Francesco Zonin Hosts Annual Sommeliers’ Themed Lunches in Chicago and Miami

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Lunches showcased select estate wines and blind tasting with sommeliers and beverage directors

1821 Fine Wines & Spirits

1821 Fine Wines & Spirits

The Sommeliers’ Themed Lunches introduce prominent and up-and-coming sommeliers and beverage directors to 1821 Fine Wines & Spirits’ portfolio of labels and estates through blind tasting in an intimate, relaxed atmosphere.

Epicurean 1821, together with 1821 Fine Wines & Spirits, A Zonin Family Company, hosted the latest series of their highly-anticipated Sommeliers’ Themed Lunches on October 7 and 8 in Chicago and Miami. The lunches are hosted by Executive Vice President of ZONIN1821 Francesco Zonin and take place every year at prestigious restaurants as far away as Dubai and Helsinki. The aim is to introduce prominent and up-and-coming sommeliers and beverage directors to 1821 Fine Wines & Spirits’ portfolio of labels and estates through blind tasting in an intimate, relaxed atmosphere.

The Sommeliers’ Themed Lunches are crafted around carefully chosen wines from selected family estates, from southern to northern Italy, Sicily to Lombardy, and a customized menu built by the restaurants’ chefs to highlight the wines’ unique traits and complement their flavors. The sommeliers share ideas and opinions about the theme in question and enjoy the delicious dishes prepared for the occasion. The tasting notes are then collected and shared with ZONIN1821’s winemakers and enologists to utilize the feedback, which ultimately comes from sommeliers around the world with diverse palates and markets, in a constructive way.

In Chicago, the “Mediterranean Wines” themed lunch was held at French fine dining locale Brindille, featuring wines from ZONIN1821’s southern Italian family estates: Principi di Butera in Sicily and Masseria Altemura in Puglia. Growing consumer interest in wines from southern Italy, driven by outstanding terroirs and burgeoning state-of-the-art winemaking methods in recent years, inspired this theme. Southern Italian wines offer distinct flavors and aromas and are very food-friendly, and this Sommeliers’ Themed Lunch gave its guests the chance to appreciate these qualities. Notable attendees included Mai Pham, Wine Director at Acadia restaurant; Kristy Wenz, author at; Diego Bermudez, Sommelier at Mastro’s Steakhouse; and other Chicago-based wine professionals who engaged in insightful conversation on the pairing versatility of the wines.

The chic and minimalist Japanese restaurant Zuma in Miami hosted “The Spicy Side of Wine” themed lunch with a selection of labels matched with dishes utilizing surprising spices and herbs, creating ideal harmonies with the wines served. The lunch’s guests were able to explore and appreciate the satisfying balance of compatible fragrances and flavors, formed through successful menu creation that married the same dominant aromatic compounds found in both the wines and spiced dishes. Wines poured were from Rocca di Montemassi, Tenuta il Bosco, Masseria Altemura, and Principi di Butera, and even a guest appearance from the Zonin family’s Barboursville, Virginia estate. Notable attendees were Filippo Visconti, Wine buyer for Casa Tua; Lucio Zanon, General Manager at Zucca Ristorante; and James Beard Award winner and Wine Educator, Lyn Farmer.

For more information, please contact Claudia Vera ( or Stefan Sigurdsson (

About 1821 Fine Wines & Spirits:
1821 Fine Wines & Spirits is an independent subsidiary of Zonin1821, the largest privately-owned vine growing and winemaking company in Italy. Today the Zonin family, seven generations of winemakers, is one of the most important family owned vinicultural groups in Italy and Virginia, USA and is one of the leading private winemaking companies in Europe.

Zonin1821’s portfolio includes nine wineries located in the seven most prestigious wine growing areas in Italy, is committed to practicing ecologically sustainable viticulture and ensures that every bottle embodies the philosophy of preserving the local winemaking traditions, land, and culture of their respective regions. The 1821 Fine Wines & Spirits portfolio is distributed in all 50 states and more 120 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

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