January 13, 2012

Meet Patrick Cappiello, Sommelier of GILT at The New York Palace Hotel

If you have ever dined at GILT, you have probably noticed our Wine Director, Patrick Cappiello, guiding diners through his specially-curated and extensive wine list. Under Patrick’s 21 years of experience and expertise, GILT has been honored as a recipient of the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award. Given to demonstrate excellence in a restaurant’s wine selections, the Grand Award is the publication’s highest honor. It has been awarded to a New York City restaurant a mere seven times in its history.

After working in restaurants in Rochester, NY and Cleveland, OH, Patrick moved to New York, becoming the sommelier at Tribeca Grill under wine director David Gordon. During his tenure at Tribeca Grill, the restaurant’s wine list exploded, growing in number from 600 selections to an impressive 1,800. It is at Tribeca Grill that Patrick made and sustained the relationships in this industry that brought him to famed wine restaurant Veritas and then to The New York Palace’s GILT. As he oversees the wine program at GILT, Patrick calls working at The New York Palace “the highlight” of his career.

To aid novices in the “dos” and “don’ts” of wine appreciation, food blog Serious Eats has featured Patrick in a series of videos highlighting his expansive knowledge.

Some of Patrick’s favorite wine tips include:

  • When swirling your wine to release aromas, be sure “not to overfill your glass… a smaller pour is a better pour.” For beginners, “keep the foot of the glass on the table or the bar. Grab the stem almost like a pencil with your finger and thumb and just draw small circles on the table or bar.”
  • The sommelier’s role, I think, is to help guests select a great bottle of wine,” so don’t be intimidated. Help sommeliers find you the perfect wine by letting them know your budget (“Don’t be shy!”), describing your taste preferences (“Use general terms like spicy or earthy), and give examples of wines you like (“people take pictures of labels on their phones!”)
  • When storing wine, the most important variable is temperature. “Storing your wine under 60 degrees, 58, 56 is ideal… for short-term storage, I think not having it go over 70 is important.” And there’s not necessarily a need for a special wine cabinet: “I always tell people who don’t have the luxury of having a giant cellar like at GILT to use their refrigerator for red and white wines.”

Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, visit GILT at The New York Palace and meet Patrick in person.

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