High Notes

Meet Mandy Sparacino, wine director at the new Esquire Champagne Room in the Gold Coast.

By Lisa Shames

July 26, 2018 9:23 PM

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While it may have initially been a glass of Dom Pérignon that opened up a whole new world for Mandy Sparacino, her love for bubbles runs the gamut. “Sparkling wines are unique like individual people, and I want to get to know as many as possible,” she says. As wine director of the recently opened The Esquire Champagne Room, the beautiful third-floor lounge inside Gold Coast steakhouse Del Frisco’s, Sparacino is doing just that with an extensive by-the-glass and bottle list that ranges from Raventos I Blanc cava from Spain and Nino Franco prosecco from Italy to, yes, Dom Pérignon Champagne from France.

As in her other gig as the longtime lead vocalist for industrial-tinged pop band My Gold Mask (under the name Gretta Rochelle), Sparacino looks for balance in the sparkling wines she chooses for the always-changing menu. “Whether I’m mixing a record or deducing a wine it’s the same approach,” she says. “It’s all about harmony.” Sparacino hopes her approach leads more people to embrace sparkling wine’s accessibility and move beyond the dated perception that it’s just for special occasions. “Let’s celebrate life, and Monday night, and Wednesday afternoon,” she says. “There’s something super cool and primal about the sound of the pop of the cork that makes people happy. So why not experience that every day?” We couldn’t agree more.

The Esquire Champagne Room, 58 E. Oak St., 312.846.6576