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About this Episode

Certified sommelier and wine educator Grant Wood joins host Robert Tas for an exploration of Amali’s 400-selection wine list. It’s no surprise that this wine list has been called ‘daring’ by The New York Times and "one of the best Mediterranean selections in Midtown” by New York Magazine. Amali is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant. The menu reflects traditional cuisines shared by modern-day Greece, Italy, France, and Spain.  

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2019 Cristom Estate Mt Jefferson Pinot Noir
  • 2014 Château Pradeaux from Bandol in Provence
  • 2020 Pet-Nat of Savatiano by Vassaltis Vineyards in Greece
Transcript: Amali


“Love letters from the Mediterranean” is the title of Amali’s wine list so I’m excited to see what they have curated for their wine list.

Just steps away from central park, this is an exciting Mediterranean restaurant that values sustainability from both the food they cook and the wines that they serve. Let’s dive in and see what jumps off their menu.

I’d like to point out that I really appreciate when restaurants have an open letter on their wine list to start a conversation with the guests about their philosophy on food and wine. This is a signal to me that there is a real sense of passion behind why they have curated their list. I also appreciate a table of contents because that can help the guest more easily navigate what they’re looking for and spend more time enjoying their company and less time pouring over a short novel.

Let’s start with half bottles as I love that they’re a great way to try more wine with a wider range of what you want to order from the beginning to the end of your dining experience.

Right away, the Ruinart half bottle of Champagne is a real benchmark and a great way to toast your date. I also always like the 2017 Ridge Monte Bello Chardonnay if you want a white domestic crowd pleaser as well the 2019 Cristom Estate Mt. Jefferson Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley.

If you have a large group and want a Mediterranean boler then definitely go for the magnum of 2014 Château Pradeaux from Bandol in Provence which is based on the red grape Mourvèdre and one of my favorite producers coming from Bandol.

Back to standard bottles on their list and getting into bubbles, my rec for Champagne at a good value in comparison to others on the list is the Vilmart & Cie, Grand Cellier, Premier cru NV is a great option. A really fun value, especially if you want to stay on brand with the Medi vibes then for the 2020 Pet-Nat of Savatiano by Vassaltis Vineyards in Greece.

On to whites, I love the 2020 Hatzidakis ‘Famila’ from Santorini which is one of my favorite Assyrtiko-based whites from the stunning Island of Santorini. These wines are just so fresh, saline, and mineral-driven and are an obvious match with coastal seafood. Another great value is the 2019 Moschofilero by Kalogris Winery in the Peloponnese. If you’re feeling a bit more Italian then go for the 2019 La Staffa, Rincrocca from Castelli di Jesi. A great domestic value is the 2019 Melon from Lieu Dit in Santa Barbara.

If you want an awesome rose for the summer that is really interesting, textural, and age worthy, then try the 2019 Chateau Simone, Palette from Provence.

On to reds, I’m going to go big with the 2017 Magoutes Winery, Parcel Selection, Siatista which is Xinomavro from Macedonia. Xinomavro is known as the Nebbiolo of Greece with high structured tannins and acid to stand up the bigger, fattier dishes on the menu. A good value would be the 2017 Tselepos, Driopi, from Nemea, outside of Athens, based on the Agiorgitiko grape otherwise known as “the blood of Hercules” which is rich and dark in color with fruit and savor to also stand up to richer dishes. A nice Italian splurge would be the 2012 Fattoria dei Barbi from Brunello di Montalcino. A great domestic value would be the 2019 Syrah from Pax in Sonoma County as well which is always a solid, peppery red that is very food versatile.

Lastly, let’s get sticky with some dessert wines! Let’s bring things home back to Greece with the 2014 Domaine Papagiannakos, Melias, Attica made from the malagousia grape which would really be a great closer for your already memorable dining experience at Alamari.



















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