When Brittany Carlisi, Joyce Stein, and I stopped in for a bite to eat at Osteria Mamma in Los Angeles, I don’t think any of us realized we were about to discover some of the best Italian food in California. The food is created and driven by Mamma herself, and the wine list is curated by Riccardo dal Santo and Fillipo Cortivo, two true Italian Sommeliers.
First, let me point out that the Gostolai Vermentino di Sardegna is special. It’s not your typical Vermentino- this is a steely, racy, mineral-driven, masterpiece of a wine that truly showcases the heights of Sardegna’s wine-growing possibilities. The vineyards are from a higher elevation that most, and the soil is truly volcanic, lending the wine it’s lean, animated character. In the words of K&L’s Italian Wine Expert, Chris Miller, “This is not a sipping wine per se, but one that must be enjoyed with food to really fully appreciate.”
And we enjoyed this wine with food! Osteria Mamma’s salad of winter greens, dressed simply with citrus and bright, grassy olive oil, was a natural match. The wine also stood up beautifully next to a roasted tomato and burrata antipasto.
Mamma’s specialties include her house-made pastas. The bigoli with tomato sauce was a complete success- fat, toothsome bigoli rolled generously in a luxurious, velvety pomodoro sauce.
We also sampled the Spaghetti Carbonara; rich, unctuous egg-and-pancetta-flavored, wrapped around the perfect tangle of al dente pasta.
This was a bold, vivid meal, full of the perfect textures and flavors. Thanks to the adventurous sommeliers at Osteria Mamma, the wines of Gostolai have found a place in my heart.