to make customers feel welcome and at ease. After that, we can have the most fantastic wine-related conversations, but we are hospitality professionals first.

Who is your favourite producer at the moment and why? 

I really like Daniel-Etienne Defaix, because he makes a unique style of Chablis where time and patience are the main secrets. Their wines are only released to the market after several years of bottle ageing. Their Chablis Premier Cru and Grand Cru are sold five to eight years after the harvest.

As a sommelier, what question do you most get asked by customers?  

I am often asked which wine I would suggest for the dish they are going to order, and my answer is always: ‘which style of wine do you like the most?’ My philosophy is that it doesn’t matter if Alsatian Riesling is a perfect pairing with raw scallops, if the guest doesn’t like aromatic wines.

Which wine producing region or country is currently underrated at the moment and why?

I think Spanish wines in general are underrated, and we tend only to hear names like Rioja and Ribeira del Duero.  There are so many good appellations to explore such as Monsant, Calatayud, Yecla, Bullas… the list goes on. 

It’s your last meal and you can have a bottle of any wine in the world. What is it and why? 

After visiting Bordeaux, I would definitely go for a bottle of Château Mouton Rothschild. I visited the château a couple of years ago and I was completely captivated by the wines and the premises. I had a chance to test their 2018 vintage straight from the ageing barrel, and I still dream of it. That would be great way to go. 

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