On Cloud Wine

September 06, 2017

While The Bartolotta Restaurants are known for exceptional cuisine and impeccable hospitality, we also bring an expertise in wine that is unmatched in the city. Bacchus was recently named as one of Wine Enthusiasts Top 100 Wine Restaurants in the country—the only Milwaukee restaurant to earn this distinction. In addition, five of our restaurants, Harbor House, Bacchus, Ristorante Bartolotta, Lake Park Bistro and Joey Gerard's Greendale, received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, an award given to fewer than 2,400 restaurants nationally each year. These awards are a reflection of the expertise of our staff and the thoughtfulness they put into each and every menu and wine pairing. 

Wine can be intimidating, especially when some menus have over 200 different bottles, many of which are in foreign languages. Fortunately for our guests, the Bartolotta Restaurants have the most sommeliers in the city, with at least one in each of our fine dining restaurants. Earlier this year, ten of our managers from various restaurants took the first level sommelier test, and every single one passed!  In addition, Multi-Unit Director, Katie Espinosa, passed her "Level 3" Advanced Sommelier certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, making her the only sommelier in the city of Milwaukee at this level.  This was an impressive accomplishment, as only 16 of the 71 people who took the test passed. 

Our sommeliers are at your service and are passionate about helping you find the perfect wine for your dining experience.  

One of the keys to sharing our wine knowledge with guests is traveling to the different regions that we work with to experience firsthand the wineries and restaurants. Maria Bartolotta had the trip of a lifetime to France in early June to visit wineries such as Château Fuissé and Olivier Leflaive in Lyon, Pascal Jolivet in Sancerre, Domain Faiveley and Hugel in Alsace, Pol Roger Châteaux in Champagne, and a visit to the City of Lights, Paris. Maria describes her trip as "the best summer ever:" from cheese tasting courses at every meal, which were meticulously prepared, to touring wine cellars, and tasting some of the finest wines in the world, including the Champagne that was served at Lady Diana and Prince Charles' Royal Wedding. Fortunately for our guests, Maria will be able to share the memories from her trip and the stories behind the wines for years to come. 

So, how can you take advantage of our extensive wine knowledge and selections we offer? Next time you dine with us, simply ask for a sommelier to help you make a wine selection. 

Another option is to sign up for one of our Saturday Sommelier Series events, a partnership between Bacchus and Harbor House. These events focus on providing a fun, light atmosphere to learn about and enjoy a variety of wines.  Whether you are a novice or expert, you are bound to learn something new while you enjoy six tastings and hors d'oeuvres. 

For guests looking for a more immersive experience, Lake Park Bistro and Bacchus will collectively host seven wine dinners in August, September, and October.  The pinnacle event at Lake Park Bistro will be Fête du Bordeaux, where we will offer 16 tastings of some of the rarest bottles. Bacchus will also host two of the most prestigious champagne houses, Bollinger and Veuve Cliquot for dinners in August and October. 

Full information on all wine dinners and events can be found at www.bartolottas.com/events. We hope to raise a glass with you soon - salute!