Meet the Neighbors: Pasanella & Son
Small, family-run vineyards. Big names and sought-after winemakers. The more than 400 bottles of wine in stock at Pasanella and Son Vintners in the Seaport come from a variety of sources, but every bottle is hand-selected.
Behind those hands—and the shop’s stylish space on South Street—are owners, Marco Pasanella, a designer, writer and teacher, and Rebecca Robertson Pasanella, a stylist and interior designer, who also live above the store with their son.
The Pasanellas had always loved wine, and with a big empty space in the Seaport building (an old fish market structure) they’d purchased and renovated, they decided to open their own store in 2006.
Pasanella and Son was an immediate hit and named “Best Neighborhood Wine Shop” by New York magazine in 2007. In 2012, Marco published Uncorked (Clarkson Potter), a memoir about the experience of opening the store and the ins and outs of the world of wine. Today, Pasanella and Son remains a staple of the neighborhood—a resource of good wine and a lively venue for classes and tastings.
“For 20 years, the Seaport has been the neighborhood we come home to after running around the city—to exhale,” says Marco. Not surprisingly, his favorite places to enjoy a glass of wine are his living room, “with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the parade of boats that glide past my window,” and “downstairs in our tasting room, with a bunch of our neighbors and customers.”
Marco says Pasanella’s goal is to be a place of discovery, like the Seaport itself. Lately, for example, a broader interest in sustainability is driving the interest in natural wines.
“Natural wines seem to reflect our growing awareness and interest in the environment as a whole,” says Marco, of the wine’s recent popularity. “As consumers become more informed, they want more than products that are made without fertilizers. They look for wines that are made with a larger sense of responsibility and respect for the environment, which includes packaging, transportation, energy, self-sufficiency, etc. Buying natural wine is buying more responsibly made stuff.”
Here, Marco shares his recommendations for what to look for the next time you swing by Pasanella and Son to pick up a bottle of natural wine.
Pasanella & Son’s Top 5 Natural Wines To Try Now
Ocho Mtsvane Who R U?, $24.99
A Georgian orange wine made of a Rkatsiteli I Mtsvane blend aged in traditional clay kvevri. Kvevri (or Qvevri) are large earthenware vessels used for fermentation, storage and ageing of traditional Georgian wine. They make all the difference in vinification and maturation, giving this a deep, velvety feel.
Salcheto Vino Nobile, $26.99
Up your Montepulciano d’Abruzzo game with this easy-to-love organic Tuscan with a little extra. Made with extraordinary care, it takes one plant to make one bottle, aged 18 months in oak to add a level of complexity only seen from the likes of Emidio Pepe. The winemakers operate an energy-independent cellar, self-produce their fertilizers by composting, and follow a host of other biodynamic practices.
Suore Cistercensi Coenobium, $29.99
Under the guidance of the legendary Paolo Bea, the Cistercian Sisters of Vitorchiano produce wine as honest, sympathetic and gracious as they are. It might leave you praising the almighty. This wine is a semi-sparkling natural wine, enriched by the volcanic soil found beneath the vineyards.
Meinklang Prosa, $19.99
We could drink this biodynamic rose pet-nat all day. With a touch (just a touch) of sweetness, this sparkling pinot noir smells like strawberries and tastes like a guilty pleasure. This is a lightly sparkling, naturally produced rosé from Burgenland, Austria.
Contra Soarda Vespiaolo, $21.99
This piercing organic white by husband and wife Mirco & Gloria Gottardi is a crisp, clean incarnation of a native varietal. Their cellar is built inside a hill (the “hamlet on the slope” the vineyard is named after is located outside of Bassano del Grappa in northern Italy) to minimize environmental impact.
Shop these and a collection of more than 400 other wines at Pasanella & Son, 115 South Street. Open Monday to Sunday, 12pm–8pm.