Discovering Torbato

I believe eating and drinking to be a kind of journey. It requires attentiveness and observation. Beyond physical fulfillment, eating can lead to the discovery of unique flavors, myriads of textures and the gathering of cultural insights.

Culinary adventures can happen at any moment and occur in the most unexpected of places. And when I do have a great culinary discovery, I feel the exhilaration of a world explorer claiming a small (albeit valuable) new territory. Which is exactly how I felt when I discovered the delicious flavors of Torbato, a supremely rare white wine varietal native only to a small plot of land in Sardinia.

Thought to be imported by the early Greeks and the Catalans in the sixteenth century or a native, ancient grape of Sardinia, Torbato has almost completely disappeared from the winemaking scene. Wine making powerhouse Selle & Mosca, however, plan to change all that. As the sole owners of land that still produces this truly rare and delicate grape, the wine makers hope to popularize this little known grape and bring its delicious flavors to wine drinkers beyond the little island of Sardinia.

Grown in Northwest of Sardinia, Sella & Mosca’s Torbato is briefly aged in oak for six months and bottled under the name “Terre Bianche.” This rare, straw yellow white wine offers surprising aromatics of hay, grapefruit zest and almost earthy petrol notes of a German Riesling. The flavors are crisp, refreshing and dry like a wet, flinty Vermentino– perfect for seafood, poultry and light pastas. Torbato is a good wine and serves as a fascinating link to Sardinia’s somewhat mysterious vinous past.

I found this wine on line at and, if you live in the Hollywood area, you should try a refreshing glass of Torbato at a lovely new Italian restaurant on Hollwood Blvd. (near Cahuenga) called Melograno. Chef Alberto Lazzarino’s Italian menu is both rustic and elegant.

Beautiful and approachable, this Hollywood eatery feels like a secret getaway from the hustling boardwalk populated by star-struck tourists, the well-heeled and the homeless. This intimate Italian restaurant offers delicious Italian fare that appeals to the timid and the adventurous. The wine list offers many great deals as well as amazing finds like the Torbato we tried. We enjoyed perfectly cooked asparagus with a porcini mushroom ragu (a sort of creamy mushroom sauce), cheese fondue and quail egg—a perfect dish for Torbato! For our entrée we enjoyed a delicious white barramundi with a pomegranate and Arneis gastrique as well as a deliciously succulent Cornish game hen. Melograno is a perfect location for any culinary explorer.


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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. Private Chef
    May 5

    I have just stumbled upon your blog. I love the clean design and fantastic photos. I am a blogger myself and always thought that design was key and you have certainly captured that! There are so many food blogs out there these days and being different to all the others is key. I have just started which is a website for chefs, foodies and food bloggers to hand out, share recipes, photos and videos. When i was blogging I always thought i should be getting more traffic as my blog was getting lost in the masses of stuff out there so my new site is aimed at giving food bloggers and chefs a bigger platform! Hope you enjoy it and keep up the good writing and design here! I have now bookmarked you so will be regular reader, Cheers!

  2. Anonymous
    July 27

    Lovely blog on Torbato and Melograno but the link doesn’t go anywhere when you push Melograno.

  3. Brooke
    July 27

    Thanks for the comment about Melograno. I checked the link for myself and discovered that Melograno Restaurant’s website is down…

    I hope this doesn’t mean the restaurant is shuttered!


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