When we sat down for dinner last night at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria in lower Manhattan, there was no debate over which white wine to start off with: the Nüsserhof B[latterle], made from the rare Blatterle grape in German-speaking South Tyrol.
Honestly, I’d never heard of the variety before and was entirely geeked to try it. I loved its low alcohol (at around 12 percent), freshness, and its easy-going spearmint note on the nose. It was a fantastic wine to go with the charcuterie, pickled beets, and lettuces that came out first from the kitchen.
Italian wine is a never-ending mosaic of grape varieties, styles, tastes, peoples, and places. And this wine was just the umpteenth reason that it never gets boring.
For our second bottle, my friend Jamie Wolff, founder and owner of Chambers St. Wines, the current “best wine shop in the world” (vis-à-vis JancisRobinson.com), generously treated us to a stunning 1985 Barolo by Giuseppe Rinaldi (corkage).
Man, this bottle sang in the glass! It had an ethereal balance of savory earth and fruit flavors and although it was still muscular and deliciously chewy in body, its ineffable litheness — a hallmark of the greatest expression of Barolo imho — prevailed in the mouth.
Jamie had double-decanted the wine earlier in the day and its vibrancy left everyone at the table speechless and very happy.
It was so wonderful to see my good friend, Il Buco’s resident wizard, Roberto Paris, who mentored and encouraged me so early on in my career. He is such a lovely man and we couldn’t help but re-stoke the memories of the late nineties and very early aughts before tragedy silenced irony in Manhattan for a time.
All in all, it was a great way to become re-acclimated to my old stomping grounds.
Please stay tuned… More enogastronomic adventures await me in my near future here in NYC…