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5 Best Wine Lists

Anh-Minh Le, Anna Medina, Laura Ness | July 5, 2016 | Story Wine and Spirits National

Read more from the Best Restaurants Issue here.

Dio Deka
Dionysus, Greek god of wine, would covet the selection of 1,200 internationally diverse labels that Wine Director Jeremy Dennis has assembled to complement the restaurant’s Hellenic cuisine. Drink like a Greek with a crisp, minerally assyrtiko ($56 per bottle) or an Uranos Xinomavro ($75), a red with grippy tannins reminiscent of nebbiolo. Dennis says Greek wines correlate nicely to their Italian counterparts, and descriptions in the 60-page wine book help diners choose. Plenty of California’s finest and newest are included—like Maidenstoen Riesling ($45)—appealing to traditionalists and the adventurous alike. 210 E. Main St., Los Gatos, 408.354.7700

Donato Enoteca
Mirroring the cuisine, this wine list is authentically and unashamedly 100 percent Italian. Wine Director Eric Lecours provides rare treasures by the glass, half/carafe and bottle, like 2011 Sandro Fay Valtellina Valgella Lombardia ($15 to $70), of which he purchased the entire vintage (100 cases). No other restaurant in the region carries 2013 Elio Ottin Petite Arvine Valle d’Aosta ($52), a superlimited crisp beauty from the Alps. Etna’s star is rising with minerally whites like 2012 Alberto Graci Etna Bianco Arcuria Sicilia ($65), and Barolo lovers should succumb to the charms of the 1996 E Pira Cannubi Chiara Boschis Barolo ($287), which Lecours proclaims “incredible.” 1041 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, 650.701.1000

Forbes Mill Steakhouse
Cabernet may be a mate for steak, but Master Sommelier Patrick Mullane suggests a Barolo or Barbaresco. Eschew pricey Napa labels and enjoy world-class Brunello di Montalcino ($125 to $495), Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($110 to $350), a rare Rhone vertical from Paso or a serious Argentinian malbec ($60 to $110), all built big for beef. Silky filet mignon meets its love match with more than 100 splendid pinots to choose from, many on the impressive half-bottle list. 206 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408.395.6434

Madera
Under the direction of Paul Mekis, an advanced sommelier, Madera has thrice been honored with Wine Spectator’s Grand Award. Boasting 30-plus wines by the glass and an enviable collection of half bottles, diners can compare Old and New World side by side; for example, a 2008 Calera Jensen Pinot Noir ($105) and 2008 Armand Rousseau, Gevrey-Chambertin ($240). A generous Champagne selection includes 1985 Krug Reims ($2,050). Explore Hidden Favorites of Burgundy with expert guidance from the well-schooled staff, elevating the dining experience from the memorable to the extraordinary. 2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, 650.561.1540

The Village Pub
Wine Director Andrew Green has built the Michelin-starred Village Pub’s showcase Wine Spectator Grand Award wine list from 250 to 2,800 bottles—many of them so rare, his is the only restaurant to obtain them. Such unicorns include Domaine Leflaive Montrachet (1999 to 2011, $6,000 to $8,900 per 750 ml bottle), of which only half a barrel is made yearly. While richly endowed with premium Burgundy and Bordeaux, the list rewards at all price points, across every major wine region. 2967 Woodside Road, Woodside, 650.851.9888

Originally published in the July issue of Silicon Valley

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