Of all the reasons to visit Osteria's new sibling in the Moorestown Mall, the most compelling (aside from a movie and a good sale at Lord & Taylor) is an exceptional Italian wine list - often a third less expensive than at the Philly original.
Ah, the virtues of drinking across the river from a wine scene stifled by the PLCB.
And while aficionados will likely go for the famous Brunellos and Barolos, I savor the guidance of Osteria's outstanding wine stewards, who eagerly share their passion for lesser-known, small production vino.
Going for the big steak? A $53 bottle of Cantina Due Palme's inky-dark Susumaniello (a.k.a. "Donkey wine") has a smoky, jammy, herby Pugliese edge.
I was most enchanted, though, by Tre Monti's "Vigna Rocca" Albana Secco, my first taste of a native Emiglia-Romagna grape that was pure gold in the glass, fleshy in the mouth with a nutty tone and pearlike ripeness, and a perfect match for some of the richer pastas. At $36 a bottle, vs. $54 in Philly, it was also worth crossing the bridge for.
- Craig LaBan
Tre Monti "Vigna Rocca" Albana di Romagna 2012, $9 a glass ($5 for 3 oz.), Osteria Moorestown Mall, 856-316-4427.