Andrea Zigrossi is an Italian sommelier that is living many of our daydreams. He selects wine for the lucky patrons of L’Olivio – a 2 Michelin star restaurant on the ridiculously gorgeous island of Capri.
Showy and ambitious, a bit by nature and a bit for fun, the 26 year old has experienced a strong trajectory in the wine biz. Growing up and attending school in Rome, his initial step was in the world of catering via a stint in London. A year later he moved back to Rome and started working for some of the finest restaurants in the city, including the esteemed 3 Michelin star La Pergola.
Now, following educational adventures in Franciacorta and Venice, Andrea has landed in Capri, the unofficial ambassador of that Italian sommelier life through his Trotterwine posts. We wanted to get a bit more insight on Andrea’s life and knowledge.
How did you choose the career path of a sommelier and why?
It is a world that has always fascinated me, but let’s say that it was more this job that chose me. I started from the bottom, working as a dishwasher in London. But I wanted to get more involved with interacting and communicating with customers.
So, once I returned to Rome, I had an interview with (the Roman restaurant) Antica Pesa,who’s wine list was managed by Alessia Meli – once voted Italy’s best sommelier. Although I knew nothing of this work at the time, I was hired as Assistant Sommelier only for my charisma.
You’ve had experiences in different places. What’s the best memory?
I left my heart in Venice: a beautiful city, and the restaurant where I worked was fantastic. It is called Il Ridotto by Gianni Bonaccorsi and has 1 Michelin star. There was not the usual tension found in many Michelin starred restaurants, and the environment was very familiar. An amazing restaurant that I suggest everyone try if you visit Venice.
You get asked this all the time. But I’ll ask it yet again! What is your favorite wine?
Difficult question. There are many that I love and cherish very much. But the wine that I will always keep in my heart is Fontalloro, a Tuscan Sangiovese from the Felsinà winery, the first wine I sold in my career.
So what’s next?
Travel, travel and travel. I love moving between cities and always working in different restaurants – to study the local culture, work techniques, know local wines, meet new colleagues and friends. In December I’m planning a move to Switzerland but it is not yet secure. I will let you know!