In the Field With: Ashley Santoro

Narcissa's wine director shows us where to find exciting wines
Ashley Santoro shops for wine at Vine Wine, located in Brooklyn.
Ashley Santoro's Wine Shop Picks in Williamsburg, Tribeca and East Village

Ashley Santoro is a self described "sherry evangelist." But the wine list she put together at Narcissa in The Standard East Village stays closer to home.

"Even if the menu wasn't American-inspired, I'd still be pouring California wines," Santoro says. "What's happening with American wines right now is really exciting."

Though her list pays homage to California classics, like Qupé and Mayacamas, it also highlights bottles that exemplify the progressive movement in domestic wine.

"People are taking risks, working with different grape varieties and not masking the wines in oak," explains Santoro. "These are higher acid, food-inspired wines."

These are the kinds of bottles she seeks out at Vine Wine, a small store located down the street from her home in Williamsburg. What's in her shopping bag? The light, easy-to-drink Arnot-Roberts Trousseau 2012 ($37), from California.

Ashley Santoro shows off sherries, magnums and Champagne at Brooklyn's Vine Wine
"A good portion of the selection at Vine Wine is devoted to domestic wines, so it kind of reflects what I'm doing at the restaurant," she says.

To find out where Santoro shops for Old World wines and sherries--and to see what she buys--we followed her around town.

Astor Wines & Spirits: With its massive inventory, you might not think of Astor as the place for specialty sherries. Santoro disagrees: "If you get there before I do," she says, "get at least two bottles of the Barbadillo Manzanilla en Rama Saca de Otoño 2012 ($16 for 375mL). It's spectacular, borderline divine."

Uva Wines: Head to this Brooklyn shop for a bottle of value Champagne: "The Fleury Fleur de L'Europe Brut NV ($47) drinks far beyond the price."

Chambers Street Wines: "This place is like heaven," says Santoro, who shops here for back-vintage Barolo and Barbaresco. Splurge on the Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Barolo 1967 ($120). "This is more than just a bottle of wine," she explains. "You're drinking through 40 years of history."

Astor Wines & Spirits 399 Lafayette St. New York NY 10003 212-674-7500 Chambers Street Wines 148 Chambers St. New York NY 10007 212-227-1434 Vine Wine 616 Lorimer St. Brooklyn NY 11211 718-349-1718 Uva 199 Bedford Ave. Brooklyn NY 11211 718-963-3939


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