Published January 10, 2013
Ever wished you could taste the 1989 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, St. Julien Bordeaux?
How about just one glass?
Peter Mastrogiovanni, the sommelier at Abe and Arthurs in downtown New York City will actually pour you one if you show up on one of his chosen ‘large-bottle’ nights, which are usually Thursdays through Saturdays.
Here’s how it works:
Mastrogiovanni goes to wine auctions and buys very rare, usually very mature, and almost always extremely hard to find, 3 plus liter bottles of wine, like the double magnum of 1989 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, St. Julien Bordeaux he brought with him when we met.
He then decants the wine -- sometimes twice -- puts it back in bottle (because it’s all about seeing that big bottle!), and then walks around the restaurant and offers a glass to patrons.
“The wines are almost exclusively red and are usually from Bordeaux or Napa because it goes smoothly with our cuisine,” says Mastrogiovanni.
At $16-$32 a glass, it gives people an opportunity to taste wine they would never have access to because these bottles could cost thousands of dollars.
Mastrogiovanni, who is also the wine director at EMM Group, which owns other NYC places like Lexington Brass, Tenjune and the Chandelier Room, earned a Level Two Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, so he knows his wines. And the restaurant is a good ol’ steak house, nothing stuff about it.
So the combination of rare, amazing wines coupled with an unpretentious atmosphere could make for the best $30 you spent in a while.