Daniel Manetti

2019 profile

Head Sommelier – The Connaught

There’s a reason Hélène Darroze’s restaurant at The Connaught has such a strong reputation for stocking crowd-pleasing wines with a good pedigree, and that reason is Daniel Manetti, the hotel’s ardent head sommelier in charge of a 111-page drinks card. Manetti joined the two-Michelin-starred venue six years ago. Before that, he was still studying his Level 3 Award with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), while working at The Dorchester as a commis sommelier. For Manetti, it was the sheer scale of The Connaught’s cellar that motivated him to move.

“Although I was coming from Alain Ducasse’s three-Michelin-star restaurant, which had a cellar of around 800 bottles, I was potentially moving into a higher position at a hotel with an incredible 2,000-bin wine list.” He left in February 2015 for a brief stint working for cruise liner Seabourne, before returning to The Connaught as deputy head sommelier a year later. Manetti grew up in the small town of Fucecchio, 35 minutes from Florence in Tuscany.

Like many sommeliers, he was engrossed in the viticultural world at an early age: his grandfather had a hectare of vines and made wine for family and friends in a traditional ‘fiasco’ straw-covered bottle. The oenophile may be fascinated by the hotel’s collection, but for him customer service is the best part of the job. “You must always understand who is in front of you and adapt accordingly. Good storytelling can be a part of this. Your aim is to create a relationship with the guests and get their trust.” Manetti learned this the hard way in his early career. He told us one of his most embarrassing front-of-house moments came when he was obsessed with the ever-trendy orange wine movement.

“I was advising this orange wine to a guest looking for a suggestion to pair with his foie gras; I was talking about the wine with so much passion and enthusiasm that the guest was compelled to taste it. “When he tasted it, I could understand his horrible expression, and still he was trying to say he liked it. Probably because he was sorry to tell me the truth, or probably after the poetic description I gave.”

Manetti, it should come as no surprise, is a perfectionist. His biggest bugbear on the job is finding out he “could’ve done better” to find the perfect serve for his diners. If he could go back in time, he would tell his younger self to read magazines, brochures and menus, travel to as many vineyards as possible and immerse himself in the culture of each region to “constantly be updated on new trends, new products and new scenarios”.


Leave your reply

Most Recent Stories

Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

This week in restaurant news: English restaurants reopen, burger chain Byron appoints administrators, and a popular Edinburgh eatery announces its permanent closure.  

1,900 jobs axed at Café Rouge and Bella Italia

The Casual Dining Group, owner of the popular Café Rogue and Bella Italia chains, is to close 91 restaurants and make 1,900 of its staff redundant.

Publican builds full-size Spitfire replica during lockdown

Those gearing up to visit a pub in England this weekend are advised to expect changes, but visitors to the Selsey Arms in West Sussex will be treated to another surprise: a Spitfire.  

Nathan Outlaw to relaunch two-star restaurant as 'accessible' concept

Nathan Outlaw has closed his two-Michelin star flagship restaurant in Cornwall and intends to relaunch the site as a "more accessible" eatery under the name Outlaw's New Road.

Eleven outstanding rosés for under £20

If you’re feeling a little swamped by the choice of rosés on the market right now, and don’t want to risk disappointment, we are here to help with the best pink wines for under £20 from this year’s Global Rosé Masters.

Most Recent Stories

Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

This week in restaurant news: English restaurants reopen, burger chain Byron appoints administrators, and a popular Edinburgh eatery announces its permanent closure.  

1,900 jobs axed at Café Rouge and Bella Italia

The Casual Dining Group, owner of the popular Café Rogue and Bella Italia chains, is to close 91 restaurants and make 1,900 of its staff redundant.

Publican builds full-size Spitfire replica during lockdown

Those gearing up to visit a pub in England this weekend are advised to expect changes, but visitors to the Selsey Arms in West Sussex will be treated to another surprise: a Spitfire.  

Nathan Outlaw to relaunch two-star restaurant as 'accessible' concept

Nathan Outlaw has closed his two-Michelin star flagship restaurant in Cornwall and intends to relaunch the site as a "more accessible" eatery under the name Outlaw's New Road.

Eleven outstanding rosés for under £20

If you’re feeling a little swamped by the choice of rosés on the market right now, and don’t want to risk disappointment, we are here to help with the best pink wines for under £20 from this year’s Global Rosé Masters.