Osteria Francescana wine list help

I’ve managed to get a reservation for 3 people for dinner in a couple weeks, and was wondering if anyone has recommendations for how to approach the wine portion of the meal.

Is the wine pairing worth it?
In lieu of the wine pairing, any thoughts on instead asking the somm for ~3 bottles within a ~400-500 EUR budget?
(Or for those familiar with the list, any strong reccos for which bottles would pair best with the food? Say one sparkling, one white, one red)

Wine list: https://osteriafrancescana.it/wine-list/

Thanks in advance!

Having looked at the pairing, which is ~200 Euros per person, I think you can do better by putting that 600 Euros (for three people) or even the 400-500 Euros towards three bottles. I would feel comfortable in having the somm be able to select three bottle more or less @150 Euros each. One thing I did notice: nice collection of older (10-20 year old) Austrian Riesling from Bründlmayer is relatively attractively priced compared to list in general. I assume not too many people want to drink Austrian while in Italy. Their loss. Have a great dinner!

1 Like

I would probably go with the pairings, set it and forget it.

That said, it’s a great Italian list and you can probably drink better doing bottles a la carte. 3 that fit under your budget and leave room for ordering a aperitivo or digestivo:
Berlucchi 61 nature 2013 - 110
Terlan Pinot Bianco Vorberg Riserva 2017 - 80
Valentini Montepulciabo D’Abruzzo 2013 - 190

The Valentini is well we’ll below US retail.

1 Like

This is beyond helpful, thank you so much!

BTW, this is the wine pairing:

Lo Triolet Marco Martin 2019
Petite Arvine, Valle d’Aosta

Fonte Canale Cristiana Tiberio 2017
Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo

German Riesling, tonic water, green apple juice, aromatic herbs

“Barbera is to Barolo like contrast is to harmony”
Tribute to Marco Bottura
Barbera d’Alba Superiore 2017 Marco Bottura
Barbera, Piedmont

Boca le Piane 2016
Nebbiolo and Vespolina, Piedmont

Vermouth red 721 Baldo Baldini

Ribolla yellow 2017 Damijan Podversic
Ribolla Gialla, Friuli Venezia Giulia

Picolit 2019 Marco Sara
Picolit, Friuli Venezia Giulia

I saw the pairing before I commented and will echo my comment again: For 200 Euros a person (or 150 each at your budget of 450 for three), you can do better with three bottles off the list. Of course, you’d only have three wines, as opposed to seven different drinks with the pairing, so variety is one thing to consider and if that is the most important criterion, then go for the pairing.

We were just there in November with a party of 3 :slight_smile:

Would echo the advice to avoid the wine pairing and ask the somm for bottles that are off the beaten path. In our case he recommended us the 2017 Podversic Ribolla Gialla; it was awesome and I don’t even normally drink orange wines. Unfortunately we drank their last bottle of 1989 Musar neener

1 Like

Hi Ian
I do think it’s an interesting selection of wines (FWIW) that takes people away from the usual suspects. If viewed as an equivalent of what Rick Steves guide set out to be (rather than what it turned out to be when so many bought the guidebooks), then it might be a nice option (albeit the price feels somewhat bloated).

Could you do better yourself? Almost certainly. Could the Sommelier also do better, aligning the wines to the food AND your own tastes / appetite for exploration? Again, almost certainly yes.

It is also an opportunity if you want to properly splurge, and go for something like Avignonesi’s vin santo (occhio di pernice - the partridge eye colour coming from the sangiovese grapes used). It is a huge price (but not a crazy markup), but likely to be worth every centesimo [wow.gif]. There are other such prestige wines, that may offer comparative value to what you might pay for them at home. It does feel like a list that lends itself to sampling some of the unicorns that are marked up pretty much the same as wines that are less celebrated.

1 Like

I would choose my own wines, personally. There is some fun stuff on that list: Valentini Cerasuolo and Trebbiano, Gravner with age, Tissot, etc.


Love all these suggestions! I think we’ll go the “choose your own adventure” route. I often find wine pairings to be more quantity than quality/uniqueness so having 3 interesting bottles sounds more appealing.

Hi Ian,

Curious to hear which bottles you went for in the end?

Saw your post a bit too late… Very interesting pricing setup in general, many times going against the logic of the retail pricing (and scarcity factor).

I would probably have gone with whichever Lambrusco the somm recommended. Regional and I’m sure it would go well with the food, but also brings down the per bottle average cost.

For the red B Mascarello for sure (probably 2015), especially at that price and in relation to the list. As for the white wine either Joly or Ronchi di Cialla CiallaBianco (great food wine, getting close to complexity age showing, less important but among the better values on the list relatively seen).

1 Like

I’d like to bump this thread as I will be at OF in two weeks. Ian, what did you end up getting? Thoughts?

So sorry for not following up! We ended up getting the wine pairing which was…OK. On the positive side, the range of flavors in the dishes are so diverse any one or two bottles would be tough to do the food justice. On the negative side, none of the wines were that memorable. In hindsight, I think I would’ve spent the money on 2 or 3 noteworthy bottles.

Regarding the food, it’s an experience to remember. We ended up getting the tasting menu and adding on 5 ages of parm and Oops I dropped the lemon tart. The amount of food wasn’t overwhelming. Massimo is very friendly and warm and doesn’d mind taking photos with you :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks Ian. Will report back.

1 Like

A lunch res. for next Friday just popped up, so would love any advice as well.

1 Like


My suggestion still stands, only change I could see from the list is that Ronchi di Cialla’s Ciallabianco is not there (was the best value and a terrific wine with age).

Based my suggestion on relative value on the list…

You could maybe add the following for consideration:

Le Piane Boca

1 Like