As we finally say goodbye to 2020 there is still time to share the experiences and memories of a key member of the wine trade as we ask Mattia Scarpazza, head sommelier at Petersham Nurseries, what were his personal takeaways from such a turbulent year. It might have meant spending a lot more time away from the restaurant floor, but he has kept himself busy and creative launching his own wine podcast to great acclaim. Over to you Mattia…
Rather than travel to Italy for Christmas and New Year Mattia Scarpazza has spent the festive period in London. Here looks back on 2020.
We have all had to adapt to a very different year due to Covid – how do you look back on it as a whole?
I had ups and downs, like everybody else in the globe we have all been affected by Covid-19 one way or the other. I can only take one day at a time and adapt, to see how everything plays out.
How did it impact you personally and the Petersham Nurseries business?
I had utilised those months of furlough well, and I’m very happy with what I achieved on a personal level and I had the time to find things that I wanted to focus on, such as doing sport and writing. However, I had some worrisome times as I have members of my family that are affected by Covid-19in Italy and I can’t be close to them.
At Petersham Nurseries, we have been very strong as a team and have adapted well to the new legislation. We also had amazing support from the locals and we had a good footfall from people from all over London and not.
What did you do to respond?
I focused on my mental health and worked on improving my skills in order to be at my best when it was needed most.
Work wise, I focused on building better bond with the team and we come out stronger than before, I’m proud of how everyone has been very active.
It’s not been a great year for highs – but anything stand out for you?
I also had launched my own wine podcast – Looking Into Wine – which I’m proud of.
What did you do for Christmas and your plans for New Year?
I have been in London, and will pop a bottle of wine open at midnight to celebrate the end of 2020. Usually I don’t celebrate New Year, but I think I’ll have to this year.
What did you eat and drink on Christmas Day?
It was just me and my partner this year. On the menu was turkey breast with bacon and all the sides and sauces. I had a bottle of Genevat, Cote de Jura Chardonnay, and a whisky.
Any favourite Christmas films – or films you watch at Christmas time – and why?
I’ll be watching the Grinch this year, as my partner has never seen it and I think that sometime I can relate to the protagonist when it comes to Christmas. I don’t particularly love it, but then I enjoy what it brings with it.
Favourite Christmas related songs?
Andrea Bocelli – White Christmas.
Any family festive traditions?
I would usually go to my grandparents in Italy to have a feast with all my relatives. It usually spans over two days and involves a lot of my granny home cooking and many bottles of wine. A must is a bottle of Ramandolo or Piccolit, both sweet wines from Friuli Venezia Giulia my grandpa’s region.
What are you most looking forward to doing once Covid-19 is over?
I will be looking to organise a long holiday to either Tuscany or Sicily, as I had them cancelled this year.
Where are you most looking forward to travelling to?
I would love to travel to Georgia on a wine trip.