Daniele Pardi: "It's an exciting time for Rome"

Daniele Pardi, Star Wine List's Rome ambassador.
Andreas Grube
Published 21-March-2024
Interview / Rome

Sommelier Daniele Pardi is Star Wine List’s new ambassador for Rome, Italy. Daniele has now created our brand new guide to the best wine bars and wine restaurants in the city.

"I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to join Star Wine List as a new ambassador for Rome, and I love this opportunity to serve such a large, passionate, and excellence-driven community. It's a responsibility that I gladly embrace, knowing that even small contributions can raise the standards of the local industry. We all benefit from it," says Daniele.

 "I'm excited about delving into the many facets of the Roman wine scene with a magnifying glass, meticulously examining how my colleagues interpret and shape the preferences of their guests. I'm curious about the stories they aim to convey and the methods they employ. Ultimately, wine selection is about storytelling, reflecting our identity and values."

With a strong background in the culinary arts, Daniele Pardi began his journey in the kitchen as a chef. However, his passion for food and wine pairings led him to delve deeper into wine.

"Eventually, I earned the WSET diploma in wines and spirits in London. From there, five years ago I made the definitive switch to the front of house, working as a sommelier. Simultaneously, I began collaborating with various wine schools as an educator for courses and masterclasses," he says.

Today Daniele works as a sommelier and manager at the restaurant L'Acqua Bulle located just outside of Rome, overlooking Lake Nemi.

Rome remains a vibrant hub for pizza enthusiasts

How would you describe the dining and drinking scene in Rome at the moment?
"It's an exciting time for Rome, with a wide array of culinary options available. In recent years, we've witnessed a surge in Michelin-starred restaurants, along with eateries showcasing alternative cuisines or mastering traditional dishes with growing finesse. I know many chefs who have returned from experiences abroad, eager to infuse their newfound skills with local flavours."

"Moreover, Rome remains a vibrant hub for pizza enthusiasts. Whether savouring the thin and crispy 'tonda' Roman-style pizza or indulging in the pan 'teglia' pizza, a beloved street food staple, there's a discernible trend towards a gourmet reinterpretation. These offerings are increasingly complemented by a diverse selection of interesting beers and inviting wine lists."

How much has changed in recent years and what have been the biggest changes?
"Rome is a rather complex city, also in terms of its wine and food scene, and it's fair to say that different areas of the city operate with distinct dynamics. For what concerns the dining experiences in the historic heart of the city, mass tourism has historically favoured quantity over quality. However, this trend has been undergoing significant change in recent times."

"I have the feeling that, similarly to other places, the catalyst for this shift can be widely attributed to the influence of social media and online reviews as well. These platforms have not only helped elevate the overall standard of dining but also spurred innovation in business models and differentiation, resulting in the emergence of new and captivating formats. As a result, instances of culinary excellence have notably increased, whether it be in a wine bar, a guide-selected restaurant, or even a humble pizzeria."

Italian consumers generally gravitate towards the classics, yet a discerning segment exhibits a keen interest in exploring diversity and global varieties

What are the emerging drinking trends you are seeing?
"There's a growing interest in natural and low intervention wines, particularly among younger consumers, who prioritize sustainability and perceive them as a healthier alternative. Beyond flavours and aromas, guests are increasingly interested in the environmental impact and production philosophy associated with their wine choices. Conscious consumption appears to be the driving force."

"While there are exceptions, there seems to be a decline in interest in appellations themselves, with more curiosity placed on the individual producer's philosophy and story as key factors in selecting a bottle to drink."

What wines, styles and regions are most in demand?
"Italian consumers generally gravitate towards the classics, yet a discerning segment exhibits a keen interest in exploring diversity and global varieties, notably with France witnessing a notable surge. Conversely, tourists frequently opt for Italian wines, particularly those sourced locally. Within our region, Lazio, there is no shortage of quality offers, albeit necessitating careful curation with the assistance of a good sommelier."

What is your go-to wine on a night off?
"A well-crafted Pinot Noir from Burgundy always makes my day."

What wine region in the world do you think is the most interesting right now, and why?
"I find myself particularly drawn to wines originating from extreme regions, whether it be due to latitude or elevation. Undoubtedly, climate change is reshaping the geography of wine, with some regions gradually benefiting from it by producing increasingly intriguing wines, unbounded by tradition and open to experimentation. So latitude brings me to the UK and its sparkling wines, and elevation to Etna with its  Nerello Mascalese and Carricante varieties."

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