But will they drink Carricante in Newport Beach? Welcome to the OC, Mozza.

Architect's rendering, borrowed from Adeas. Yes, this is what the old Dolce building is becoming.

I am so excited, I can hardly stand it.  Having lived in Orange County for basically my entire life, at some point I didn’t know how sadly lacking the community is in high quality food and wine.  Now that I spend most of my time selling wine in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas etc., this fact is painfully clear.  Please don’t mistake me- we certainly have our fair share of great restaurants and interesting wine lists– but they’re not always right down the street from my house.

Luckily, the new Mozza in Newport Beach is EXACTLY right down the street form my house!  I went in today to visit the not-yet-open restaurant and they gave me a glimpse of the wine list.  Let me just tell you, if you live in Orange County, CA and you want a crash course in geeky Italian wines, you NEED to visit Mozza as soon as it opens.

This list is full of enological eccetricities- have you ever heard of the varietal Fanile? Ginestra? Nerello Mascalese?  I am telling you, this is going to revolutionize the Italian wine drinkers of Orange County.  My only hope is that the beautiful people of the OC will be open to tasting some of these carefully selected and extremly special wines from this painstakingly cultivated list.

Here’s a preview:

Sparkling: Yes, you can order a glass of (quality, artisanal) Prosecco, but why not a glass of Ca’ del Bosco Franciacorta?  This is serious wine, people- truly Italy’s answer to Champagne.

A glimpse into the cellar of Ca' del Bosco, the world's finest Franciacorta producer

White: Three words: Fiano. di. Avellino.  You must try this steely, aromatic white from Campania- it will steal away into your soul and suddenly most California Chardonnays will taste like gumballs rolling around in your mouth.  Also, have you ever wondered what a white wine grown at such stellar elevations that the harvester has to be hooked into a spelunker’s harness to pick the grapes?  Well, wonder no more- Mozza will be offering a white wine from Val d’Aosta made from the EXTREMELY rare Prie Blanc grape.

Traditional pipes being played in the foothills of Valle d' Aosta, home to the Prie Blanc grape.

Red: Cesanese from Lazio.  I’m telling you- it does not get geekier than this!  Most Italian wine lovers have never even tried a wine indigenous to Lazio, but thanks to Mozza, you can have a glass with your pizza right in the middle of Newport Beach.  Another fun glass of wine is the Sagrantino from Montefalco– literally some of the smallest production wine on the planet.

Fresh Anchiovies- taken at the original Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles

Stay updated with opening dates and more by following Mozza, NB’s Facebook page.

Mozza, benvenuto!  We welcome you with open arms, and equally open-minded palates!