Meet the Sommelier: Luca Gagliardi

Meet the Sommelier: Luca Gagliardi - The Restaurant Co. Stories - Food & Beverage

Director of F&B at Capital Club Dubai, Luca Gagliardi has held the role of Sommelier throughout most of his career. Specialising in beverage and working with wines on a daily basis, Luca shares with us his observations on the industry. Nestled in Dubai’s booking financial district, Capital Club Dubai is a business members only club that focuses on bringing professionals together under one roof. Home to varied F&B concepts, the venue is multi-story and prides itself on offering only the finest dining experiences throughout the day, as well as hosting business and social events for its members. At Capital Club, guests will find a large selection of wines, mostly Aperitif-style wines that are very well suited for after work drinks. The outlet’s finest collection is undoubtedly French, with many of its varieties being from the Bordeaux and Champagne regions. In a one-to-one with Luca, we sat down to learn more about the professional and listen to his views of the current wine industry and its trends. Here’s what he shared with us. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Capital Club…   I came to Dubai over 18 years ago with the Gordon Ramsay team at Verre by Gordon Ramsay as Assistant Manager & Head sommelier. All my life I’ve worked mostly in Michelin starred restaurants. I moved on to work for Santi Santamaria, a 3-star Michelin chef from Barcelona in 2009, who overlooked the team at the Atlantis for the Ossiano restaurant. During my last 10 years in Dubai, I’ve worked at and helped to create new concepts in the city including the lounge of Roberto’s, the speakeasy bar R Trader, Bistronomia Solo at Raffles, Roof Top Bar at Iris, and the sustainable concept at Pierchic. In December 2020, I joined the Capital Club team in DIFC to revitalise all F&B concepts across four floors of the club. Tell us about your guests: who are they, where they are predominantly from, and are they mostly lovers of wine? Our guests are mostly international business people, from young entrepreneurs to self-made gentleman. Their nationalities are mixed, mostly European but also large groups of Asians and Arabic. These are people who have spend their life surrounded by great food, so they tend to have a fine palate for food and beverage, so it is a pleasure to work for them as they are always in search of new discoveries when it comes to dining.  Most of them are wine lovers, who appreciate a glass together with cigars, fine cognac and whiskeys. What types of wine are most popular with your guests and why? Our guests prefer lots of fresh, crisp wines such as sauvignon blanc, rieslings and Champagne, as most of them visit us for aperitifs from 6pm till 8pm. Usually our members are businessman whose days begin early in the morning, so fresh wines post-work are the best options here. On average, how many bottles do you sell at Capital Club on a monthly basis? As business member club during the day we don’t sell many wines, but during the social events our consumption drastically goes up, mostly during activities like our wine society or spirits master classes. As a beverage professional, can you describe any current trends in wine consumption that you’re noticing at the restaurant? Surely the biggest trend with double digit increase is the natural wine movement, together with the organic wines and the biodynamic wines. Dubai unfortunately is miles away from this trend due to the price structure of our taxes, but there are bunch of Dubai-based sommeliers, like me, devoted to trying to change that and ready to list these types of wines. What do you predict as the next biggest trends in wine for this year and beyond? I think in Dubai – and much like the rest of the world, the beverage industry is down because of the pandemic. In light of this, demand for entry level to medium range wines and spirits has spiked and become more popular because they’re most cost-effective for customers. Prosecco, sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio wines are still selling very well, and I don’t think there will be something new coming in the market this year. For more information about EuroCave in the GCC, visit, and for more information about Capital Club, visit

Trend talk: affordability and quality are key to restaurant wine sales at Carine

Trend talk: affordability and quality are key to restaurant wine sales at Carine - The Restaurant Co. Stories - Food & Beverage

Eranda Ranganath, Assistant Bar Manager of popular French restaurant Carine at Emirates Golf Club, Dubai shares insights on current wine consumer trends and behaviours. “Given that 75% of our revenue is from our wine menu, it would be fair to say that a lot of our diners appreciate and enjoy wine” Backed by years of experience working across high-end F&B establishments in the UAE such as Asia Asia at Pier 7, Karma Kafé in Souk Al Bahar, and La Serre at Vida Downtown, Eranda Ranganath, the Assistant Bar Manager at Emirates Golf Club’s Carine is well-equipped when it comes to beverage. Since joining the chic French restaurant led by locally-famed chef Izu Ani nearly one year ago, Eranda has served hundreds of guests at Carine, where he reveals simplicity is key to their offering and by using thoughtfully sourced ingredients the outlet offers an array of delicious Mediterranean-style dishes, unique cocktails and a fantastic range of old and new world wines. “At Carine, whilst we maintain an elegant approach and aesthetic, we incorporate the philosophy of casual dining, welcoming families and friends to enjoy long lazy lunches or romantic alfresco dining in the evening,” explains Eranda. The design of the restaurant is to evoke a strong sense of community where guests step into a lively atmosphere, filled with natural light and warmth. Carine’s manicured terrace serves rolling views of the green Emirates Golf Course and of course, a vibrant and exceptional F&B experience. Nestled in one of Dubai’s most sought-after areas, Carine’s guests are predominately members of Emirates Golf Club, UAE residents and a few tourists, tells Eranda, revealing that “given that 75% of our revenue is from our wine menu, it would be fair to say that a lot of our diners appreciate and enjoy wine.” When it comes to current wine consumer demands, the beverage professional explains that most guests at Carine have an appreciation for great quality at an approachable price point. “The majority of our guests are looking for a good selection of wines at an affordable price range. We’re also definitely seeing a new generation of wine consumers who are thirsty for the perfect wine and food pairings” he said. Adding that “without doubt, Bordeaux is the most popular French red wine at Carine. We also see that Chablis is the best-selling white wine and a Cote De Provence rosé always performs well.” While French wines are by far the most popular at Carine, Eranda admits the bar team likes to encourage their guests to experiment with different varieties and perhaps nudge them out of their comfort zones. To do so, Carine offers quite a large number of wines by the glass to enable dines to sample a wide-range of grapes. “We predominantly serve our most exclusive wines by the glass,” notes Eranda, revealing that Carine’s Bordeaux selection of wines are the outlets most luxurious. With such high demand for a wide-range of wine varieties, Carine uses two of EuroCave’s V-Pure L cabinets side-by-side to optimise storage and serving temperature. “Storing and serving wine at the right temperature is crucial for us and our guests. Every wine is different, from aroma to taste, and with EuroCave cabinets we can conserve the essence and experience of each fine wine. The EuroCave cooling and humidity system is unique and essential to keep our wine safely and elegantly stored,” explains Eranda. The Pure range used by Carine allows wine to mature under optimal conditions at 12-13°C or serve one style of wine at any single specific temperature from 6°C to 19°C. For more information about Carine, please visit or call +971 4 417 9885.