Welcome to Decanted, in which Eater wine editor Talia Baiocchi guides us through the treacherous world of New York wine lists.
In honor of Eater's first-ever Pizza Week, here's a look at some of the best pizzeria wine lists across the city. As always, if there's anything we missed, please do let us know in the comments section. To the list:
Who: Francine Stephens
What: Quirky and classic Italian wines with low markups.
Where: 295 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn
One of the best small wine lists in the city and easily the best in the pizzeria category. Look for off-beat Italian wines that focus almost exclusively on indigenous grapes. The clam pizza is a must and plays nice with a number of the whites available from Liguria and Campania. [Photo: Kalina/Eater]
Lil' Frankie's Pizza
Who: Frank Prisinzano
What: Another forgotten (or never discovered) gem full of back vintage wines at very low prices.
Where: 19 1st Avenue, Manhattan
All of Frank Prisinzano's restaurants (Frank, Supper, Lil' Frankie's) have wine lists that, however hodgepodge, are very deep collections of Italian wine with plenty of great finds, offered well below NYC standard. The list at Lil' Frankie's tops out at around 500 selections, with a nice selection of half bottles and a "by consumption" policy that allows diners to choose any bottle on the list and be charged only for the amount they drink, whether it be a glass or 3/4 of a bottle. [Photo: the nouveau romantics]
Who: Krista Voisin
What: Recently beefed up list of mostly Italian wines with the U.S. and Spain playing supporting roles.
Where: 261 Moore St., Brooklyn
Outside of Italy, which is strongest in the south, you'll find a smattering of wines from New York, Oregon, and Spain. Look for the short section of orange wines that can work with well with the hyper-savory pies. And if you're going red, Puglia, Campania, and Sicily are the place to go. [Photo: Eater National Flickr Pool/thatitoutain]
La Pizza Fresca
Who: Massimo Vitino
What: Surprisingly deep and cheap cellar full of Italian wine collected over the last 15 years. The reserve list houses a very 1990s collection of cult California cab and first-growth Bordeaux at solid prices.
Where: 31 East 20th Street, Manhattan
This is the original high/low NYC pizza and wine marriage. Back vintage Barolo, Brunello, and a nice collection of reds and whites that are not as cheap as they used to be, but still below NYC standard. The list of wines under $75 offers a few gems, but the half bottle list is a better place to go on a budget. [Photo: Flickr/_rockinfree]
Who: Bari Musacchio
What: A solid amaro and apertivo program and a tiny, but smart and cheap Italian list that offers almost all of the wines (23 to be exact) by the glass.
Where: 235 Mulberry Street, Manhattan
If you're going by the glass the thing to do here is start with a glass of Sanguineto Toscano Bianco ($12/45). In the red department, Arianna Occhipinti's Tami Nero d'Avola ($12/45) is a guaranteed slamdunk with pizza, as is Corregia's Brachetto "Anthos" ($9/35), particularly with a slight chill in the summer the months. [Photo: Rubirosa]
Who: Victor Pinkston
What: Deep list of Italian classics that's heavy on Tuscany and Piemonte and offers value in farther-flung regional wines.
Where: 1 5th Avenue, Manhattan
The ultimate in high/low. If you're into drinking back-vintage Barolo or Brunello with your pizza you're in luck. The deck is deep here and stretches back to the 80s. For those looking to stay thrifty there are all sorts of great wines tucked in, particularly in the whites and reds from Friuli and Campania under $75. [Photo: Otto]
Who: Anna-Lisa Campos
What: Tiny, but eclectic list of wines from Germany to El Dorado County, California, all of which (nearly 40) are offered by the glass and bottle.
Where: 230 9th Avenue, Manhattan
The focus here is on high acid, fruit-forward white wines and juicy reds that are lower in tannin. In other words, they're well chosen for pizza and it's nice to see a list that ventures outside Italy. [Photo: Flickr/blondieandbrownie]
Who: Alessio De Sensi
What: Funky list of Italian wines, most under $40 with cheap by-the-glass and carafe options.
Where: 282 Bowery, Manhattan
Since the beginning this has been, in true McNally form, a great little list with low markups and a nice sweetspot in the $40 range. The selections do a good job of balancing more esoteric wines with pizza standbys like Barbera d'Alba and Chianti. [Photo: missmeng]