In our next installment of 5 Questions for a Wine Pro, we caught up with Joe Campanale, who has multiple certifications in wine including the certified Sommelier distinction from the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. He has spent nearly a decade in the restaurant and beverage world and is currently beverage director and co-owner of various Manhattan restaurants including including L’Artusi, Anfora, and Alta Linea.
He is also host of "In The Drink" on the Heritage Radio Network.
Campanale is a native New Yorker, a morning person (um…that must be tough being in the restaurant biz) and believes the Rosé trend is still going strong.
Read on to see what else our wine pro thinks.
1. Was there a defining moment that convinced you to enter the wine world?
I studied abroad in Florence as an undergrad at NYU and I visited a bunch of winemakers in Tuscany. Chianti was only 45 minutes away! As a kid who grew up in New York City, I was amazed as to how these farmers were so connected to their land, its history and the variations in weather. Back in Florence, I loved how Italians wouldn't eat a meal without some wine in front of them. Seeing everything so closely linked really got me hooked.
2. What makes you want to open up another restaurant in Manhattan where the competition is so fierce?
Alta Linea is an amazing outdoor space, so when this opportunity presented itself it was hard to say no. The restaurant sits within the courtyard of the High Line Hotel, so offers a nice little oasis from the craze of the city, and its great being able to offer our guests that escape.
3. What do you drink after a long day?
Usually something very refreshing like Muscadet [Light-bodied, mineral-edged, made in France’s Loire Valley] or a Kolsch beer!
4. What is the most underrated wine region right now?
I'm a big fan of Abruzzo [which is basically in the middle of Italy, east of Rome]. There aren't a ton of great producers but those who do make good wine, make really great wine. The Cerasuolo from Abruzzo is a full-flavored and full-bodied Rosé that is just delicious. With the Adriatic Sea and Apennine mountains, Abruzzo is also a fantastic place to visit. In fact, I’m involved with a wine out of Abruzzo called Annona. It is an organic, handmade wine using the Montepulciano grape for a red and Rosé.
5. What do you always have in your house to serve to surprise guests?
Always some good grower Champagne like Laissagne, Bereche or Marie Courtin. I always have a bunch of Cru Beaujolais because they are both fun and compelling. And its always good to have a few bottles of older Barolo around.
Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for Foxnews.com, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.
Photo Credit: FIVE THôT