Acquerello’s Italian wine list is old-school, expensive — and essential

Nov 05, 2018 384

BY: Esther MObley

When Giancarlo Paterlini was preparing to open a high-end Italian restaurant with his business partner, the chef Suzette Gresham, he needed to compile a list of high-end Italian wines. Only it was 1989, and there weren’t many high-end Italian wines to be had. At the time, Paterlini says, you couldn’t even get balsamic vinegar stateside. Where was he going to get a cellar’s worth of great Barolo?

A friend had given Paterlini a case of 1983 Mouton Rothschild — a Bordeaux first-growth from a celebrated vintage. It was meant as a gift, a nest egg for the new restaurant. But Paterlini had no use for French wine. He took the case of Mouton to Singer & Foy, a North Beach wine shop owned by Stephen Singer (who was married to Alice Waters), and proposed a trade.

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