Natural Wines At The Ten Bells, Northern Italian Wines At Bacaro

Yesterday I had the luck to taste a number of wines with my friend RB of Wine Messenger. He has quite the palate and is extremely knowledgeable. Additionally, I find him endlessly funny, a trait I truly appreciate. I have often tried to come up with a method to describe wines. One idea is always to think of wines as people. That only works for me on some occasions and with certain wines. RB’s latest comment was about the German grape Scheurebe. According to RB, a cross between a Riesling and a wild girl from the village. I just love that.

The wine, Scheurebe 07 Sekt from Dr. Becker of Germany which I liked less is a sparkling wine. It was very floral with a lot of grapefruit aromas. I am not a huge fan of this variety but it was interesting to taste. I did have a truly delicious white wine made from Arneis, Cortese and Favorita, called Arcese Bianco 08 made by Vittorio Bera & Figli. This is an enveloping rich wine with complex layers of aromas and flavors. It reminded me of a complex chenin blanc. It too was very floral with nice balanced acidity.

We tried a number of other glasses at The Ten Bells,, a wine bar on the Lower East Side. They have about seven sparkling wines open as well as six or seven whites and reds on the by the glass list. Eric Asimov wrote a great review of the bar in his weekly column a couple of weeks back. Last night, the bar was packed with santas as well as the usual crowd.

After trying all the wines by the glass that we were interested in, our group which had by now expanded, went to Bacaro on Division street. Bacaro rarely disappoints me. I love the decor, the food’s not bad and the wine list is great. I had an interesting Lagrein while my friends each had a Nebbiolo, one from Piedmont and one from Valtellina. The one from Valtellina, Sandro Fay, was rounder and fruitier than I would have expected but eminently drinkable. My favorite wine of the evening though, in addition, to the Arcese was Dindarello from Maculan. No one makes dessert wines the way they do.

The first Italian dessert wine I ever tasted was a Maculan, Torcolato. I’ve been hooked ever since. Tanto di cappello!


  1. I’m still mad about that Arcese. Piedmonte doesn’t know what it’s got there – a white wine with potential international significance! I’m expecting the Italians to pay as much attention to this as they do to screwcaps.

    • It was delicious. Piano piano…maybe everything good will come to our shores…One can dream :). Thanks for stopping by at Avvinare.

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