Best wine list -- Italian - 2000
Blair Taylor spends so much time in Italy, we're surprised he hasn't been made an honorary Italian -- or at least had his estimable Barolo Grill given embassy status. Every summer Taylor takes Barolo staffers to Italy so they can taste the food and wine, and he can check out trends that might be worth incorporating into his restaurant. While he's there, Taylor also spends time honing his wine list, a carefully chosen roster of some of the best vintages Italy has to offer, many of them on the rare side, and all of them interesting -- from the barbarescos and the Piemontese to the Tuscan chiantis and an impressive collection of barolos. They go wonderfully with the finely tuned Italian fare put out by chefs Brian Laird and Jeff Vedovelli -- and the staff, thanks to its Italian summer-school lessons, is full of educated opinions about what works with what.