Matteo Montone

2019 profile

Wine director – Berners Tavern

Having started out with the aim of working in tourism, Montone sensibly decided that wine was his true passion and threw himself into the subject. The moment came, he says, after a journey to Montepulciano in 2008, a trip taken to celebrate having completed his tourism studies – whereupon he ditched that idea and went straight back into studying wine and hospitality. In 2012, he completed a sommelier course in his native Italy and moved to London in 2013, where he first worked at Aqua Shard. From 2014 to 2016 he found himself working as junior then deputy sommelier at The Ritz, before moving on to Locanda Locatelli as assistant head sommelier.

Last year he joined Berners Tavern as head sommelier, and was subsequently made director of wine. During this rapid rise in the restaurant world, Montone has racked up an impressive array of awards and diplomas, including coming seventh in a competition of Italian sommeliers in 2015. He was a finalist in the 2018 Taittinger Sommelier of the Year competition, and in November he achieved his advanced certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

As well as the joy of recommending wine and matching it to food in all its endless combinations, Montone says he is fascinated by what he calls “movement” in the ever-changing world of wine and all there is to learn about it. He is also pleased with the changes that the wine-drinking public has undergone in recent years. “Wine is much more accessible, and people are more willing to ask for recommendations and to try new things, rather than stick with what they know. Sommeliers are more approachable, and there are more wine bars than ever before.”

A fan of volcanic wines, Matteo’s attention has also been caught by the burgeoning English wine scene – but not exclusively the fizz. “Everyone is talking about English sparkling wine,” he says, “but I’m very interested in English still wines. They’re not at their best yet but give it a year or two for the climate to settle.”


Leave your reply

Most Recent Stories

Bollinger to use oak from own forests in Champagne

Bollinger is to use oak harvested from its own forest in the Côtes des Blancs to ferment the juice from this year’s vintage.

Daphne’s celebrates 55th anniversary with year of events

Founded in 1964 by theatre agent Daphne Rye, Chelsea-based Italian restaurant Daphne’s is marking 55 years with a series of special events, collaborations and one-off dishes.

Latour and LVMH owners pledge millions to Notre-Dame repairs

François Pinault and Bernard Arnault, two of France’s leading businessmen and owners of several top estates in Bordeaux and Burgundy, have pledged €300 million between them to fund repairs of Notre-Dame de Paris, while coopers have said they will source the best oak trees for new beams.

Jay Rayner warms to English sparkling

Guardian columnist Jay Rayner has changed his views on the British sparkling wine industry, after previously slamming the category for offering poor value for money.

St Leonards names new sommelier and beverage director

Chefs and restaurateurs Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke have appointed Albert Blaize as sommelier and beverage director for their two restaurants, St Leonards and Brunswick House, as well as the recently opened Orasay in Notting Hill.

Most Recent Stories

Bollinger to use oak from own forests in Champagne

Bollinger is to use oak harvested from its own forest in the Côtes des Blancs to ferment the juice from this year’s vintage.

Daphne’s celebrates 55th anniversary with year of events

Founded in 1964 by theatre agent Daphne Rye, Chelsea-based Italian restaurant Daphne’s is marking 55 years with a series of special events, collaborations and one-off dishes.

Latour and LVMH owners pledge millions to Notre-Dame repairs

François Pinault and Bernard Arnault, two of France’s leading businessmen and owners of several top estates in Bordeaux and Burgundy, have pledged €300 million between them to fund repairs of Notre-Dame de Paris, while coopers have said they will source the best oak trees for new beams.

Jay Rayner warms to English sparkling

Guardian columnist Jay Rayner has changed his views on the British sparkling wine industry, after previously slamming the category for offering poor value for money.

St Leonards names new sommelier and beverage director

Chefs and restaurateurs Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke have appointed Albert Blaize as sommelier and beverage director for their two restaurants, St Leonards and Brunswick House, as well as the recently opened Orasay in Notting Hill.