In a world awash in wine, how can a pedestrian imbiber know what's best to drink at this exact moment? The cacophony of amateur wine snobs, sommeliers, and sales clerks claiming to "know it all" can be deafening. We quizzed a select host of respected authorities about their favorite wine of the moment, what food to pair it with, and tips for serving. Put all of these disparate bottles together, and you'll be an instant authority and the owner of an impressive little wine collection.
Wolfgang Puck, chef/owner of Spago Beverly Hills, Postrio in Las Vegas, and many others
Wine: "2000 Bonaccorsi Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara"
Serving suggestion: "Chinois squab with sun-dried cherries and crispy noodles. The Pinot Noir can stand on its own and has a lot of fruit, yet it has enough acidity to balance it with a rich berry nose. It matches perfectly with the peppery and slightly sweet sauce for the squab. I like to drink it at cellar temperature - slightly on the cool side, not chilled, because it will warm up in the glass."
Mario Batali, chef/owner of Babbo Ristorante in New York City and host on the Food Network
Wine: "My favorite wine of the moment is Monpra, which is a young Cabernet and Nebbiolo mix from Piemonte, Italy."
Serving suggestion: "It goes well with a simply grilled rib-eye steak, or a plate of salami and cheeses drizzled with highest-quality extra-virgin olive oil."
Nancy Silverton, chef/owner Campanile, Los Angeles
Wine: "For me, the '97 Sagrantino from Paulo Bea, a red wine from Apulia - very rustic, very rich"