What was the first wine that made you realize you loved wine?
A simple moscato that made me get up at 6 am on a sunday morning at the age of 10 to go have a sip all by myself.
Describe your perfect meal and the wine you’d pair it with?
I like wholesome, fresh vegetable soups and normally like to pair them with a good, vibrant, young white wine like a Tocai Friuliano or Ribolla Gialla...
Raw fish starters like crudo or sushi go wonderfully with a sparkling rose'.
If I’m in the mood for a good pasta dish I’ll go for homemade gnudi with a great bolognese sauce and pair it with a well made, honest Sangiovese.
A juicy piece of lamb that is well roasted but still nice and pinkish in the inside, served simply with no sauces is perfect with an older vintage of Aglianico.
Lastly, I love pies with seasonal fruits, and an old school custard or Creme Anglais and a Sauthern or a Passito di Pantelleria goes perfectly with it.
What’s the most common misconception people have regarding wine?
That it is bad for you.
That the higher in alcohol and concentration, the better it might be.
That it should not be tannic.
What's the advantage of ordering a flight of wine?
It’s always fun to taste different wines and to try to find out for yourself what you personally like and dislike. A flight of wine allows you to sample from a variety of wines without overdoing it.
What's your current pick for best value in an Italian wine at Aroma?
Right now we have a 2000 Bordeaux blend from Veneto that is on our list for $68 that I have seen in Italy selling for over $130 Euros.
Serafini and Vidotto Rosso dell'Abazzia.
Why do you think the concept of Aperitivo worked so well for you at a time when it was almost nonexistent in NYC?
People are still catching on to the concept of aperitivo, but for us it’s just a really great, civilized way to socialize after work.
Alexandra Degiorgio and Vito Polosa’s childhood in the Mediterranean was founded in a culture with a strong, stable culinary tradition where great pleasure is derived from food and where dining is an experience to be savored. Great meals lasted for hours, bringing family and friends together. These meals were always prepared with local and fresh ingredients and with love, care and attention.
Since moving to New York, Alexandra and Vito have seen the same passion for food and drink but found the experience is rarely savored or remembered here. This passion is also often hindered by a fear that delicious food cannot be healthy for you. After they met in November 2002, they created an escape in their home by hosting frequent dinners to celebrate friendships and family, food and wine. They dreamed of creating a restaurant that would bring back the values of fresh, local food that is carefully prepared coupled with wonderful wines and genuine service. Alexandra Degiorgio and Vito Polosa opened Aroma Kitchen & Winebar in March 2005 with a vision to take guests to new levels of Italian food and wine enjoyment, making every meal a memorable experience.
Aroma is a study in contrasts: The urban/rustic interior features exposed brick, a dark wood bar with natural edges juxtaposed with mirrors framed with brushed steel. The room is softly lit by both contemporary chandeliers and flickering candles. Brought together by their shared passion for food, wine and entertaining, owners Degiorgio and Polosa are both as active behind the scenes as they are in front of the house. Alexandra, a native of Malta, was formerly a consultant for American Management Systems (AMS), an international information technology firm. Vito, from Potenza, Italy (just South of Naples) has extensive experience in service as waiter, head waiter or manager at such NYC restaurants as Fiamma, Da Silvano, Bice and Il Gattopardo. Most recently, he was a wine salesman for Winebow, one of New York's largest wine and liquor distributors. The team brings passionate, focused intensity to the art of relaxing hospitality. They plan to share their enthusiasm with wine tastings, directed pairings and other educational programs.
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