One of the true pleasures of dining at a New Jersey restaurant with a great wines and a top-notch sommelier to match its tasting menu is the chance to sip a wide array of unfamiliar wines.
And somm Carl Rohrbach did a stellar job of just that at elements in Princeton, pouring everything from a crispy white Jura savigny blend (Chateau d'Arlay) to a cultish California vin gris (William Selyem) and a lesser-known Nebbiolio gem (Produtturi di Carema).
The frustration, of course, is returning to Philadelphia and the difficulty in finding those bottles in the State Store system.
Moore Brothers in Pennsauken, however, reliably carries one of the more affordable favorites from my elements meal - a 2014 Dolcetto d'Alba "Dei Grassi" from Elio Grasso, one of Barolo's best. Soft-tannined and silky with spice, this is a smart and flexible choice for Thanksgiving.
It also happens to be one of Rohrbach's "favorite pop-open reds, so fresh, bright, and juicy with high-toned minerality, I can crack it open and drink a whole bottle."
No tasting menu required.