2007-11-14 / Restaurant of the Week

Vino di Vino wine bar

V ino di Vino, a play on words suggesting "divine wine", has recently opened on Ditmars Blvd., just off 31st Street in Astoria. An extension

of the very popular restaurant,

Trattoria L'incontro, Vino di Vino offers an extensive variety of wines by the glass and bottle along with gourmet treats in a sultry environment that is ideal for relaxing.

Owner and Executive Chef Rocco Sacramone opened Vino di Vino last April to the delight of many. Here, one can slip into a comfortably cushioned banquette, surrounded by murals of rustic Italian country scenes and flat screen televisions showing scenes from Italy or black and white Italian films. There are over 60 wines offered by the glass and 300 offered by the bottle. Appellations include nearly every wine-producing region of Italy, as well as Australia, Portugal, Greece, California and New York's Long Island. Glasses start at $8 and include the big Tuscan reds such as Brunello di Montalcino, Sangiovese, Chianti Classico Riserva, and my personal favorite, Morellino di Scansano. Wines from Abbruzzo, Sacramone's birthplace, feature as well, with its famous Montepulciano. These robust, ruby reds can hold their own but go so well with gourmet snacks from Vino di Vino's menu.

Order a board of "affettati" or sliced, cured meats from Italy, such as prosciutto di Parma, aged 18 months, which just melts on your tongue. Colatello is another variety of cured pork, sliced paper thin that goes well on a slice of crusty Italian bread. Speck is a sweeter version of prosciutto and bresaola is cured, dried beef filet that is as ruby red as the lovely wines which accompany it. Finally, cacciatorini is hard salami with a touch of pepper. Pair any of these meats with a sampling of Vino di Vino's world class cheeses. There are 20 varieties in all and they can be ordered in a group of three, five or seven to a sampling. Choices include Cacciotta Toscana, a semi hard sheep's milk cheese with a mild flavor to cambozola, a hybrid of Camembert and gorgonzola whose consistency is perfect for spreading onto slices of bread. Taleggio has a nice bite to it, and something called "Humboldt Fog" combines bleu cheese with a layer of creamy brie for a unique taste and texture. There are also a few varieties of Pecorino, or sheep's milk cheese, dotted with pepper corns, nuts or olives for an extra kick.

Anthony, the amiable manager, along with his knowledgeable staff, is always there to assist you in making your choices if you need it. They can inform you of which wines go best with what cheeses. Without a doubt, you ought to try one of Vino di Vino's "schiaccate". These foccaccia style breads are baked in a wood burning oven for a delicate crust and flavor that is unmatched. Toppings include pears, gorgonzola and taleggio cheese ($13.95), and pommodorini with acciughe, which are cherry tomatoes and anchovies. For something extraordinary, try the robiola cheese, slathered between a sliced schiaccate and baked until the creamy cheese is melted and bubbly. These warm, herb-scented breads go well with fruity, delicate red wines from Sicily, such as Nero D'Avola and Arancio Merlot. I was also impressed with a California Zinfandel that had notes of cherry.

Light, fruity white wines from Piemonte, in the northern reaches of Italy, as well as crisp dry whites from Portugal go just as well with many of the meats, cheeses and breads served here. Sweet dessert wines such as Porto from Portugal and Moscato from Italy, taste great on their own, or paired with sharp cheese and grapes. Finally, celebrate any occasion with sparkling champagne.

Best of all, Vino di Vino features a live jazz trio on Wednesday and Friday nights, playing jazz standards and soothing music to unwind with, and a piano soloist on Thursday nights. Vino di Vino is open Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 4pm to midnight, Friday & Saturday 4pm to 1am & Sunday from 1pm to 10pm.

Make any night special at Vino di Vino, where you can enjoy world-class wines, cheeses and home baked breads in a sumptuous, relaxing environment. You can even stop here first before a meal at Trattoria L'incontro, just through the doors. Divine is indeed a good word to describe Vino di Vino.

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2014 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.