Interview with Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits, Rocco D’Agostino, Director of Sales for BC.
MP First, why the name “Mark Anthony”?
RD Anthony’s middle name is Mark and it was clear that Marko Antonio or Mark Anthony Wine Merchants would be a timeless and inspiring name that would be not only instantly recognizable but that would endure for generations. It was a natural.
MP What drew you to wine?
RD Being a first born generation Canadian from Italian immigrants, wine has always been part of my life. I recall the moment when wine became a hobby and part of my daily work life. The moment was during a vertical tasting with a winemaker when I was living in Montreal. My palate and olfactory sensory experienced a sensation never felt before. After that tasting, I began my search to discover great wine from around the world.
MP How did these experiences contribute to making Mark Anthony the unique wine experience that it is?
RD Our goal at Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits is to always find the best wines from each terroir. My passion to search for the best helped ensure we found the top wine families in the world and brought them to Canadian consumers to discover.
MP What criteria do you use to choose your wine?
RD When I choose a wine I start in the vineyard the wine comes from. There is no question that great wines come from great fruit and that can only happens when the farmers are respecting and taking great care of the land the grapes come from. The second most important thing I look for when choosing a wine is the Brand and the family philosophy of the wine making.
MP What are the top 3 types of wine (your favorites) would we find in your home Wine collection?
RD You will always find wines from different regions in Italy: Barolo, Chianti Classico Reserva, Tuscan blend and wine from southern Italy: Puglia and Sicily. Being Canadian, I always have great wine from BC in my cellar also. As an Italian-Canadian I make it a point to discover wines from these countries first.
My top 3 picks for family celebrations and sharing with Friends.
Always Start with a Bottle of Mionetto Prosecco
Mission Hill Family Estate Compendium
Il Bruciato Bolgheri Guado al Tasso
Villa Antinori Chianti Reserva
MP What is your advice for the novice consumer, who is about to discover his or her first Italian made wine?
RD My first advice to a novice consumer would be to understand that Italian wines are created to complement food. When discovering an Italian wine you should enjoy it with a meal to fully appreciate what the wine is about and what the winemaker has intended you to experience. Ideally food dishes from the region the wine comes from can make an ultimate experience.
MP What would you recommend for someone buying wine for cellaring? What are you buying?
RD Buying for cellaring is a great way to understand how the wine is able to mature with age and see if you prefer wines with more earthy tones and elegant tannins or wines with bright fruit and strong tannins during their younger years. I always recommend buying six bottles of a wine that is grown from estate fruits and priced over 25$ and experiment trying the wines over 5 to 8 years.
MP What do you think is unique about wines from Italy?
RD What I find unique about Italian wines is that every region has its own identity and is totally different from one another. From unique varietals to winemaking techniques in each region to help the grape varieties express themselves to the fullest. I never get tired of drinking Italian wine. There is always a wine from Italy for every occasion. If I had only one country to purchase wine from it would be Italy. The good thing is that we are quite fortunate in Canada to have such a variety and choice of wine selection to choose from.
MP Who are your clients currently?
RD Our clients range from super premium collectors to young adults discovering wines. Our wine portfolio at Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits offers a selection of fine wines from more than a dozen countries around the world.
MP Finally, what do you think about the saying; ”Everyone needs a hobby, mine it’s wine”?
RD I would agree with this saying. Wine is my passion. I can talk about wine all day but I also love to let the wine tell me its story from the glass. Every bottle of wine has a story that needs to be told.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!