Best Organic Italian Wine NYC

I rode the subway, walked and Ubered around New York yesterday looking for the artisanal, organic wines I love. I hit the mother lode at Il Buco Alimentari(above) e Vineria and Chambers Street Wines.
Chambers st copy

First, Il Buco on Great Jones Street in NoHo. It’s the closest I’ve come to experiencing Italy, “the real thing”, in the States. Since it’s open from 7:00-11:30pm, you can start at the coffee bar, move to this counter to order salumi, cheese, olives, panini, or fresh bread…

…baked in an authentic forno in the back of the open kitchen.

Or, you can sit down as I did in the restaurant (or wine bar) for lunch, dinner or an aperitivo.
I ordered Cacio Pepe and fried artichokes, both favorite Roman dishes, which were authentically delicious.

The wine list reads like a Who’s Who of artisanal, organic or biodynamic vintners in Italy, organized by region. Some of my favorites:
Valle D’Aosta:
Gros Jean Petite Arvine
Trentino-Alto Adige:
Foradori Nosiola “Fontanasanta”, Foradori Teroldego Granato
Friuli Venezia Giulia:
Le Due Terre Sacrisassi Bianco and Le Due Terre Sacrissassi Rosso
Ronchi di Cialla Ciallabianco
Montenidoli Vernaccia
Paolo Bea Santa Chiara and Rosso de Veò
Cuomo Furore Bianco
De Bartoli Grillo
Occhipinti SP68, Occhipinti Frappato, Occhipinti Nero D’Avola
Biondi Etna Rosso “Outis”

A few blocks south closer to the World Trade Center, I visited Chambers Street Wines. In 2001, founders, David Lille and Jamie Wolff, staked their claim on selling artisanal organic and biodynamic wines (primarily from France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Austria). While there are other shops that dedicate a part of their shop to this kind of wine, Chambers St. seems to be unique in selling only this kind of wine. The shop recently received the “Snail of Approval” from the Italian Slow Food organization.

Having bought wines from Chambers Street and communicated by email, it was a definite pleasure to meet Jamie in person. He is as humble, genuine and dedicated to his wines as the vintners he buys from…truly a rare personality in the wildly competitive and “sell whatever you need to sell to survive” U.S. wine market.

His and David’s commitment to purity, excellent taste and environmental stewardship shape their choices. They carry the wines I mentioned above, which are better known names, but also the as yet “undiscovered” vintners. If you’re thinking that wines like this must be prohibitively expensive, think again. As I was standing in one of the aisles, I looked up and didn’t see a single wine that cost $20 or more. There are $100plus wines in the shop, but the majority aren’t. It’s always good when you can pick up a bargain; you can even get a decent bottle at a decent price at your regular supermarkets and stores like Target where it is also possible to get an additional discount by using coupons or promo codes from Raise – it feels good to save, wherever you shop!

In the tradition of an true Italian wine shop, David and Jamie have not only tasted the wines, they have met the vintners. Americans often turn to Wine Spectator or Robert Parker point scores, the look of the label or simply the price to buy wine off the grocery store shelf or online. A visit to Chambers St (or even to their website) introduces another concept altogether: a carefully curated collection of wines chosen for a set of clear and coherent values.

I saw many of the favorites I mentioned above plus:
Friuli: Ronco Severo
Lombardia: Ar.Pe.Pe.
Sicilia: COS
Emilia Romagna: La Stoppa
Veneto: Follador

As well as vineyards that are on my wish list of upcoming visits such as:
Toscana: Monte Bernardi, Montesecondo, Sanguineto, Pacina
Piemonte: Cavallotto
Abruzzo: Emidio Pepe

…and many more vintners whose wines I have yet to taste and discover. This is the pleasure of authentic Italian artisanal wine whether the bottle is opened in America or in Italy. Happy Tasting!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous Post Next Post