What it feels like for a sommelier
Giovanni Ferlito is an Italian native sommelier who grew up in the volcanic wine region of Etna, Sicily, discovered mixology at an early age by watching Tom Cruise starring in Cocktail, and began a career in the hospitality industry as a bartender.
In an interview with thedrinksbusiness.com Ferlito reveals the perils of maintaining an 800-bin wine list – he now oversees the drinks menu for the Michelin-starred Ritz restaurant, Palm Court, Rivoli Bar and other private events – why London is simply the best city in the world to be a sommelier, and what it was like to serve Madonna.
A few years ago, before my time at The Ritz London, I had the honour to serve one of my favourite singers, Madonna. I grow up in the 80s listening to her songs so it was like a dream for me to be next to her and speak about wine. I just loved the fact that she was so easy going and relaxed and I really appreciated the fact that she was asking me for recommendations. She likes Italian red wines and especially Barolo.