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High Aspirations

Nov 04, 2013 12:02PM ● Published by tina

Sponsored by Patrizio Osteria

by Derek Smith, General Manager Patrizio Osteria Southlake

When I accepted the position as general manager for Patrizio Osteria, I expected two things to happen: change and the “unexpected.” Change occurs weekly as certain standards and ideas are implemented, while the latter keeps me on my toes.

The restaurant industry throws constant curveballs, one of which I encountered in dealing with an in-house, self-proclaimed “wine nincompoop.” Johann and I got together to analyze the wine list, determined to create the best one in Southlake without pretention. Yes, this is a bold statement, but with resolve and grit we continue to create something we can be proud of.

We are both passionate about wine, and our preferences are on opposite ends of the spectrum. I have a personal preference for jammy, less-tannic reds, and I will always appreciate a good French white, Italian Arneis Blange and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Johann’s palate, which is 20 years more refined than mine, prefers earthy and more tannic. “I appreciate all the effects of location, soil, and climate,” he says. “Most of the greatest European wines are not meant to taste of the grape but to be a reflection of their unique terroir, tannins, aromatic nose and a never-ending finish that tells you a story.”

This yin and yang of wine preferences truly helps us with decision-making and the ability to offer guests a variety of wines they can choose from and will continue to be introduced to. What used to be a California-dominated glass list now includes grape juice from the Willamette Valley, Paso Robles, Langhe, Rhone and McLaren Vale Australia. What about the bubbles? Elect between an 187ml, 375ml, or 750ml bottle of champagne and sparkling wine.

Johann’s picks of the week: Telegramme, Chateauneuf du Pape & Owen Roe “The Kilmore” Pinot Noir.

My picks of the week: Evening Land, Pouilly Fuisse & Peju, Cabernet Sauvignon.

Why say no when it feels so good to say yes?

Eat+Drink, Today Wine patrizio's osteria derek smith
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