Available on

About this Episode

Host Robert Tas and Alexis Rogers, wine educator and restaurant sommelier join together to discuss the wine list of the Italian restaurant Becco in the restaurant district. Becco is well-known and loved for its unlimited servings of pasta and its $35 bottle wine list. Alexis guides listeners through the list to find the best quality bottles and shares a little inside information on the often misaligned Lambrusco.

Wines reviewed include:

  • Flor Sparkling Rose
  • 2016 Tenuta Ponte Greco di Tufo
  • La Battagliolo Lambrusco
Transcript: Becco


RT: Hello and Welcome to Corkrules!

 I’m your host Robert Tas along with Alexis Rogers, Wine Educator and  Restaurant Sommelier

Hi Alexis, welcome back to another episode of CorkRules, - a podcast where we help simplify and demystify the wine lists at some of your favorite restaurants. We talk with certified sommeliers and wine professionals who point out interesting bottles, classic food and wine pairings, hidden gems,  value wines, or splurge wines that will take your dining experience over the top.

AR: Hi Robert! Thanks for having me back to talk some more Italian wine!

RT:  Today we are taking a look at the wine list @ Becco. Located on the famous Restaurant Row in Manhattan, Becco is an Italian restaurant opened in 1993 by Lidia Bastianich and her son Joe. Beyond their prestigious location, Becco is known for 2 things - unlimited pasta service and a $35 a bottle wine list. That’s right, every bottle of wine on their list is $35. So let’s dive in.

AR: First of all, I can't get over the unlimited pasta! There are 3 daily pasta preparations served tableside. The variety can make pairing a bit tricky so we look to our wine pairing all-stars - sparkling and rose - so why not both here? Flor is a project of chef Mario Batali and Lidia and Joe themselves. The Flor Sparkling Rose is 90% Glera (the grape used to make Prosecco) and 10% Pinot Nero ( the Italian name for Pinot Noir. Would I classify this as a “serious wine”? No. But wine doesn't have to be serious all the time. Sometimes you just want a fun sparkly wine that’s going to taste great with your meal. The versatility of this wine is going to make it a great choice for whatever pastas chef William Gallagher throws out at you that day - be it a tomato sauce, a lemon white wine sauce, or a marjoram butter sauce.

RT : Versatility in a wine is definitely useful and who doesn't love some pink sparkles? This wine list definitely seems to be carefully selected to match the menu here.

AR: It sure does! Let’s take a look at the antipasti menu at Becco. It’s brimming with salty, savory cheeses and meat, fresh seafood and even homemade meatballs. 3 or 4 of these alone could be a meal! Especially with a bottle of the 2016 Tenuta Ponte Greco di Tufo. Grecco is the grape here and Tufo is one of the villages where it’s grown so we get the Greco di Tudo DOCG. Located in S. Italy near the town of Avellino in the Campania region, bottles that carry this label must be from here and have a minimum of 85% Greco. The solid here is call “tuff” and is composed of compacted ash ejected from volcanic explosions. Tuff gives the wines intense perfume and mineral complexity. Look for varietally common notes of dried apricots, white blossom, green apple, lemon peel and then some honey and toasted nuts developed from 6 years of bottle age. It’s a great wine to pair with any of those savory antipasto dishes as the saltiness only increase the perception of fruit in this wine.

RT: There seems to be an endless list of underappreciated Italian white wines. It’s not just Pinot Grigio there!

AR: For sure. When most people think of Italian wine, they think of those big bold rustic reds. What they DON’T usually think of is slightly sweet, sparkling reds. That’s Lambrusco - not rose, but red wine. Lambrusco gets a bad rap here in the States as most people think of the sticky, syrupy bottlings you find on the bottom shelves of grocery stores. But good Lambrusco is not that, trust me. Well-made Lambrusco is characteristically a dry to slightly sweet demi sparkling wine made from about 8 closely related grapes native to Italy. This particular bottle is from producer La Battagliolo and uses the Lambrusco Grasporossa grape. These grapes make the boldest style of Lambrusco and have notes of blackcurrants and blueberries as well as violets, rhubarb and cream. It’s not specified on the list, but this producer makes a 15 dosage and a 30 dosage version with the 30 being the sweeter of the 2 so be sure to ask your server which is on offer. Definitely pair this with the Peperoni Ripieni which are beef, pork and veal stuffed peppers in tomato sauce.

RT: You’re definitely right about what comes to mind when you hear Lambrusco! I guess I haven't had a well-made one yet. I have to get on that! Making my way through this $35 bottle list is probably a great place to start! Alexis, thank you for being our guide through yet another all-Italian wine list. To our audience, Thank you all for joining us here on Corkrules.

If you would like us to review one of your favorite restaurants, please send us email to:

Info@corkrules.com or visit our web website where we have a request form available and we will do our best to get it in the queue as quickly as possible.

We are looking forward to being with you on another CorkRules episode soon. In the meantime,

please check out our website for other episodes of your favorite restaurant wine lists or wherever you get your podcasts.

And finally, drink what you love and please make sure you drink responsibly.



Want to request a Restaurant?

Interested in having a restaurant’s wine list featured in a future podcast episode? Let us know here.

Get the CorkRules App

Use the QR Code or
click on Download to install!