"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."
"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."
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."
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