Italian-only wine lists are on the rise throughout the city (the affordable options at Buckhead’s just-opened STG Trattoria stand out), but none yet compete with the 200-bottle compendium at Riccardo Ullio’s fourteen-year-old jewel.
The cultivated clutter, the wacky handmade signs extolling staff favorites, the way the assortment always seems one step ahead of emerging wine regions and trends: What’s not to love about Ansley Wine?
This storefront, recently under new ownership, fine-tuned its inventory to support smaller artisan winemakers like the Scholium Project’s Abe Schoener, a Greek philosophy professor turned eccentric vintner.
Dashing wine director Andreas Loaiza compiles the most egalitarian selection in town: His 250-bottle list roughly balances Old World and New World, familiar and esoteric, and prices at all tiers to please every possible taste.
We’re not kidding ourselves. We know the runaway success of this Inman Park outpost of a small, Connecticut-based operation is due more to the sexy rustic-chic decor and menu of fun tapas than to the amazing, eclectic wine list with more than 250 selections.
Buckhead’s thirty-three-year-old steakhouse has, no contest, the most thrilling restaurant cellar in town. It’s not just the rotating 1,350-bottle selection, or the iPads on which you can peruse the ratings of the fruit-bomb Cabs you’re considering.
Matt Bradford, one of a handful of local wine directors who have passed the strenuous advanced certification exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers, manages a list of more than 500 wines that covers every major grape-growing region in the world with skillful proportion.
No one demystifies the whole Old World versus New World puzzle for customers better than owner John Passman, who earns his beloved status among regulars with insightful recommendations that never feel like an upsell.
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