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A new format for a wine guide: a format that pin to ethics

The revival of excellence production under the sign of “healthy, good and fair”. According to Luca Bandirali, sommelier, the way to success in definitively voted to quality

Luca Bandirali is head of Ais Lombardia, a blazoned sommelier association that, in Italy, counts 32,000 members; a true army of people passionate for wine culture and communication. We met him because he created a very new kind of wine guide. It is named “Viniplus”, and it is a new tool for the diffusion of quality viticulture that, in comparison to usual talkative guides, is opened to the wine true values.

Luca Bandirali

“Viniplus” is a new kind of guide that likes and amazes consumers. Another success for the wine culture…
Yes, it is a new step in that direction and, I must say, I’m really proud of our results. “Viniplus” shakes the sommelierie world. As a matter of fact, also our role is changing; everybody can see it. Our association goes over the traditional service for restaurants or for public events; by producing culture we stimulate the wine world. This is the meaning of my engagement with “Viniplus”, which is a clear example of my projects for the future.

Recently you spoke about wine at the Università Cattolica of Milan…
Yes, there I focused some pivotal points for the sommelier role. Nowadays this figure has a central role in the wine world, not less than wine makers. The sommelier assumed the role of communicator, not only of tester.

The wine world is changing; the same is doing the sommelier role…
That’s it. If I think to ancient Romans, when the Moderator existed, I’m very satisfied. A long way was done. At that time the Moderator was the forerunner of sommelier; he had also the charge to distribute the wine among the different banquets. He also supervised the work of the cup bringers.

Today, instead, you write “Viniplus”, driving the consumer to different farms and to excellence products…
Not only; our aim with “Viniplus” is to grant the suggested wines and farms. We assign a prize to the wine productions of Lombardia, a region with great wines, on the basis of a competition judged by professional tasters. We consider a set of parameters that are not random but are the results of years of research and experience. The aim is to locate and suggest not only a wine but also a farm. Everything according to the paradigm “healthy, good and fair”.

Can we conclude that ethics rewards people that use it?
The ethics always repays one’s effort, usually on a long period. It has not immediate results. The "everything and now" politics works only for speculators. The way is different, is quality with no compromises.

The amazing is that “Viniplus” is also a project for the future…
Yes, it is. It is an approach that is always open. And I explain why. Wines that appear in “Viniplus” will follow their course that will bring them to the sought-after taste-vin prize. Moreover, this is there is an absolute news. Wines in “Viniplus” will be judged also by an authoritative international commission. I’m referring to people like Michèle Shah, Jane Hunt, Thomas Ilkjaer, Timo Jokinen.

So, “Viniplus” is growing. It would be useful to export such a format also in other regions or abroad...
I’d like it so much. The wine world needs for reliable tools, independent from fashion or commercial pressures.

by Luigi Caricato
06 july 2009, Food Notes > Miscellanea