Date: 2 January 2013
Location: Metuchen, NJ
Wine: Abbazia di Novacella 2011 Kerner
Cuisine: Contemporary Italian

Wine List: Smartly chosen with a broad representation of wines from around the globe, the listmaster at Novità has a fine palate. The neophyte, the traditionalist and the trendster will all find wines in which to revel, and all will appreciate the extremely reasonable pricing.

Pick: My dining companion and I picked Novità to take advantage of their $15 corkage fee. En route to our table, I noticed a by-the-glass special on the bar’s chalkboard: Turley El Porrón for $9. Hmm…what other fun wines might be available? Many, it turns out!

Menu in hand, we quickly decided to order a white then open one of our reds. Then, diving deeper into the list a few more minutes, we abandoned the BYO idea. I hovered over the Italian whites not only because the cuisine was Italian but also because the options were equally delicious and cool. There was a Vitovska, a Greco di Tufo and a Garganega, but this Kerner called to me. I wanted seafood, and I knew this wine’s dashing minerality, resolute purity and crisp acidity fit the bill. Besides, it was only $38! (PS My companion chose our red equally quickly: an Emidio Pepe 2003 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo for only $85.)

We’ll be back soon not only because the wine list was terrific, but also because the food was very good – especially the appetizers and pastas –  and the service was impressively professional.