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Three questions to Piero Sattanino

Best Sommelier of the World 1971

Short biography

Spent his childhood in his parents and grandparents’s typical restaurant “Piola” of Turin.
1961: passed the qualification of waiter and bartender after several experiences in France, Great Britain and Switzerland. His parents bought a restaurant “Ristorante Nuovo Regio” and subsequently a 3 stars hotel “Hotel Luxor” in Turin.
1966: embarked on the “Michelangelo” as waiter of 1st class, an occasion to deepen his international knowledges with dishes and spectacular buffets made by great chefs.
1966: his parents bought the “Hotel Parigi” in Bordighera (IM)-Italy overlooking the sea.
1969: participated in the 1st Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World in Bruxelles.
1971: winner of the Best Sommelier of the World in Milan.
In the 70’s: vice president of A.S.I. and the Italian Sommelier Association and also a member of A.S.P.I. (Italian Professional Association Sommeliers).
1984: he became owner of the Restaurant “La Reserve” and the “Hotel Parigi”.
Currently, with his two sons, Davide and Mario he runs a food and wine tourist-receptive activity.


Piero Sattanino

You won the title in 1971. What test of the competition marked you most?
The food and wine pairings, in particular the combination of blue cheeses. I have combined a Marsala Vergine VQPRD with a Gorgonzola Malghese DOP served with walnuts, raisins and celery. And I also suggested fresh natural water with a Dolce all’Arancia as at that time there were no wines to serve over desserts with citrus fruit!

During your career, what benefits did your title bring you? Your most beautiful discoveries and encounters …
The greatest opportunity it has given me was the opening of the first wine restaurant in Turin, “Ristorante Tastevin” at Corso Siccardi 15 Bis, in December 1973 (existing for 15 years). There, among other things, I served the wines and beverages. I set up the wine list and I had a selection of wines kept at the right temperature. I could suggest the pairings with the dishes chosen by the customer, being able to serve wines by the glasses.
On the encounter side, I had the opportunity to talk with the most important Italian and international vignerons, practicing organoleptic tastings, with comparisons, suggestions, considerations, as well as to visit to the wineries of national and international producers.

According to you, what is the secret of victory? What would you suggest to the candidates of the next world championship?
In a contest, a candidate needs to be calm, rested, concentrated. He/she needs to read the questionnaire well, and formulate the right reasoned answers, as well as having a bit of good fortune. I would recommend the candidates to think well about the food and wine/drink pairings, advising the right wines/drinks of the world, using their particular knowledge about both the territory, the winemaking, the conservation

Interview by Sylvia van der Velden