Wine — BYOB
Posted by Tom Kisthart on
We put together this list of Tampa restaurants that will let you bring your own bottle of wine for a fee. Remember to 1. always buy the wine from us. 2. Tip your server as if you purchased the wine from them. May want to call ahead to confirm. Info is accurate to the best of our knowledge.
In no particular order:
$25 for normal 750ml, bigger $45
Spain Restaurant & Toma Bar
Roster & The Till
$20 for the first, $25 for the second, $30 for the third, etc
Ruth Chris Steakhouse (Westshore. Locations may vary)
Edison Food & Drink Lab
$20; if you buy one there, its waived, 1bottle limit per table of 4
Yummy House South
Donatello Italian Restaurant
Timpano Italian Chophouse
$25 (usually don't charge)
Columbia Restaurant (Ybor)
Bavaro's Pizza (downtown Tampa)
Fly Bar & Restaurant
Eddie V's Prime Seafood
$25 per bottle
First $0, second and third $20 each, no more than 3
The Capital Grill (International Plaza)
$25 per bottle
Del Frisco's Grill
Anise Global Gastrobar
Copyright Craft & Curd 2018 beeches
Posted by Tom Kisthart on
[This article is inspired by the theme of local restaurant Trattoria Pasquale's BYOB Big Night dinners this march. We will be doing a free wine tasting on Wednesday 3/9 from 6:00 to 8:00 featuring some of the region's wines. Learn more about Big Night here]
When considering the cuisine of Italy, we need to remember that we're not just dealing with one country but rather twenty very individual regions (with plenty of further distinctions within those regions). No other country has such a diversity of cuisines and styles of wines. We must keep in mind that the food and wine of a particular region evolved together to compliment one and other. To elevate your dining of regional Italian specialties be sure to pair the food with the local wines.
The city of Naples is the capital of Campania. Other areas the region is known for include the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius and the island of Capri. Campania is densely populated both with people and an abundance of agriculture products. If there was an overarching culinary philosophy of the region it may be taking a few exceptional ingredients and presenting them in a simple way (as can be said for many Italian cuisines).
The main three white grape varieties that you'll see on bottles from this region are Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino and Falanghina. Greco is an ancient grape that is thought to have been brought to the area by the greeks as the name suggests. More interesting is that Greco is thought to have been the progenitor of many Italian white varieties such as Grechetto, Trebbiano, Verdicchio and Garganega (source: Vino Italiano by Joseph Bastianich & David Lynch).
Greco pairs phenomenally with seafood and vegetable dishes. Recently I drank a glass of Greco with an assortment of Sushi and was amazed how both the wine and the food were elevated. One of the best food and wine pairings I've experienced was a zucchini risotto served with Greco di Tufo at the modern Campanian winery Feudi di San Gregorio.
It's hard to pinpoint the exact flavors of Greco. It typically gives off a clean sensation with fresh acidity and aromas of underbrush or Mediterranean scrub may be evoked. It often has a slight nuttiness like the next wine we'll be discussing.
Fiano di Avellino - Fiano is the grape out of these three with the greatest ability to age well. It can often have a pine and/or hazelnut quality. They may be slightly austere depended on the style of wine being made. Like Greco it is a great accompaniment to seafood and can also be good with poultry or pork.
Falanghina - the most quaffable of these three grapes makes for a refreshing wine to be sipped poolside or with fresh seafood from a small restaurant. It can sometimes be pretty floral and the acidity is usually vibrant. Falanghina is usually best drunk young as possible. In recent years somewhat of a revival has been taking place with certain producers of this grape increasing their focus on quality (as outlined recently in Italy's most important wine guide Gambero Rosso). So start to look for more serious examples in the near future including the 2014 vintage.
Italy's Hidden Giant of Red Grapes
Aglianico - the name is tough to pronounce as even most people in the wine business say it incorrectly (including myself at times) alley-an-ico is not the right way to say it. Here is the phonetic breakdown from Italian wine scholar Jeremy Parzen and link to YouTube video with correct pronunciation: ah-L'Yee'Ah-nee-koh. Don't worry if you can't say it, you can still drink it.
Taurasi DOCG is the most notable area for the production of Agliancio. This grape can be really unforgiving in its youth with wild tannins and rich, dark earthy flavors - almost like taking a mouthful of dirt! If you wish to drink a younger one early it can withstand and benefit from decanting for multiple hours (provided it's a high quality wine). The best Taurasi's can age for many decades or even an entire century. The critic Antonio Galloni recently tasted a 1928 from pioneering producer and says that is drinking incredibly and should continue to drink well through 2030! Aglianico rightly deserves a place among Italy's most prestigious wines.
The best way to learn about the cuisine of Campania (outside of visiting the region) is by attending one of the Big Night dinners this month. Be sure to see us for your Italian wine needs to bring to Trattoria Pasquale and beyond. We currently have a Greco di Tufo in stock from winery Benito Ferrara and we have their Fiano di Avellino arriving Friday 3/4 along with more wines from Campania.
Posted by Tom Kisthart on
Posted by Tom Kisthart on
Welcome to 2016. While I love change, resolutions are not something I generally partake in due to their nature of shattering on week or day 3. Nevertheless, here are some resolutions that I feel will enhance your wine drinking and are much easier to keep than that low carb diet you're contemplating.
"Wine is a grocery not a luxury" This is a wise quote from a Master Sommelier named Richard Betts. If you go to Italy, wine is something that is just always on the table, like bread, olive oil or salt. It's not something that necessarily demands to be contemplated by continuously sticking your nose in the glass (I'm guilty) and spewing off what you perceive to be present. Wine is intended to make the meal more enjoyable, to make the conversation more animated and for the enrichment of that thing we're often oblivious to. Everyday life.
Don't buy wine where you buy your groceries - Yes, of course I'm not partial here but I am concerned about your best interest unlike grocers when it comes to wine. Their prices are high, the majority of wines they purchase without even tasting and usually there is no one there to assist you with any questions. I'm not just saying shop at Craft & Curd (although that would be nice), I'd recommend a number of other independent wine shops around the Bay where you're better off shopping than in a chain. Not because of some abstract concept like supporting small businesses is good but because it is in your best interest. One known exception: BOGO free on wines you know you like.
Try something new - I was very fortunate that when I got into wine over fifteen years ago, I wanted to taste everything and didn't get stuck on one type (OK Argentine Malbec but that was because of the women of Argentina). This promiscuity - with wine that is - lead me to the conviction that I would spend a significant part of my life learning about and working with wine. Wine is a great way to learn about the world. I wouldn't have a clue where to look for Wisconsin (sorry cheese curd customers) on our map but my knowledge of the map of Italy is beyond keen. Look, I can't force people to not just drink Napa Cabernet (I know, I've tried) but please give something different a chance some of the time. You never know what you'll find.
Drink wines of place - The French have a word with no English equivalent (many words, I'm sure) called Terroir which refers to what degree a wine exhibits the characteristics of where it comes from. This is what makes wine so fascinating to me and most of the people who truly fall in love with the stuff (the alcohol part doesn't hurt either). It is nearly impossible to replicate the taste of traditionally made Rioja or Chianti Classico anywhere else in the world besides those regions. Even when other areas use the same grapes that make up those wines, it still can't be mistaken for the original the majority of the time. Terroir can get extremely detailed like tasting the differences in one vineyard plot versus another with all other factors being equal except for say one is planted on chalk the other limestone.
Engage your local wine shop - "Hey Tom, I'm having curried lamb for dinner, what should I drink with it?" "Hey Tom, can you recommend 6 obscure European wines for a dinner party I'm throwing and put together cliff notes so I sound sophisticated." "Hey Tom, can you look at this wine list from a restaurant we're visiting in NY and tell me what looks good?" Yes, yes, yes. I'm here for you, use me (preferably via email or in person, I share the millennial's phone phobia). I've been in this business for a while, have read tons of books and while I forget a lot, I still have enough wine info in my head to bore a grown man to tears.
BYOB to Restaurants - Not everyone knows this but many restaurants allow you to bring your own bottles and will charge you what's called a corkage fee usually consisting of $10 or so (some restaurants like Ocean Prime, believe it or not, waive the fee). I was just reading something about restaurant wine sales still being stuck in the economic turmoil that started in 2008 - I don't find this surprising. Admittedly, I don't fully understand the dynamics of why restaurant prices need to be where they are but I do know that I'm not paying $60 for a wine that I know can be bought retail for $20. No way. I eat in restaurants that are BYOB friendly or get takeout so I can drink whatever I like with the food without having to read a wine list that was written by a distributor and have thoughts of the amazing bottle of wine I could have been drinking if I spent that money elsewhere. A few things to keep in mind, don't stop at Trader Joe's for some of that 3 buck Chuck or whatever it's called nowadays. Bring something special. Make sure not to bring something that's on their list and tip the server as if you had purchased the bottle from them.
Did I say 10? Well sorry that's all I got. Thanks for reading. Don't forget there is no tasting this week but don't let that stop you from stopping by to pickup a bottle or two of something different.