When the owners of Sotto called me more than two years ago and asked me to curate the wine list at their soon-to-be-opened restaurant, I had no idea what a great adventure it would turn out to be.
Today, we’ve reached a milestone that seemed inconceivable then: on Saturday, food and restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila of the Los Angeles Times named our wine program one of the “best in Los Angeles,” together Spago and Valentino.
When I was a kid growing up in Southern California and then later an undergrad and grad student at U.C.L.A., Spago and Valentino were the stuff dreams were made of. I could have never imagined that one day my name would appear together with theirs as the curator of one of the top wine programs in the city.
From day one, Cantele wines have been poured by the glass at Sotto: the Rosato from Negroamaro and the Salice Salentino are among our guests’ favorites. And to this day, more than two years later, we’re still pouring those wines (I even poured the Salice Salentino for Anne Hathaway one time).
I can’t conceal my pride in attaining this accolade and one of the greatest rewards of this experience has been making Cantele a centerpiece of our list.