Meet Mark Guarrera, gatekeeper of the best wine in Brisbane, purveyor of carefully crafted drinks and quality controller of all things Baedeker – from the menu to the exceptional service you find in the bar every time. Mark’s passion, knowledge and industry know-how is one of a kind, so we set out to find out a bit about the man behind the bar…
So, Mark, tell us a bit about your role at Baedeker.
MG: I’m the manager and sommelier at Baedeker, so I’m responsible for the day to day running of the bar, sourcing old and new wines from around the country (and the world!) and making sure we have a range of quality food and drink pairings to suit everyone’s tastes. My real passion is with wine, so I’m constantly sourcing good vintages and learning about new trends in the market to ensure we offer the best wine in Brisbane.
What is the most popular drink trend amongst the Baedeker customer base currently?
MG: It has to be Biodynamic and Minimal Intervention wines. There has been a real trend towards wines that have used innovative methods of harvesting and production to produce organic wines with little to no human intervention. There’s a certain vibrancy to the wines that has to be tasted to be believed!
Do you have an all-time favourite wine?
MG: There are too many to pick just one, but currently I’m loving the new releases from Koerner and Latta. Koerner hail from Clare Valley and employ minimal intervention techniques, producing a range of wines that are light, fresh and highly drinkable. The Latta family vineyard is in Ballarat, and at just 34, Owen Latta is the one to watch at the moment for his thoughtful and daring range. Definitely a must try on your next Baedeker visit.
Where did the love affair with wine begin?
MG: In my late teens when I was working casually in restaurants while studying Commerce at Uni, I realised I was looking more forward to going to work to learn about food and wine than I was about going to my lectures at Uni. I’ve been in the industry ever since!
If you could debunk one myth about wine, what would it be?
That bottle age makes a wine taste better. It is rarely the case. Most wines are actually produced to be consumed right away, and if they’re left in a cellar they can spoil rather than improve. If in doubt, ask us and we’ll let you know which to keep and which to enjoy immediately.
What’s the most impressive hidden treasure to be found at Baedeker?
Favourite dish on the menu?
It is winter, so it’s got to be the braised beef cheek. It’s perfect for the cooler evenings with a glass of red, enjoyed in our cosy surrounds.
Can you tell us of any exciting events coming up?
We are going to commence Escape Room experiences in July and there is also going to be some special evenings with the new release Game of Thrones whiskies near the end of this month. Watch this space for more info!
Anything else the world should know about Baedeker?
We have one of the most private, exclusive dining rooms in Brisbane, hidden behind a bookcase. Seriously, you won’t have seen anything like it – it’s really unique! We host private functions and events like wine and whisky tastings in there – the perfect surrounds to enjoy fine food and wine in good company.
Baedeker is open to the public Wednesday – Saturday from 4pm – late so pop down, say hello to our expert in residence and sample the best wine in Brisbane. You can also find out more about Brisbane’s most private dining space here. We look forward to seeing you soon!