As Florida heats up, Floridians flock north. Whether you’re a snowbird about to leave for a few months or a year-rounder looking for a quick summer getaway, we asked Antonio Galloni—a wunderkind in the wine world already rivaling former boss Robert Parker with his new Vinous Media—for his list of must-visit restaurants for oenophiles.
PRESS Restaurant / St. Helena, California: “It’s the country’s best collection of older Cabernet Sauvignons and Napa Valley wines. The restaurant’s around 10 years old, and it’s owned by [vintner] Leslie Rudd. One of the biggest trends in the wine world now is the rediscovery of classic Napa cabs of the ’60s and ’70s—they’re now highly fought over at auction but five years ago no one cared about them. PRESS has a really deep list of rare wines. What’s amazing is they only have Napa wines: deep verticals of all the top producers, wines of all styles and wines that you won’t find anywhere else—and at prices that won’t kill you. It’s a fabulous place to go to explore the classics of Napa Valley.”
Blackberry Farm / Walland, Tennessee: “They have an amazing collection of Burgundy, but also everything else. It’s an incredible place in rural Tennessee. You know America has limits as to how many wines that get distributed in each state. In New York there are a lot of people fighting over certain bottles of wine, and there is a lot of competition between a gazillion restaurants. In other states, a few people wind up buying them—the number of bottles is smaller, but there’s not as much competition. Blackberry Farm has a great collection of older wines: excellent Cali wines, a very deep list. It’s a great place to go for a weekend and explore that wine list.”
Le Bernardin / New York, New York: “Three-star Michelin. An interesting restaurant. Yes, it’s a fish restaurant, but the chef loves Bordeaux. They do interesting types of richer dishes with seafood that actually pair very well with red wine. They have a great list with many older wines of everything: Champagne, white wine and red wine. It’s probably one of the best places to go for reds because it takes a little thinking outside the box to go to a place where the wines aren’t what you’d expect to see. The prices are better and there’s more available because no one is going to expect to find them there.”