Moby and I braved the Friday evening traffic to make it to NJ in time for a nice dinner at 3 Guys Pizzeria. It’s a local Italian favorite that serves fantastic pizza as well as a sit down restaurant. The best part is they allow you to BYOB and we took full advantage. UncleGrape appeared from the wine cellar with 3 Barberas to try and off we went.
We started with an assortment of appetizers and the 2011 Bovio Barbera d’Alba: clams casino, fried calamari with mild and hot marinara, broccoli rabe and sweet italian sausage, and garlic bread with mozzarella. That bottle didn’t last long and we were onto the 2010 Renato Ratti Barbera d’Alba. I had the chicken and veal parm while Moby had the gnocchis with vodka sauce. We finished off dinner with the 2009 Camp du Rouss Barbera d’Asti and headed home to get ready for a big day Saturday.
Moby was under the weather for most of the trip so I thought I’d rate and discuss the wines rather than rate them. My rankings for this dinner:
1: 2010 Renato Ratti Barbera d’Alba
2: 2009 Camp du Rouss Barbera d’Asti
3: 2011 Bovio Barbera d’Alba
All three wines were delicious but I think the clear winner was the Renato Ratti. It had the best balance of fruit and acidity and I’d most certainly recommend it. All 3 of these wines should be readily available for less than $25.
How awesome is BYOB? Sadly it’s not a big thing here in New England but they have it everywhere in NJ. Sometimes they charge a corkage fee per bottle but often times it’s still less than the markup on a traditional wine list. I can’t tell you how many times Moby and I have been out to see $25 bottles we love on wine lists for $75 and we simply can’t justify buying it. UncleGrape recommended calling ahead and seeing if local places will charge corkage fees and allow us to BYOB and I’m going to give it a try. Corkage fees may range anywhere from $10 to $25 per bottle…I guess we’ll find out.