CONTEMPORARY WINE LIST AWARD

The wine list and the Sommelier of one of the restaurants included in the guide “The best Italian restaurants of the Gambero Rosso” will be awarded “Best Contemporary Wine List” from Villa Sandi.

Los Angeles

Best Contemporary Wine List: Osteria Mamma

A tasty breeze of Veneto Region in Los Angeles. Mamma Loredana delivers a very homey style of cucina italiana. After working in Italy, she brought some original recipes to the southern California area. She opened 10 years ago and the quality has been consisting over time. No frills, but lots of substance. Come for the pasta, stay for the wine. The wine list is more than remarkable with 150 varietals and more than 300 labels. Maps and descriptions are accurate, and what a brilliant selection available by the glass!

NEW YORK

Best Contemporary Wine List: Sofia Wine Bar

What a cozy and intimate wine bar! Sofia is a favorite wine destination in Midtown offering a brilliant wine selection by the glass with more than 50 options available. You can have easy and approachable wines starting from 11 dollars up to 35 and more for some cult wines. Luca is a perfect host and he’s going to suggest you something that will suite your taste and yuor budget. The wine collection is mostly Italian, with a small selection of New World lables. The atmoshpere is definitely lively, friendly service. If it’s sunny do not miss the courtyard on the back.

CHICAGO

Best Contemporary Wine List: Piccolo Sogno

A clean, simple, rustic style. Piccolo Sogno’s cuisine is traditional Italian, using the finest ingredients: organic vegetables, Mediterranean fish, and mozzarella and tomatoes from Naples for the restaurant’s thin-crust pizza. Since opening in 2008, Tony Priolo and Ciro Longobardo’s restaurant has won great popularity and awards. Perhaps their secret lies in the simplicity of their cooking and their “homemade” approach: from pasta to gelato, almost everything is made on the premises. We suggest you the pappardelle al cinghiale (wild boar). The 400-strong all Italian wine list has something for all tastes and all budgets. The prices are among the most competitive in town, the selection available by the glass is more than remarkable. A proper winelover destination.

MIAMI

Best Contemporary Wine List: Casa D’Angelo

Casa d’Angelo displays a mesmerizing wine cellar that counts about 20,000 labels. Campanian Chef Angelo Elia offers a traditional and refined style of cuisine based on very fresh and quality ingredients directly imported from Italy. During our visit, we had and excellent burrata, well paired with an excellent white truffle and parma ham. The olive oil on the table was also of an high leverl. Choosing your wine could be difficoult, every region of the world is represented in the super extensive list.

MEXICO CITY

Best Contemporary Wine List: Bottega Sartoria

What a lovely wine bar! Don’t think twice and take one of the few seats at the counter. You can take choice among 100 labels, covering at least 60 native Italian grapes, from Valle d’Aosta down to Sicily. The selection available by the glass is smart and well articulated, taking into account small artisans and many organic vignerons. Bottega is open from the morning, with a good selection of croissants and fragrant breads, a nice selection. Come for a sandwich, a platter of good charcuterie, a proper bottle of olive oil or top quality pasta. You will stay for the wine.

LONDON

Best Contemporary Wine List: Theo Randall at The Intercontinental

We’ve tried many Italian restaurants run by British chefs and without a doubt Theo Randall’s is one of the most convincing to date. The setting is elegant, housed in the Intercontinental Hotel. Among the appetizers we recommend the Roman style puntarelle (crispy chicory shoots dressed with vinegar, capers and anchovies) and in particular the stuffed pastas that highlight technique and good articulation of flavours as in the case of the veal-stuffed cappelletti. Among the mains, there’s a good hand on the fish and seafood, delicately treated with Mediterranean flavours and cooking methods. The great support comes from the wine list developed by sommelier Umberto Luberto, who manages to dose different styles very well, between macerated and natural wines and cult labels, with a lot of research and wisdom in the choices.

PARIS

Best Contemporary Wine List: Le George

A great example of virtuous restaurant service. On the ground floor of the Four Season Hotel is the exquisitely Mediterranean cuisine marked by crisp lightness. The service is exceptional, starting from the wine coordinated by the pure talent of young Alessandro Cini, who has put together one of the most beautiful and articulated wine collections in Europe, boasting character and research. In the kitchen, Simone Zanoni proposes a sustainable cuisine, taking advantage of the land owned by the hotel in Versailles and reducing waste as much as possible. Meals open with excellent raw fish or impeccable arancini. Don’t miss the tarte tatin, filled with cacio e pepe gelato and ricotta, lemon and mint tortelli, the restaurant’s great classic. Among mains, the 36 hours goat and the very classic Milanese cutlet, perfectly fragrant, stand out above the fine rest.

COPENHAGEN

Best Contemporary Wine List: Mother Wine

Keep it simple, easy, and accessibile. That’s the motto of Mother Wine, a homey wine bar in the city center. Two floors, few seats, a social table for a milanese-style aperitivo, and a very warm atmosphere. The selection is remarkable, there’s a lot of research on small and organic boutique wineries, lots of good natural wines and terroir drive labels offered at a very affordable price thanks to the direct importation. On our visit we discovered some producers which are very hard to find even in Rome or Milan, that were well introduced by manager Marco Bon. Plus, don’t miss some good jazz live music on Friday night.

STOCKHOLM

Best Contemporary Wine List: L’Avventura

If you’re an Italian wine lover in Stockholm, you should pay a visit to L’Avventura, a must visit bar and restaurant in Vasastan. The wine selection displays a huge research in terms of vintage and terroir driven wines, collecting lots of top and rare brands. The selection covers all the main wine regions of Italy, with some stunning vertical tastings of cult Italian labels. At the bar you may also considering go for some well blended cocktail. The wine list is impressive, the food is not at the same level. Spicy vodka fusilloni and the porck chops are among the classics. The service? Extremely professional.

BERLIN

Best Contemporary Wine List: Muret La Barba

The place exudes Mitte’s style in a small and carefully designed Italian wine bar in Berlin. Over 200 bottles and approximately fifteen different Italian wine regions represented with interesting choices that pique our curiosity, independent wine makers and traditional wine making. Bottles feature unconventional Franciacortas such as the 1701, an irreverent Schiopettino of Friuli-native Petrussa, and unique bottles sourced in the only winery on the island Capri in Campania, Scala Fenicia. All bottles can be opened for service by the glass, as well as purchased for take out. In addition to cheese and cured meats boards, also antipastos featuring burrata or shishito peppers, classic prosciutto and melon; or pasta starters such as linguine with clams and bottarga.

MUNICH

Best Contemporary Wine List: Il Mulino

There’a a lot of research and curiosity in the wine list of Il Mulino. The collection is well divided among classic and less known regions, with a proper collection of old vintages and magnum bottles. 

ST. PETERSBURG

Best Contemporary Wine List: Vino di Vino

The wine list of this Italian restaurant truly pays tribute to the name “divine wine”. The restaurant has been showing one of the best Italian wine selections on Russian soil for the last 5 years. There is a wide offer of labels by the glass and remarkable depth and variety, carefully selected, researched and professional approach, just look at the perfect wine serving temperature. The wine accompanies a very wide range of dishes, too, from homemade pasta and desserts. The quality of the offer is matched by very correct prices considering the St. Petersburg standards. The welcome and service are of true Italian origin: warm.

MOSCOW

Best Contemporary Wine List: Bigati Bar

Bigati offers a lively, colourful venue with a vibrant atmosphere. Meanwhile, the prices are more than honest considering the wine mark-ups in Russia, the choice is brilliant. There are two wine lists, the first one essential, the second is very deep, with true enthusiast selections: there is research, love for local wines, courageous choices and is consistently strong offer, both Italian and the selection of excellent French bubbles, as well as other pearls from Old Europe. Oysters, bruschetta and the evening starts well. On weekends the place stays open late, even until 4 am, starting with wine by the glass and ending with serious bottles.

SHANGHAI

Best Contemporary Wine List: D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana

Casual, easy-going. Here the atmosphere of the place is lively, energetic, unpretentious. The cucina is focused for every moment of the day, from lunch till mid night. Charcuteries and cheeses display a good standard together with some classic dishes and a crispy style of pizza. Cocktails are well blended, the wine list is essential and very accessible, with a wide range of wines available by the glass offered at a very honest prices for the city. You may go for a refreshing bubble or be in the mood for a proper bottle of Barolo. Villa Sandi Contemporary Wine List Award 2020.

SEOUL

Best Contemporary Wine List: Wine Book Cafe

Wine Book Cafe is a lovely Italian wine bar in Seoul, located in the area of Nonhyun-dong in Gangnam. The restaurant is run by a wine book publishing company, The BaromWorks company. The atmosphere is relaxed, easy-going, with a vintage touch and an extensive array of wine books on the walls. The wine program is impressive, with more than 700 labels, the wine list is smart and complete. You may start with a very good value for money wine by the glass and end up with a stellar bottle… Villa Sandi Contemporary Wine List Award 2020.

TOKYO

Best Contemporary Wine List: Enoteca Implicito

What a lovely Italian wine bar and restaurant in Tokyo. The entrance is like that of a classic wine bar, but inside, meticulous Japanese attention to detail and research in the selection of the Italian wines is evident. About twenty wines by the glass are listed, many of them real gems – the owners have a passion for small producers, terroir driven wines and natural wines. Plates of cured meats and cheeses are on hand, and downstairs, guests can sit down for a traditional dinner. A proper Casa del Vino.


Who will be the Next Best Contemporary Wine List?