Some restaurant wine lists impress with their diversity; others, such as A16 in San Francisco, make a compelling case by focusing on one or two regions. Located in the city’s Marina neighborhood, the cast of wines chosen by the A16 team to match a menu inspired by the southern Italian region of Campania (including wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas) adds up to one of the most extensive selections of southern Italian bottles in the USA.
Such is the diversity of styles available in this part of Italy there’s nothing restrictive about the specialization. Campania is particularly well represented, but there are imaginative choices from some of the best producers of Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Lazio, Le Marche, Puglia, and Umbria, as well as the islands of Sicily, Ischia, and Sardinia. As the judges at the World’s Best Wine Lists 2015 said, “it’s great to see the south, as well as the rest of the country, represented so well.”
These choices are complemented by a judicious sprinkling of bottles from the more elegant end of California, some northern Italian fizz (Prosecco, Fanciacorta), and a couple of grower Champagnes, in a focused but funky list.