Touch of Venice makes Wine Spectator list

Touch of Venice owner Brian Penacchia behind the bar on Wednesday. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Touch of Venice owner Brian Pennacchia behind the bar on Wednesday. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Touch of Venice will once again be recognized in an upcoming issue of Wine Spectator for its outstanding wine list. It’s the second year in a row the Cutchogue restaurant has earned the distinction.

Touch of Venice owner Brian Pennacchia noted that the restaurant offers well-known and obscure Italian wines, as well as plenty of options from its own backyard wine region.

“I look for Italian wines from different regions of Italy, things that are a little different,” Pennacchia said. “I think they liked that we use a lot of local wines and that goes with our local food.”

Touch of Venice joins about 3,600 restaurants from around the world featured in the publication’s annual Restaurant Awards, which recognizes eateries with exceptional wine lists.

Touch of Venice was given the “Award of Excellence,” which was awarded to 2,563 restaurants and “recognizes a wine list offering an interesting and diverse selection of wines that are well-presented and thematically match the restaurant’s cuisine in price and style.” It was also noted because it features inexpensive wines.

It was the only North Fork eatery to make the list. Other East End restaurants included venerable establishments like 75 Main in Southampton and Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton.

The American Hotel in Sag Harbor received “The Grand Award,” an honor it has earned every year since 1981 and is only given to 81 restaurants. It denotes the eatery as a top wine destination.

“Once again, Wine Spectator congratulates each and every Restaurant Award winner on a job well done,” Marvin R. Shanken, Wine Spectator editor and publisher, said in a statement“With this year’s list spanning all 50 U.S. states and over 75 additional countries and territories, we hope wine lovers will use this issue, alongside WineSpectator.com’s Restaurant Awards database, as guides to finding the perfect restaurant for any occasion.”

If reading this is making you thirsty, the wines on Touch of Venice’s list range from a $30 bottle of Duck Walk Vineyards cabernet sauvignon to a $220 bottle of Sandrone barolo.

“That’s a highly rated wine from a great vintage,” Pennacchia said of the latter bottle.

Others selections stand out for their rarity, he said.

“There’s a white from the Soave region done in the same procedure that make their amarone wine, where they dry the grape first,” he said. “It makes a bigger, fuller-bodied wine. You don’t usually see that in a white.”

The Aug. 31 issue of Wine Spectator hits newsstand July 21.

Touch of Venice is located at 28350 Main Road in Cutchogue.