The Coast News Group
Taste of Wine

Tommy V’s catching the wine & dine wave

There’s a new team, a new attitude and a strong wave in place at Tommy V’s Del Mar, across from the polo fields.  Owner Tommy Maggiore of Tuscany La Costa fame has placed veteran restaurateur Tyler Willams in place as manager with Executive Chef Giorgio Loverdi and head waiter Eduardo Laquiz.  I had been to Tommy V’s three times to catch the wave of excitement and good times that seemed to be in the air.
The latest was a recent gathering of friends, family and guests of the new Gen 7 wines, introduced by owner Tim Bacino at a new release party. Wine included:  Viognier, Muscat Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and an awesome Red Blend (Zinfandel, Cab Franc and Carignane, a rare grape from the south of France) called Road To Zanzibar, $34 at Gen 7’s site.  
Bacino is no novice.  Members of his family built the Brookside Winery brand  in the ‘70s to great heights, with 36 retail wine stores in California and elsewhere before selling to a national chain.  Gen 7 is named after Bacino’s young daughter, the seventh generation connected to the family business and is off to a great start, being named “Best Micro Winery” in a recent competition in Sacramento.
Earlier in the month, I had put Tommy  V’s to the test as the Italian Chophouse with classic old world interpretations of that style of cuisine. With Eduardo as our waiter and Executive Chef Giorgio personally superivising, we got right into a typical Tommy V’s menu extravaganza of cured meats and cheeses, Arugula salad, and a beautifully crafted Bistecca Siciliano, a 16-ounce dry-aged steak rubbed with herb and cheese crumbs with a side of sauteed mushrooms.
Eduardo’s choice for me to wash the meal down in traditional style was a Vietti Barbera D’ Asti, 2008.  Barbera is a red grape from the Piedmont District of Northern Italy.  French Oak Barrels store this wine for 12 months, then in steel tanks for 2 months before bottling.
This wine has a ruby purple color with red cherry, minerals and a hint of vanilla.  The Barbera compliments pasta and breaded veal, pork, chicken and steak, and is an affordable value wine on Tommy V’s list of worldwide reds.  Find more information at  Gen 7’s site is
Wine Bytes
— San Diego Restaurant Week is back, Sept. 18 through Sept. 23, with over 180 restaurants participating in discounted three course prix fixe menus See for a location near you.
— PAON Restaurant & Wine Bar in Carlsbad has an Italian Tasting with six wines for $14, Sept. 15 to Sept. 21, from 2 to 9 p.m.  Call (760) 729-7377.
— Barolo and Barbaresco wines are featured at Bacchus Wine Market, downtown San Diego Sept. 16 from 4 to 8:30 p.m.  Some of Italy’s greatest wines will be poured.  $40
fee.  RSVP required.  Call (619) 236-0005.
— The 2011 Taste of Hope is planned for Sept. 18 from 4 to 7 p.m. on the terrace at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego.  $65 pre sale, $75 at the door.  Downtown restaurants will offer cuisine, with an excellent selection of wines.  Proceeds to the City Of Hope.  Call (858) 452-6846 for more.
— Monte De Oro Winery in Temecula celebrates Calilfornia Wine Month with a Grape Stomp Sept. 18. Call for more information at (951) 491-6551.
— The WineSellar in Sorrento Valley focuses on Brunello Di Montalcino Wines, the elite wines from Tuscany, Sept. 21 starting at 6 p.m. $25 per person.  Check it out at (858) 450-9557.