The Stafford London | 42y

Gino started working as a sommelier at The Stafford Hotel in 1976. 42 years later he still curates the 10000 bottle collection and oversees the wine service in the hotel’s restaurant, The Game Bird.

He believes the customers are the lifeblood of the hotel. The property was used by American and Canadian officers as a club during WW2 and the nearly 400 year-old wine cellars (the oldest in London) doubled up as air-raid shelters. Those officers continued to frequent the hotel long after the war and their descendants and families still visit today. The hotel bar’s ceiling is dripping with souvenirs, presents and photographs brought back and donated by regular guests.

Italian-born Gino grew up in a small mountain town in southern Italy and became of the only few dozen Master Sommeliers in the world in 1981.