John Curtas is …

Paolo Barbieri is Alive and Well at SCARPETTA/D.O.C.G.

ELV flash: Wynn/Encore Wine Director Danielle Price has been terminated and her position eliminated. Expect lasagna to soon be featured as a blue plate special at Sinatra (with a side of vegan meatballs of course), and a Director of vodka/Red Bull will soon be appointed to assume Price’s duties.

Paolo Barbieri

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When last we left Master Sommelier Paolo Barbieri, he had worked long and hard to get ALEX at the Wynn a coveted Wine Spectator Grand Award. That was merely six months ago, but, due to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, all of that hard work was nullified with the sweep of a pen when Steve Wynn decided to close ALEX in January.  Depending on your point of view, this sad state of affairs occurred because:

A) Wynn wanted to spite his ex-wife;

B) He prefers the company of douchebags;

C) He wanted to specifically spite ELV; or

D) All of the above.

Regardless, Wynn’s loss has been Cosmos’ gain, and we at ELV are happy one of Wynn’s shining stars has found a happy home right down the street, as Barbieri is now Wine Director of Scarpetta/D.O.C.G. — a move that promises to pay benefits for him, the restaurants, and lovers of fine wines at all price points.

He has told us he intends to take the lists at both restaurants to another level — with Scarpetta leading the way with the best of Italy, and D.O.C.G. — the name stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (the highest categorization of Italian wines) — offering a panoply of well-priced wines from Piedmonte to Puglia.

Congrats to Paolo…and salute (sal-OO-tay) to Scarpetta!

FYI: We’re hearing about other shake ups occurring in the fine wine world of Wynn/Encore as we write this. Just how low will Steverino go? Stay tuned.

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