Every week or so in ‘What to B When You BYOB’ we ask a local wine shop to recommend a few good wines under $20 to pair with the food at a nearby BYOB restaurant.
This week, we talk to Beau Rapier of Uva Wines in Williamsburg about a certain newish Argentinean restaurant still awaiting its wine-and-beer license. Despite reports that booze is banned from the establishment for the moment, a call to the restaurant today revealed that BYOB was, indeed, permitted. Unofficially.
“The main thing people go there for is going to meat,” says Beau, adding that a number of patrons come in to buy wine bound for the license-less joint. “And, while a lot of people look for an Argentinean wine–it is an Argentinean restaurant, after all–I like to go for Sangiovese-based wines from Tuscany because much of the cuisine in Argentina is influenced by the Italians who immigrated there.”
Vistalba Corte C 2006, Argentina ($16)
“This blend of mostly Malbec–about 80 percent–and Merlot is a classic expression of Argentinean Malbec. It has soft, dark fruit, a hint of vanilla, chocolate, and spice. But it’s not too jammy,” says Beau. “There’s a bit of tannin there, so it’s good for pairing with steak.”
Caparzo Rosso di Toscana 2006, Italy ($13)
“This is a producer of Brunello di Montalcino, which is very expensive, so he also makes a rosso of predominantly Sangiovese. It’s elegant, with deep, rich Sangiovese fruit, but overall it’s light. There’s no oak on it at all, so it’s clean fruit, with a bit of acidity, which makes it refreshing with pasta.”
Castello della Paneretta Chianti Classico 2004 ($20)
“Classico is the best of Chianti. It’s the best location for the vineyards and for the Sangiovese grape. 2004 was an excellent vintage throughout Italy, but especially for Chianti Classico. I think it’s an excellent value for a wine with a bit of bottle age on it. There’s a bit of oak there, but a softer, sweeter edge to the fruit. It’s an enjoyable wine with food, fairly full-bodied but without too much weight. The softness of the fruit helps balance the spiciness of chorizo, and goes with certain chicken dishes.”
Cesani Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2007, Italy ($12)
“These traditional Tuscan white wines are fresh, clear, and crisp because they are done in either cement or in stainless steel tanks. There’s no oak on them, but the juice stays in contact with the lees and the skins so it makes for more complex flavors. It’s a nimble, refreshing wine that is perfect for a number of the appetizers, as well as with the fish dish on the menu.”
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