Prior to meeting Nodo Restaurant‘s founder Gian Marco, never had I encountered such pure love and passion in a bottle of wine. Nodo is, by far, one of the most fantastic wine experiences my fiance and I have ever had. At Nodo, one doesn’t just drink a glass of wine- One submerges oneself in the story, the flavours, the excitement and the passion of every bottle. While I have fallen in love with the almighty grape, my fiance can only determine if a wine is red or white…and he is okay with that. At Nodo, we were both able to enjoy new and delicious Italian wines from a unique, inspired and accessible wine list. Although there are recognizable varietals on this list (Pinot Grigio and Merlot) there are also new wines with simple descriptions: Think words like ‘warm, fruit forward, spicy‘ and opposed to ‘subtle hints of leather, tannins and terriors.’ Nodo’s wine list specifically stays away from wine verbiage to create a description that makes sense to the customer – even if the customer is my fiance.
As one of Nodo’s passionate founders, Gian Marco has taken on the important task of creating this accessible, approachable wine list while still representing the many appellations and regions of Italian wine.
‘Wine is often a daunting subject for many people,’ Gian Marco told us. ‘[With this wine list] I wanted to empower the customer and make wine an approachable subject. I want to stay away from the pretentiousness surrounding wine and create an enjoyable, accessible wine experience. I want to share good Italian wine for a good price.’
At Nodo, you will not find a bottle over $90. Nodo has kept it simple by placing all bottles into price brackets: $35, $45, $55, $75 and $90. Gian Marco handpicks every single bottle on the list, every bottle providing a different story, a personality, offering something unique, exciting and different than the bottle before it. And if you can’t decide, you can order a flight of 3 different wines for $19.
For example, take the 2011 Fattoria di Magliano “HEBA’ from Morellino di Scansano(DOC). It is a Sangiovese with a touch of Syrah from Meremma, Toscana, Italy. In addition to being one of the most recognizable varietals in Italy, this wine has a fabulous story involving a famous shoemaker nurturing his passion for wine, settling for nothing but the best winemaking and unusually, hiring a young, female winemaker.*
But it isn’t just this wine that has a story: Every single wine that we sampled (and we sampled quite a few) had personality, history and passion- This is a word that I can’t help but keep coming back to: Passion. The restaurant, (and specifically Gian Marco), contains the deep, exuberant ardor that one would expect of a true Italian. From the Vespa out front to the art on the walls, from the unassuming decor to the background music, it is easy to feel as though you are actually in Italy. This is the place Italians go when they need their wines from home. This is the place that Italian winemakers come when they are visiting the city. This is the place to find fabulous Italian wine at an even more fabulous price.
Ladies, when you go, sample as many wines as you can. Ask for a recommendation on which wine to pair with your meal. Ask for Gian Marco- ask him to tell you about his wine list and watch his eyes light up with unadulterated passion and elation as he tells you the story behind the bottle.
‘Some would say it’s madness,’ sighed Gian Marco as we thanked him for our evening. ‘But I call it a labour of love.’ (Oh- and the food is awesome too!)