Uncorked with Master Sommelier Richard Betts & Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino 2004

Like many of us, Richard Betts’ passion for wine began in Italy — Florence to be specific.

I know I can say that’s the case for me.  It’s where, in 2000, I took my first semester-long course in vino — Italian regional wine — wrapping my head around the more cerebral aspects of the winemaking process with the help of a great teacher, but most importantly, I think, learning to appreciate the pure, uncomplicated pleasure of enjoying a glass at mealtime.  It’s an Italian ritual, a cultural hallmark of life in the boot.  An essential piece of the ‘Dolce Vita’ manifesto that I grew to know and love.

Betts fell in love with wine in Florence in 1992.  Once a budding geologist, a memory of a glass once enjoyed on that first trip compelled him to drop everything (except the glass!) to pursue a career as a sommelier. Betts achieved his Court of Master Sommeliers diploma on the first try.  It’s no easy feat.  There are only 170 worldwide.  I don’t have a statistician handy, but the odds you’ll become one too are slim to none.  We are lucky to know Betts through Dennis Scholl, his winemaking partner (turns out sommeliers know a thing or two about making great wine,) and our sommelier Eric Larkee is no dummy, ensuring their Betts & Scholl label is a star on our wine list.

I had the pleasure of meeting Richard Betts at the Miami restaurant on Friday, and with a new Brunello di Montalcino that he’s importing now on our menu by the glass, seized the opportunity to ask him about it.  He kindly obliged.  Thank you Richard, and I look forward to next time!  There are so many more questions than these…  and no real fun asked over email :) Continue reading