“Today,” writes fine wine authority Dale Robertson for the Houston Chronicle this week, “as he celebrates his 50th anniversary with a year-long series of wine dinners (the Piemonte will be featured Sept. 29), Tony’s list is 22 pages long. He has more than $1 million worth of inventory, consisting of 13,000 to 15,000 bottles, almost exclusively from Italy, France and California.”
Over the course of 50 years in business as Houston’s leading restaurateur, Tony’s wine program has grown impressively from the single page listing the wines when he first opened.
“In the beginning,” writes Dale, “Tony Vallone’s single-page wine list was a spot-on reflection of Houston’s unsophisticated tastes. Most diners who came through the door of Tony’s starter restaurant in 1965 didn’t know to ask for cabernet sauvignon, never mind Barolo or Brunello.”