Check out the new, mobile-friendly!

A Generous White at the River Café

Antinori Vermentino Bolgheri Tenuta Guado al Tasso 2009
Thomas Matthews
Posted: February 14, 2011

My wife Sara’s sister Rebecca was visiting from Atlanta so we took her to The River Café, one of our favorite restaurants in Brooklyn (and, indeed, in the world).

It was a busy Saturday night, and the small, cozy barge was filled with happy people dressed up for good food and celebration. The view over the swirling East River to the twinkling Manhattan skyline was as magical as ever. The food is as good as ever, too, under the guidance of executive chef Brad Steelman. It retains its focus on local ingredients and classic preparations, with lively flavors and balanced dishes.

The wine list, which holds our Best of Award of Excellence, retains its depth in California and France, and has added breadth in Spain and Italy in recent years. To pair with our mostly seafood-based appetizers (don’t miss the perfectly cooked rock lobster tails with mango, fennel and lemon), I chose a Vermentino ($50 on the list), from the Bolgheri area of Tuscany’s Mediterranean coast, produced by Antinori. It was fresh and lively, yet had a generous texture and plenty of fruit. It made an excellent transition between crisp Champagne and a richer white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I rated it 88 points, non-blind.

And we raised a glass when a fellow at a nearby table got down on his knee and proposed to his date, a young woman whose surprise and happiness lit up the entire room. members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Antinori Vermentino Bolgheri Tenuta Guado al Tasso 2009 (87, $26).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated wines made from Vermentino, along with our quick list of Top Values among Italian whites.

Would you like to comment?

Want to join or start a discussion? Become a member and you can!

To protect the quality of our conversations, only members may submit comments. To learn more about member benefits, take our site tour.


= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Job Opportunities

Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.

Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences


The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories