Featured User: Cristiano Ceccherini

Cristiano Ceccherini was born in Rome, Italy in 1974. He traveled for a long time with his wife Samanta and eventually settled for a few years in Rome, where their three children, Libero, Massimo and Santo were born. They now call Melbourne home (especially the kids) after moving there nearly 4 years ago. Cristiano has been working in hospitality for 24 years, spending much of it as a sommelier. While he once tried to leave the profession, he didn’t realize just how much he would end up missing it. He considers himself lucky, getting to work in amazing venues where has has had the chance to open the most exquisite wines. Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Cristiano Ceccherini: During a trip to Australia in 2003, my far uncle Bob opened a bottle of a South Australian Cab Sauv 1978 made by a friend of his. This friend eventually turned that vineyard into blocks with buildings, becoming a sales billionaire. I never knew what [the wine] was labelled, but my mind started to be fascinated by the life in the bottle and the stories behind it. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? CC: Living here in Australia, I fell in love with the Hunter Valley Semillon , but I am getting more and more attracted by Adelaide Hills ventures with all the little natural producers. It’s a very exciting moment there I reckon. D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? CC: Dolomytos 2007 Bianco from Trentino made by Prof. Rainer Zierock in collaboration with a couple of other great opened minds. The wine is a huge blend of Pinot Bianco, Grigio, Sauvignon, Riesling and other Greek varieties. Vinified in 150l oak barrels for 24 months after a late and selected harvest. Ripe, almost sweet, but great mineral and freshness to balance. The wine doesn’t follow the usual rules, when you taste it. Golden colour, nose is unbelievable and changes all the time and the palate is an array of flavours. Nevertheless quite a weird combination in the picture. D: What is your golden rule for wine? CC: During a tasting session, I would say “Let’s spot the flaw in the wine, not to demolish it though, but to memorize the peculiarity of it, the details that make it different.” During a drinking session, I would say “I want freshness in my glass. Even a red wine has to have a decent acidity, please." D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine, what is your second option? CC: Most likely beer. I love cognac , Armagnac , scotch whisky , but the truth is that I might end up drinking water without wine sometimes. D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine CC: Movie - Michelangelo Antonioni, “The Night” (La Notte) and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1991 Soldera Book - Bruce Chatwin, “Songlines” and Hunter Valley Semillon 1985 Petersons Music - John Zorn, “Masada” and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2001 Valentini Quote - “Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and little music played out of doors by somebody I don’t know” and Domaine Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Ruchottes 1976 D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? CC: Krug Clos de Mesnil 1990 …..do you really wanna know why???