Food & Drinks

Why foodies should check out the Elite Sommeliers DXB wine paired dinners

As Dubai’s culinary scenery evolves, so does the beverage programme at restaurants around the city. Elite Sommeliers DXB is a group of elite sommeliers that have come together to further the education and growth of the city’s understanding of wine, cocktails, and spirits. Working at the cutting edge of the restaurant industry at Dubai’s best restaurants, they’re holding a series of unique wine-paired dinners this season, each highlighting a different winemaker.

Between now and December, the Elite Sommerlier DXB dinners will be held in locations such as Al Muntaha in the Burj Al Arab, LPM, and Alici. So, if you want to improve your wine knowledge while meeting like-minded foodies and enjoying a multi-course dinner at a top Dubai location, keep reading…

In the first week of the Elite Sommelier DXB series, we toured L’Olivo by Al Mahara, the stunning underwater restaurant in the symbol Burj Al Arab. The beverage director of the Burj Al Arab had been charged with exhibiting Cantine Ferrari, a pioneering leader in the Italian sparkling wine sector.

Guests are met in the jewel-hued, gently ignited lounge before the meal to meet and chat while enjoying their first sparkling Ferrari Brut. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the party to meet before sitting down to a more formal dinner experience, with tiny canapĂ©s handed round by the well-dressed L’Olivo personnel.

After an hour, as our bellies begin to grumble, we’re led through the restaurant to the private dining region, where people sit enjoying romantic date evenings beside the glistening blue aquarium. I’m not sure which is more impressive: the vista of the passing marine life or the ruby red coral structure suspended from the ceiling. In any case, it’s the most amazing dining room I’ve ever seen.

We quickly take our seats, which are marked with a personalised menu, and the six-course meal starts. L’Olivo was founded in Capri in the now-Jumeirah-operated Capri Palace, which offers two Michelin stars. Andrea Migliaccio, the culinary director, came over with the restaurant when it was meant to be a pop-up at Al Mahara, but it’s proved so successful that it’s now a permanent addition to the ‘7 Star’ hotel’s food scene.

The evening is helpful while being friendly and entertaining, and Sam gives tales from his own experiences with the wines that are both fascinating and approachable, while answering a series of questions that arise during the meal. If you’ve ever wanted to learn from your own personal sommelier, this is as near as you’re going to get. It’s the type of event where you leave having learnt far more than you planned to.

Future Dates

Lorenzo Abussi will lead guests on a fantastic tour by means of Rocca delle Mace winery at City Social on October 24 (Dhs1,300). The series will then continue into November, with sommelier Samuel Lacroix combining Al Muntaha’s fine French fare with Champagne, on the other Louis Roederer on November 8 (Dhs1,100), beverage director Eleonora Caso leading a Dassai sake-paired dinner at Mayabay on November 14 (Dhs1,100), and a dinner at Alici on November 21 displaying top wines from the acclaimed organic winery, Valle Reale.

On December 7, sommelier Gregg Lambert will host a meal at LPM Restaurant & Bar with unusual grower Champagnes from producer Legras and Haas (Dhs1,000).

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