As a sommelier and co-owner of New York City’s Racines (pictured) — our 2015 Imbibe 75 Wine Bar of the Year — Arnaud Tronche prides himself on pouring an assortment of wines you’re not likely to find elsewhere on the island—think farmer fizz, funky indigenous varietals and vinos from avant garde vignerons. We recently asked Tronche for his top underrated wines and regions of the moment—here are his picks.
“High up in altitude in the French Alps, Savoie region offers tremendous values. Because of the lack of cult producers like nearby Jura, it is constantly overlooked. Fresh, bright and balanced, look for Pinot Noir, Mondeuse, Altesse or Jacquere from producers such as Dupasquier, Domaine Vens-le-Haut and Domaine Louis Magnin.”
“Yes, Champagne! Underrated because this should not be drunk only for special occasions—Champagne is very versatile and can be the perfect pairing for a full dinner. So drink more bubbles!”
“Sicily is slowly getting the recognition it deserves. Fantastic diversity in style from rustic and earthy such as the Etna Rosso (a blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio) from Calabretta to elegant and silky like the Frappato from Arianna Occhipinti.”
“Sadly (or not), Provence has always been linked to rosés, which is quite unfair. While it’s true that rosé is a huge market/production in Provence, very serious wines are also made in relatively unknown appellations here. Producers such as Trevallon or Chateau Simone revolutionized the region with new blends, while you can drink Bandol for a taste of Provence.”
Swartland Region in South Africa
“This region is leading the way with young and inventive producers trying to show that South Africa can produce balanced and elegant wines. Chenin Blancs and Carignans are light and pure, with many new young guns trying to minimize the amount of sulfur used.”