Da wines

Vinous Table: Trattoria Al Pompiere, Verona, Italy

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Mar 2017

Readers spending time in Verona and looking for a hearty meal with well-cooked dishes and a fairly priced wine list especially rich in local wines of the Veneto (with some older vintages going back to 1995), would do well to check out Trattoria Al Pompiere. Super popular, Al Pompiere is always packed. Italians and foreigners alike fill the tightly spaced tables in two rooms decorated with exposed wooden beams, old photos of past and current patrons and host of other rustic charms. One caveat - the noteworthy din made up of happy chatter and laughs does not make for an especially romantic evening. The eye gazes over the cheese corner, where about 100 different Italian cheeses are in full view, before moving to the charcuterie corner, which is a filled with about 40 different salumi. As if that weren’t enough, prosciuttos and salamis hang from the rafters in true postcard style.

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Tramin Pinot Grigio Unterebner: 2002-2015

Italy: North, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Ian D'Agata, Mar 2017

Thinking of Pinot Grigio only in terms of insipid or boring wines is one of the biggest mistake made by wine lovers and wine experts today. The fact is Pinot Grigio is one of the world’s noble grapes. Tramin’s top of the line Unterebner bottling showcases the greatness the variety and wines are capable of.

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Cellar Favorite: 1988 Francesco Rinaldi Barolo La Brunata

Cellar Favorites, Italy: Piedmont

Ian D'Agata, Mar 2017

I have always enjoyed Francesco Rinaldi’s single vineyard Barolos, both of which are made from two of the denominazione’s greatest sites, Brunate and Cannubi.

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Vinous Table: Da Fiore, Venice, Italy

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Mar 2017

In the eyes, mind and taste buds of many, Da Fiore is the best restaurant in Venice. A few of the city’s most famous recipes are tweaked with creative touches and lightened up, but the culinary wizardry of owner/chef Mara Martin is such that her traditional renditions of Venetian classics are hard to beat.

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Brunello di Montalcino: The 2012 Brunellos & 2011 Riservas

Italy: Tuscany, featured

Ian D'Agata, Mar 2017

The superb 2012 Brunello vintage represents a conundrum: a hot, very dry year that produced a large number of wines in a cooler-climate style. Aromas and flavors are ripe in 2012, but the wines also have the acidity and steely tannic structure to evolve slowly and gracefully in bottle

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Cellar Favorite: 1990 Basserman-Jordan Deidesheimer Kieselberg Riesling Beerenauslese

Cellar Favorites

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2017

Bassermann-Jordan has long been one of my favorite German wine estates. I simply never tire of their wines. The 1990 Basserman-Jordan Deidesheimer Kieselberg Riesling Beerenauslese is a magnificent sweet wine that started out life extremely backward...

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Vinous Table: La Tour d’Argent, Paris, France

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2017

The legendary restaurant La Tour d’Argent offers amazing panoramic views of the Seine and Notre Dame, a spacious, bright dining room, a monumental wine list and many classic food preparations. So I was curious to try the cuisine of new chef Philippe Labbé, who took over the kitchen from Laurent Delarbre in May 2016.

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Manni Nössing Sylvaner: 2008-2015

Italy: North, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2017

Is Manni Nössing one of Italy’s top fifteen or so winemakers? The thought immediately springs to mind when tasting his lineup of Sylvaner, Grüner Veltliner, Kerner, and Müller-Thurgau wines. The Sylvaner, especially, reaches levels of purity, precision and age-worthiness uncommon in all but the world’s finest examples of this white wine.

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Vinous Table: L'Oste Scuro, Verona, Italy

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2017

L'Oste Scuro is Verona’s best fish restaurant. Owner/chef Simone Lugoboni has always loved the Parisian brasserie concept and strives to offer the denizens of the city of Romeo and Juliet high quality oysters, prawns, mussels, squid and fish of all kinds and sizes.

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Köfererhof Kerner: 2006-2014

Italy: North, featured

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2017

Although Kerner doesn’t enjoy the lofty reputation of grape varieties like Riesling and Pinot Noir, it has found a home in Alto Adige’s Valle Isarco area, where Köfererhof makes one of the region’s best and most ageworthy versions