BOSTON (CBS) — Set in the North End, former Bruin Ray Bourque’s Tresca features a temperature controlled “wine grotto.” Wine lovers – if you ask nicely, a staff member may even bring you down to the cellar and show you around. Wine Director Eric DiNardo is also happy to help you navigate the restaurant’s wine offerings. DiNardo, an expert in Italian wines, can help you find just what bottle will complement your meal and answer any question you may have about Italian wine.
– Katie Curley-Katzman
Related: Ask A Boston Sommelier Series
Here’s some expert advice from Eric DiNardo, wine director at Tresca
How do you create a list that appeals to everyone?
We try to focus on variety across styles and price ranges within the world of Italian wine as well as a well-curated selection of American and other non-Italian wines.
What advice do you have for wine beginners?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Take advantage of the people who get paid to help you find the right wine both in restaurants and in wine shops. Become a regular at a restaurant or wine shop (or both!), and ask them to expose you to new wines based on what you already know you like.
What’s a basic wine storage tip for a beginner wine collector?
If you don’t have the space to store your bottles, some wine shops might be willing to hold on to a case or two for you. Another reason to become a regular at a wine shop!
Favorite wine offered in your restaurant?
For the current vintages, I’d go with From Black to White, by Zýmē. Zýmē, a producer from Valpolicella who I feel really does a great job of bridging the gap between modern wine making ideas and tradition, and this white blend is indicative of that. I must confess that I also have a special affinity for the 1990 Barolo Riserva, by Marchesi di Barolo, 1985 Amarone by Masi, and 1968 Taurasi Riserva by Mastroberardino as well.
What wines do you have on hand when you’re having a party at home?
It depends on the occasion, but if it isn’t a full-blown dinner party I like to at least make sure I have a sparkling wine on hand. The one I’d be most likely to serve is Ferrari Brut, a metodo classico made from Chardonnay grapes in Trentino, Italy.
Any wine trends you see emerging?
As far as offerings in restaurants, I think that keg wines are really starting to take off. The quality of the wines available on tap is ever improving, the wine stays fresh, and our guests can order it by the glass or in half liter or liter carafe. In the world of Italian wine I think there has been a bit of a sustained shift in focus toward indigenous grape varietals and quality rather than quantity, especially in Sicily, where producers such as COS, Occhipinti, and Donnafugata are really making great wines.
Favorite wine region?
Franciacorta, just about an hour’s drive from Milan, is home to spectacular champagne method sparkling wines.
How did you become a sommelier?
I lived in Italy for a few years after college. It was in Italy that I became passionate about wine and established the foundation for what I do today.
Favorite wine and food pairing?
Not sure I have a clear-cut favorite, but a nice, big Brunello di Montalcino and a grilled Bistecca alla Fiorentina (T-Bone) can be tough to beat.
What wine do you drink in spring/summer?
It depends on the occasion, but lately I’ve been drinking a lot of sparkling wine; red, white, or rosè. I’m currently on a bubbles kick. That may also be obvious based on my previous answers.
Katie Curley-Katzman loves learning, collecting and writing about wine. She holds a certificate in wine tasting and from the Institut d’Oenologie in Aix-en-Provence, France and is a graduate of Salem State University with a degree in English and French. Her wine writing has appeared in the Quarterly Review of Wines Magazine. Have a wine question or suggestion? Tweet her @KatieKWBZ