Best Wine Program - 2012
Max Stefanelli's wine program at Italian restaurant Terroni isn't entirely Italian: There's Champagne, some Slovenian wines and a few outliers from Hungary that he couldn't resist. And it's hardly the deepest Italian list — that sort of distinction falls to a Valentino or an Osteria Mozza. Yet the Terroni wine program celebrates Italy as do few other wine programs in Los Angeles — it is, as they say, molto convivio. Stefanelli is from Bologna by way of Toronto, where Terroni originated. And it's not the sort of wine list where you're going to find fall-back Italian bottlings like pinot grigio or Chianti Classico. But you will find wines from every wine region in Italy, from the Valle d'Aosta to Calabria, and there's depth in the right places: For example, Stefanelli believes that he now sells Nebbiolo-based wines from every subregion in Piemonte, even the out-of-the-way places like Ghemme and Bramaterra. Of special mention is Stefanelli's tremendous generosity to the city's sommeliers; as often as twice a month he'll throw open Terroni's back room for spirited, after-hours tastings and gatherings, a convivial boon for a hardworking, far-flung community. 7605 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax District. (323) 954-0300, terroni.com.