Wine Culture Magazine

Photo courtesy of Di Beppe Ristorante

Like many of us, Axelle Dubé is drawn to natural wines because they are good for the environment, good for the body and, simply, good. But unlike most of us, she gets to share her love for them in her role as wine director at Di Beppe Ristorante.

Since late August, she’s been hosting a “Buona Notte” pop-up on Mondays and Tuesdays at the popular Italian eatery in Gastown. That’s when Dubé offers her series of exciting off-menu wines and unique pours, mainly natural wines, from Italy, by the glass and by the bottle.

In early September, for instance, she was pouring four orange wines that explored all the wonderfully zesty and savoury characteristics of these skin-contact wines. Two were lightly fizzy pét-nats—the rustic Orsi “Sui Lieviti” Colli Bolognesi DOCG 2018 and the wild, earthy Il Roccolo di Monticelli “Cinciallegra” 2018 from Veneto. The other two were deeper, more intense still wines, the cheerfully drinkable Le Costa “Ripazzo” 2018 from Lazio, and the powerful, well-aged La Stoppa “Ageno” 2015 Emilia Bianco IGT.

“Whether sharing a bottle with friends or people you just met or travelling and getting to know the history and people of a new place, wine has the ability to connect us despite our differences languages and frontiers, and I like that,” Dubé says.

“It’s often a unique story and I love to understand why they got into making wine, how they struggled and succeeded. Then to be able to tell that to someone who orders a glass of wine is a nice feeling. My philosophy is basically, if you’re going to drink wine, it might as well be what’s best out there and supporting someone who is making the effort to do it naturally.”

Dubé adds, “I love to be able to contribute to people having a good time. But what’s really fun is when wine becomes an excuse towards other conversations such as agriculture, history and personal anecdotes.”

The Buona Notte pop-up wine series is expected to continue through fall, with new wines introduced regularly. For more info, visit

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