Featured Sommelier Ben Giacchino, Five and Ten, Gosford Wine
By Jim Clarke
Ben Giacchino is sommelier at Chef Hugh Acheson’s critically acclaimed Five and Ten restaurant in Athens, Georgia, which features one of the Southeast’s most exciting wine programs. His early career in the wine business started in boutique wine shops. He quickly ascended into management and then built upon that experience by opening a wine shop together with chef Acheson in 2004: Gosford Wine.
Ben’s life in wine began on the farms of his youth, where he learned enormous respect for nature. His love of wine is best understood as an offshoot and aspect of his general passion for agriculture. A bit of a farmer himself – he has a small herd of dairy goats, and plans to start milking in November to craft his own homemade chèvre – Ben takes an agricultural approach to wine making and wine enjoyment, with a particular interest in organic and biodynamic viticultural methods. He has pursued the link between wine and soil directly in his multiple wine tours in Australia, California, and Italy.
Wine education is also central to Ben’s life, and he is presently and successfully working his way toward certification as a Master Sommelier. He educates himself so that he may educate others; for the past three years he has hosted a small wine seminar every Wednesday in Athens. Between the seminars, the shop, the restaurant, and the goats, it seems clear that time management is another skill Ben picked up on the farm.