Must be 21 years of age or older.
Join Sommelier Erica Archer with Chefs Damian Sansonetti and Luke Aberle, of acclaimed Portland, Maine restaurant Piccolo, for a gorgeous scenic wine sail on board the 74-foot sailboat, The Frances, built by her Captains and crew on Portland's waterfront as you explore five incredibly delicious wines from Italy ... each paired with delicious food from these two extremely talented Chefs..
You're in for an incredible wine education and food experience as you sail through Maine’s beautiful Casco Bay with scenic views of Maine lighthouses, islands, and waterways .. all while indulging in a wine class. You'll walk away with knowing a lot about wine, how regional influences impact wine styles and quality, gain confidence knowing how evaluate, select and pair wines and describe what you smell and taste. And no doubt you will taste and learn a lot about the incredible food that Chef Damian Sansonetti and Chef de Cuisine Luke Aberle have prepared for you.
Taste and learn about delicious Italian wines that you'll love to have in your repertoire
Enjoy delicious Italian food from two incredible Chefs
Find out what makes each wine region unique in their styles of wine they produce
Discuss the authentic Italian food preparations and styles that you’ll love to know about
Learn what to expect from certain terms on an Italian wine label when selecting your next bottle of wine
Learn the basics of tasting or take your wine knowledge to the next level
The menu will be available the date of the event as these Chefs take inspiration from only the freshest local ingredients. Due to the nature of this event we regret that we cannot accommodate food substitutions.
The menu will be available close to the date of the event as Chef takes his inspiration from only the freshest local ingredients. Due to the nature of this event we regret that we cannot accommodate food substitutions.
Chef Damian Sansonetti
Pittsburgh native Damian Sansonetti grew up exploring fresh, local ingredients, making pasta with his grandmothers, curing meats with his grandfather, and assisting his father in the family kitchen. A career in food was practically his birthright. Graduating from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, Sansonetti worked at Nantucket’s Brant Point Grill and Pittsburgh’s Steelhead Grill, moving to New York to open Heartbeat in the W Hotel. Sansonetti met Daniel Boulud while working at Shallots in Midtown and eventually took a position at Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne.
Training rigorously under Chef Olivier Muller, Sansonetti became chef de banquet at Daniel and then sous chef under Jean Francois Bruel. Promoted to executive chef of Bar Boulud in 2008, Sansonetti was named a 2009 StarChefs.com Rising Star. Now ensconced in the burgeoning food scene of Portland, Maine, Sansonetti’s partnered with his wife, Pastry Chef Ilma Lopez (a 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Pastry Chef and nominated in 2018 for a James Beard Award as Outstanding Pastry Chef), to open their Italian fine dining restaurant Piccolo.
With Piccolo, Damian brings the same passion to quality ingredients and time-tested cooking methods that he did for years as the chef de cuisine at Bar Boulud in New York. His love of carefully executed, handmade dishes has been evident throughout his career, as he proudly continues the Calabrian and Abbruzzian traditions of his family's kitchen.
Chef Luke Aberle
Is a native of Portland, Maine. He began his culinary career at the Falmouth Country Club, where he washed dishes for a summer before working as a cook throughout high school. After high school, Luke attended the University of Maine for engineering before switching gears and enrolling in culinary school at Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island.
After culinary school, Luke returned to Maine and began working at Grace when they opened in July 2009. There, he started off as a line cook before advancing to Sous Chef seven months later. He worked at Grace for over three years, and it was there that Luke first met Chef Ilma Lopez. Luke hired Ilma as their Pastry Chef and they soon became close friends.
After leaving Grace, he worked on a project in the West End called Carmen at the Danforth before opening In’finiti Brewery and Restaurant (now Liquid Riot). During that time, Chefs Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez opened Piccolo in September 2013. After 9 months at Infiniti, Luke joined Piccolo part-time in January 2014 and then full-time as Sous Chef in March 2014. When Damian and Ilma took over Caiola’s and began working on opening Chaval in 2016, Luke was promoted to the Chef de Cuisine at Piccolo.
Chef Luke enjoys using the engineering side of his brain to solve problems and bring his culinary ideas to fruition. After five years at Piccolo, he has grown to love the Southern Italian food that he cooks and has fully embraced Italian ingredients and the simplicity of the cuisine. He also loves utilizing all the fresh produce, local farms, and working waterfronts of Maine to influence the coastal, seafood-driven Southern Italian dishes found at Piccolo. In 2019, Chef Luke earned his first 4 1/2 star review for Piccolo in the March 10 edition of the Portland Press Herald.
Archer is a true oenophile, having obtained high levels of certification in her field. In 2010, she was awarded the Wine Spirit and Education Trust Level Three Advanced Certification in Wines and Spirits (with merit), became a Sommelier in the American Court of Master Sommeliers, and received her Certified Wine Professional award from the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California. Erica is the principal of Wine Wise, a wine education and events service and is skilled at creating truly creative and memorable wine experiences that take guests beyond a typical tasting with her intimate understanding of what makes each wine unique. And she’ll do it with her trademark sense of humor.
Where do we meet?
We depart from the Maine State Pier, located at at 56 Commercial Street (where Commercial Street meets Franklin Street). You’ll receive a more detailed email a few days before your event. Please refer to our FAQ page for answers to questions that you may be wondering about.
Because of our size, cancellations affect us significantly. If we are able to re-sell your tickets we can refund your ticket price minus the $10.00 credit card transactions we have to pay OR reschedule you to a different date that has availability (there is no credit card transaction fee in this case). You are always welcome to send a friend or family member in your place or sell your own tickets. Just make sure we have the ticket holder's email address so we can send them the event notifications so they are aware of where to find us and any day-of weather related notifications. There are no refunds or reschedules for no shows or if we are not able to resell your tickets. Makes sense, right