The Osteria Excellent 18

When Osteria IL Centro was awarded its 18th consecutive Wine Spectator "Best of Award of Excellence" accolade we asked 18 notable OIC customers and other friends of the restaurant to pick one of their favorite bottles from the OIC Reserve Wine list. See below each of the esteemed wine connoisseur’s picks. Why not consider one the next time you visit Osteria IL Centro?

Marcelo-claure1. Marcelo Claure

"Osteria Il Centro is my favorite Italian restaurant  in Kansas City, the food is great, service is super friendly and it has one of the best wine lists I have ever seen, not in quantity but in quality at amazing prices…I always get to enjoy my favorite Italian wines from Tuscany such as Antinori Solaia or Ornellaia."

Marcelo Claure is CEO of Sprint

2. Ian Mohrmann
"My wife, Amanda, and I always have the Altos Las Hormigas "Altamira" (Mendoza). We usually go out to IL Centro for special date nights.  The wine, Altos, reminds of us of the night we got engaged.  We were in a small town on the western coast of Mexico.  A hurricane was heading toward the city and we went for supplies. Of all the supplies, a bottle of Altos was included.  The hurricane never made it to land and we enjoyed the wine."

Ian Mohrmann is President at The Soccer Lot, LLC

 3. Pat Malinak Green

"The interesting wine list at Il Centro makes it very hard to choose a favorite.  They have my favorite Spanish wine, some awesome domestics, and lovely Tuscans.  I will have to go with Sequoia Grove though.  It is my favorite "go to" wine.  It is rich and earthy, with smooth tannins.  Sip at first because it improves after it has had a chance to breathe.  Better yet, open it immediately, but make it your second bottle!  It will be perfect by then, and does pair great with most desserts! "

Pat Malinak Green is a Partner at New Vision Photography 

4. Kim Weinberger IMG_0241

2003 La Massa Chianti Classico “Giorgio Primo”-­? Sangoivese

"My favorite wines have come from my personal adventures and life experiences. I have an affinity towards Italian wines from living in Italy on and off for about four years. More recently in early 2000’s, my family went to Tuscany for a month on our last big family trip. We stayed in a 16th Century stone farmhouse on a working vineyard, Quercia al Poggio. I recommend La Massa Chianti Classico “Giorgio Primo” to enjoy the classic flavors of Italy paired with Il Centro’s delectable Italian menu."

Kim Weinberger is the Owner of Weinberger Fine Art in downtown Kansas City Crossroads Arts District.

5. Loren Rea OIC7

"I enjoy the Louis Martini Cabernet - a house wine at IL Centro. The quality of the wine is very good and it's a big hearty red wine, which I like. I've been drinking it for a bout a year. I really enjoy the atmosphere at Osteria - it's upscale and cozy."

Loren Rea is an Attorney and Investor in Brookside

6. Larry McMullen OIC 20th Anniversary-24

"I confess that I limit my attention to the Cabernet that Brent suggests except on half price night I often treat myself to a glass (often two) of Ayres Pinot Noir. And that has been my plan for 17  years  and it has never let me down. And neither have Gregg and Brent. My wife Marilyn and I started with IL Centro 17 years ago, and I have continued on for the 7 years since her death, once a week at her favorite table, because it is “family” to us."

Larry McMullen is an Attorney at Husch Blackwell

Al Reynolds7. Allen Reynolds

"My pick is the 2008 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Lovely aromas of fruits a hint of chocolate. Soft plum and blackberry…leading to a finish that makes a statement! One of the best Pinots I’ve ever had."

Allen Reynolds is Vice President of Kansas City Printing & Sign

8. Nicole Nielsen nicole nielsen

"One of the great perks of working at IL Centro is the opportunity to enjoy the extensive array of amazing wines.  From all of these great options, the Chappellet Mountain Cuvee is a wine I am particularly drawn to. The rich aroma that emerges from the glass when poured is enticing in itself. Complemented by an allure of dark fruit and notes of roasted coffee accompanying the balance of tannins, creating a smooth and extremely satisfying finish.

Whether we are enjoying a relaxing evening at home, or entertaining guests over a delicious meal, the Chappellet Mountain Cuvee is sure to be a wine everyone will enjoy!

Nicole Nielsen is a beloved manager at OIC

0019. Greg Koehler
"I recommend any Joseph Phelps. There are always different varietals and vintages, but some producers just arouse memories of great times.  It reminds me of living in San Francisco when i was younger and drinking a glass of wine with my wife on the wharf."

Greg Koehler is a Retirement Plan Consultant with SageView Advisory Group and lives in Brookside with his wife Tara, and four children, Caroline, Henry, Harrison and Annabelle.

10. Dolly Wood Dolly Wood

I make every attempt to support local businesses in KC so when Brad McLeroy left Gomer's to become the winemaker for Ayres Vineyard in Oregon, I became an instant fan. It was even better when his wines were excellent! Pinot Noir is my wine of choice when I'm drinking a red wine. I always start with a glass at Il Centro that compliments well with my favorite dishes.

Dolly Wood is in Occupational Therapy at KU Med Hospital

11. Frank and Tammy Sciara!cid_1D920B93-A18D-499A-B6DA-A3913633B9C3

"Gundlach Bundschu is one of our favorite little wineries in Sonoma. They make seriously good wine, but don't take themselves too seriously ('Gun Lock Bun Shoe' is a standing joke there). We love that we can count on Osteria Il Centro to have a bottle of their cab on hand so that we can reminisce our travels and enjoy their wine any time!"

Frank Sciara is Vice President at Grandbridge Real Estate Capital

12. Andrea & Don Farquharson 

"Our pick is Seghesio Cortina. Andrea and I love Zins with our food at il Centro and tend to stick to a regular favorite or two.  But our absolute favorite is the Seghesio Zinfandel Cortina.  It offers the great fruit that’s characteristic of zins, but it’s light-bodied and nicely balanced straight through to the finish, without too much spice – a great complement to almost any food in our view, but especially with our three favorite il Centro entrées: Orecchiette Carbonara Gorgonzola, Chicken Pesto Tortellini, or Chicken Marsala."

Don Farquharson is the President and CEO of WellSpring Resources, Inc. and Andrea serves as the Career Placement Director.

13. David Curry 

If you have to have the “perfect” bottle with this evening’s repast, my personal favorite is the 2008 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville.  You’ll love the way this wine changes on your tongue as you experience it start to its fantastic finish.  Some of the folks in Napa say that the 08 was a cellar year for many of the vineyards…..and, this Estate Bottled and Produced Cab is certainly not likely to be an exception to that rule.  My wife and I shared a bottle of this exact vintage while on vacation in Naples, Florida.  And, I must add (in closing) that I am feeling the magnetic pull of Il Centro right now as I write this because I think it is about time we shared another.

David Curry is the Senior Vice President at Fidelity Bank

jacobson14. Gretchen and Dr. Larry Jacobson

The Jacobsons suggest 2012 Santa Rita Hills (Southing) Sea Smoke Pinot Noir. Goes well with all food, easy to drink and finishing well. Drinkable now and no need to decant. Since we are at Il Centro almost every week, we have never found a bottle we did not enjoy. Equally drinkable and less expensive is the 2011 Argyle "Nuthouse" Eola Amity (Wiillamette).

Dr. Larry Jacobson practices Periodontics and Implant surgery in Kansas City, Missouri

15. Jeff Knopke

"On a recent trip to the Napa Valley, my wife and I visited the historic Chateau Montelena. In addition to enjoying the beautiful grounds and winery, we were treated to a six year (2003-2008) vertical tasting of their Estate Cab. Our favorite of the lineup was the first wine we tasted, the '03. While still relatively young by Montelena standards, it displayed deep aromas of red currant, black cherry and flowers. The palate is rich with integrated sweet tannins. This wine is ready to go and at a price of $165 on the reserve list, a relative bargain that should pair well with Il Centro's Italian themed menu.

Looking forward to our next visit where the atmosphere is neighborly, the menu is well executed, the service attentive and of course a well priced wine list with deep selections."

Jeff Knopke a Senior Account Executive at Freightquote. He enjoys spending time with family, traveling and food and wine.

16. John Scher jon scher

"St. Clement Oroppas (Napa Valley) 2005 & 2006. We have enjoyed this wine for years cellared and drank many of the good ones over the past years.  Heavy on the Cabernet,  90%+ with deep full body a good drink for those wanting a big wine."

John Scher is the Vice President and Founder of Mechanical Sales Assoociates, Inc. in Lee's Summit

17. Butch Rigby 

"My choice is the Rubicon Estate "Rubicon" by Niebaum Coppola "(Rutherford). I became familiar with the Coppola wines when I opened my Screenland Theatres and we made Coppola the 'house wines'. While Francis Ford Coppola has always been a great film director and wine maker, I am especially impressed with his respect for the history of the Niebaum Estate, and this wine is a tribute to that history, and his passion for everything he does."

Butch Rigby is Owner of Screenland Theatres in Kansas City

18. Helen Emmott Helen Emmott

"Dave and I love to have a glass of bubbly at home and walk to Il Centro for dinner. We rarely pass up an opportunity to enjoy Mt Veeder Meritage with dinner which is featured many times by the glass if we are alone or by the bottle when we are with good friends. It's rich but subtle so goes well with many of the entrees at Il Centro!"

David Emmott is a physician with Kansas City Urology Care and Helen is a nurse ethicist who teaches part time at Rockhurst University. They are avid golfers and if not playing here in KC you'll find them on a course in the Texas Hill Country where they frequently get away!