In The Restaurants

Somm Picks: Top Bottles Under $50

Somm Picks: Top Bottles Under $50

Jun 26, 2018

Searching through wine lists can be a daunting task. Thumbing through dozens of pages filled with esoteric varietals and unrecognizable regions is tiresome, all while knowing you just want a fantastic sip that won’t break the bank. We get it!

Our experts are here to help. Enter: Wine Directors Kevin Bratt of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, Ryan Arnold of AbaĒma, il PorcellinoBeatrix, Summer House Santa Monica and Stella Barra Pizzeria, Seth Wilson of Booth OneRichard Hanauer of the RPM Restaurants and Steve Tindle of Shaw’s Crab House are here with their favorite bottles under $50 to keep your glass full and your wallet happy.

wine on the bar at il porcellino

 

Looking For: Rosé


Château Virgile, Costieres de Nimes, 2017

Tasting notes: a light and refreshing rosé that goes really well with seafood dishes.
Where: Shaw’s Crab House Chicago, Shaw’s Crab House Schaumburg
Price: $43

 

Looking For: Bubbles


Emendis, “Nu Allonge Brut”, Cava, NV

Tasting notes: using the same Champagne method, this Cava is a great pocketbook-friendly alternative to Champagne made with indigenous hand-harvested Spanish grapes.
Where: Booth One
Price: $44

Giuliana, Prosecco, NV

Tasting notes: RPM Restaurants spent years trying to find the perfect Prosecco recipe: a balance of fruit sweetness and raciness.
Where: RPM Steak, RPM Italian ChicagoRPM Italian Washington D.C.
Price: $48

Kevin Bratt tasting wines

Fun & Fresh Whites


Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin, Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine, 2015

Tasting notes: perfect for oysters and raw seafood, this Muscadet is light, bright and packed with fresh minerality.
Where: Joe’s Seafood Chicago, Joe’s Seafood Las Vegas
Price: $38-45

Elk Cove, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, 2016

Tasting notes: great alongside grilled fish and white meats. Often times Pinot Gris has a hint of sweetness, however, this one is bone dry and perfect for summer!
Where: Summer House Santa Monica Chicago
Price: $49

Genio Y Figura, Rias Baixas, 2015

Tasting notes: this vibrant and clean wine is from vineyards close to the Atlantic ocean and pairs great with crustaceans.
Where:  Shaw’s Crab House Chicago, Shaw’s Crab House Schaumburg
Price: $47

 

Full & Flavorful Whites


Kilikanoon, Riesling, Clare Valley, 2013

Tasting notes: a dry iteration of Riesling – unlike Riesling’s reputation of being sweet – the Kilikanoon is extremely food friendly with explosive flavors.
Where: Sushi-san
Price: $50

Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt, Riesling, Mosel 2015

Tasting notes: hailing from a 650-year-old estate with a reputable female winemaker, Anagret Reg-Gartner, this Kabinett-style of Riesling strikes a balance between the tartness and restrained sweetness.
Where: Booth One
Price: $48

Domaine du Salvard, Cheverny, 2016

Tasting notes: a perfect price-conscious alternative to Sancerre, this Sauvignon Blanc-heavy wine is crisp and delicious, with the touch of Chardonnay lending a lift to the palate.
Where: Joe’s Seafood Chicago, Joe’s Seafood Washington D.C.
Price: $36-40

Two glasses of red wine being cheersed

Light & Bright Reds


Centonze, Frappato, Sicilia, 2016

Tasting notes: put on a slight chill to counter the hot and humid summers, the Centonze has bright raspberry and cherry notes.
Where: il Porcellino
Price: $44

Envinate, “Albahra”, Canary Islands, 2016

Tasting notes: a perfect summer red, this wine is aged in concrete barrels instead of wood, preserving a fresh quality of the grapes.
Where: Aba
Price: $48

Colle Ticchio, Cesanese del Piglio, 2016

Tasting notes: fantastic medium-body wine reminiscent of an earthy Pinot Noir, with strong pepper notes. Perfect alongside Cacio e Pepe and Carbonara.
Where: RPM Italian in Washington D.C.
Price: $48

 

Ripe & Ready Reds


Bernard Baudry, “Les Granges”, Chinon, 2015

Tasting notes: organically grown, easy-drinking wine with notes of ripe blackberry, sweet bell peppers and violets.
Where: Booth One
Price: $48

Ravines, Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes, 2015

Tasting notes: light and fruity red wine perfect for afternoon sips, packed with notes of red raspberry.
Where: Joe’s Seafood Washington D.C.
Price: $50

Conde Valdemar, Rioja Reserva, 2009

Tasting notes: a great alternative to Pinot Noir with a mouthwatering and seamless texture with some age on it.
Where:  Shaw’s Crab House Chicago, Shaw’s Crab House Schaumburg
Price: $47

Einaudi, Dogliani, 2014

Tasting notes: often overlooked for Barbera, Dolcetto is a super versatile red wine from Piedmont in northwest Italy.
Where: Stella Barra Chicago
Price: $46

burgundy and white wine glasses


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