Our resident wine guru, Alessandro did not become the connoisseur that he is overnight – in fact, wine and the making of it is in his blood. Born and raised in Frosinone, about 60km outside of Rome, his first memory is receiving a taste of wine from his grandfather – a passionate winemaker and an inspiration to Alessandro to this day – though that first ever sip and its unfamiliar taste made the then 5-year-old pull a sour face at the time. This, of course, has changed quite a lot over the years, lucky for all of us wine enthusiasts of Bermondsey and beyond.
20 years ago, after spending a season in France, Alessandro visited his cousin in London and then never left – he initially helped out at the family restaurant before slowly getting into wine brokerage, ultimately opening his first shop in 2011.
In 2017, a new location became available in the beautiful streets of Bermondsey, and Alessandro’s business proposal was given the go ahead out of over 300 applications. It is there at Bon Vino, and in 2019 at Maltby Street Market, that the business has thrived, with lovers of Italian wines thirsty for Alessandro’s recommendations. While 2020 lockdown threw a bit of a curveball, it did (finally, you might say) bring on the launch of Bon Vino’s online shop and virtual wine tastings. Silver linings.
Wine, in Alessandro’s words, is life and enjoyment. It represents human life as the most inspirational winemakers invest patience and time in the growing and making of the finest wines. No rushing, no shortcuts and always an eye on the preservation and loving treatment of nature – that’s what makes a great wine. Community has always played a big part in the enjoyment of wine – for Alessandro wine has always been “a tool in life used to make things better”.
Asked what wine he would pick if he could only drink that one for the rest of his life, Alessandro says the only way to do this would be walking into his warehouse and randomly selecting one from the shelves while blindfolded – there are simply too many fantastic wines in this world to limit oneself.
If you feel inspired to get to know as many of these brilliant wines as possible, please do make sure to sign up for our next tasting session and visit the e-shop for a browse.