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WINE TIME

bryant-ralloBasil T’s sommelier Bryant Rallo talks wine at Basil T’s Wednesday night. (Photo courtesy of Preston Porter; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Dan Levine came for the red, but left with the white.

It was worth the trip from Manalapan for Levine, an admitted fan of Victor Rallo’s wines.

“I love his wine,” Levine said.

Showing up to Basil T’s expecting to be wowed by Rallo’s latest vintage, a valpolicella the Red Bank restaurateur and ever-traveling vintner produced from Italy, Levine unexpectedly decided against the “silky, smooth” red and went with the “faint, light and apple-y” white, Rallo Soave.

Each year Rallo, who also owns Undici Taverna Rustica in Rumson, unveils two new wines at his Red Bank mainstay. On Wednesday night, wine lovers and wine wonderers got a chance to sip his 2010 edition at a free wine tasting at Basil T’s.

It was the premier of Rallo’s latest batch he crafted from Italy, a spot he visits often to pluck grapes and harvest wines that people like Levine look forward to each year.

Within an hour of the tasting’s opening, eight cases were sold, said Bryant Rallo, Victor’s cousin and the general manager and sommelier at Basil’s.

“I’ll probably see 30 to 50 people the whole night,” he said. “But everybody is here because they’ve tasted the wine and they liked it, or they want to taste.”

On Wednesday night, they sniffed and sipped on the red, called Rallo Ripasso, and the white, Rallo Soave (click on links to see video reviews).

Between the annual tastings, Basil T’s hosts monthly features of its wine selections. To get more info on tastings or to learn more about Rallo, his wines and restaurants, visit rallowines.com.

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