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Jan 12, 2013 04:35 PM

Bestia wine list?

Going to Bestia tonight- has anyone seen their wine list? Do I anything to get excited about on there or it one of those new style lists where beers are more prominent and there's only 10-20 selections?

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  1. This is what JGold has to say in today's LATimes re. Bestia's wine program.
    (Which probably means it should be taken, as anything coming from JG, 'cum grano salis'):

    "The wine program is run by Maxwell Leer, who was the sommelier at Bazaar (not a Chait restaurant), and although you won't be able to pronounce many of his wines — my tongue collapsed in defeat when I tried to order Dingaè, a pleasantly funky wine from the Dalmatian Coast — you will probably be happy with the oddball natural wines on his list, including something called Cotar from Slovenia, which has exactly the acidity of Greek yogurt but goes remarkably well with Menashe's meaty food."

    2 Replies
    1. re: RicRios

      That answers my question perfectly- I know Maxwell and his tastes, and it means there will certainly be something interesting to drink!

      1. re: RicRios

        (Which probably means it should be taken, as anything coming from JG, 'cum grano salis')


        Well said. Well said, indeed.

      2. Back from Bestia just now- best described as holycrapholycrapholycrap amazing. review to follow.

        12 Replies
        1. re: jdwdeville

          In addition to discussing the food & ambiance, do discuss the wine list if you would, given Ric's request which would also be of interest to me.

          1. re: jdwdeville

            i'll second carter's request. last we ate there during Test Kitchen days, the wine list was oaky and weak and corkage was $20+.

            1. re: revets2

              Corkage is $20, which I find totally acceptable.
              The list is now overseen by Maxwell Leer, as noted above in the JG article. Maxwell was also responsible for Tasting Kitchen's exceptional opening list (and I believe he was at the SLS for a time). It was a single page on Saturday, but is apparently set to double.
              The list has an Italian bent, as it should, but it's strengths are not in the traditional Italian suspects. This is not the list for you if you're looking for pages of Brunello and Barolo choices. It is heavy on indigenous grapes and oddball winemaking techniques, think Radikon and his peers, and wines from Croatia, Hungary, and Slovenia... very cuisine-appropriate.

                1. re: RicRios

                  I honestly don't remember if there was an Etna on there...

                2. re: jdwdeville

                  How is the red selection for lower priced wines? And do they have good choices in the $35-$40 range?

                  1. re: archer

                    Actually I found quite a value selection on the list, and one of the bottles we had was of exceptional quality at around $50. You have a harder time overspending on wine- though who knows what'll happen when they expend the list. I honestly would have jumped at the chance to spend a bit more on a well-aged cru Barolo or Barbaresco...

                  2. re: jdwdeville

                    $20 cork is absolutely acceptable with a solid list. During the Test Kitchen period, it was $20 cork and a weak list. Not acceptable. But standard for all the Test Kitchen dinners we've attended.

                    Looking forward to checking at the new list.

                  3. re: revets2

                    Do they make substitutions or modifications here ? Or is it one of those that don't ?

                    1. re: kevin

                      "We kindly decline modifications and substitutions."


                      1. re: kevin

                        Yeah, I guess I would -maybe- have an issue with that if the dishes here weren't composed with such a thrift of ingredients. However, most everything we tried had maybe 4ish components, tops. So, someone bent on making substitutions would be going in saying "I'll have the pan-seared octopus, hold the octopus. Maybe you could use shrimp for me".
                        That just doesn't work.