Monthly Archives: March 2016

Extraordinary Wine Values from Southern Italy

Every year the Italian Trade Commission sponsors Italian Wine Week in New York City at the Midtown Hilton Hotel. For this year’s Vino 2016, the spotlight was on the regions of Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Sicily.

IMG_9639

Gianfranco Sorrentino

I was delighted to be asked to moderate a panel on “Extraordinary Wines Values from Southern Italy.”

IMG_9641

Gary Grunner

The panel members were: Gianfranco Sorrentino, owner of restaurants Il Gattopardo, The Leopard at des Artistes, and Mozzarella and Vino, all in NYC; Gary Grunner, Co-Author of Italian Wine Notes and Italian Wine and Cheese Made Simple and 2009 Silver Award recipient of The Italian Trade Commission’s distinguished service award for the work he has done promoting, educating, representing some of Italy’s top producers and for building Italian wines in the USA; and Marco Melzi, a journalist, educator, and communication consultant.

Marco Melzi

Marco Melzi

The panel discussed each wine in detail and Southern Italian Wine in general and concluded that extraordinary values are to be found in Southern Italian wines and that they enjoy drinking them the most. Some of the finest are from the regions of Calabria, Campania, Sicily and Puglia. Unique varieties, both red and white, are made into wines that reflect the terroir by a variety of expert producers using both traditional and innovative technology.IMG_9976

Listed below are the 12 wines picked by the panel as examples of the extraordinary wine values from Southern Italy. All of them go very well with food, especially the food of the region where they are produced.

They are listed with the grapes they are made from and the distributor/importer.

THE WINES

Ficiligno DOC 2014 50% Inzolia and 50% Viognier Baglio Pianetto Sicily Vinvino $18

Taburno Falanghina DOC 2014 100% Falanghina Fontanavecchia Wine Emporium $17IMG_9636

Pallagrello Bianco “Calati” IGT 2014 Campania, Alois Soilair Selections $ 22/24

Rose Castel Del Monte DOC 2014 100% Bambino Nero Puglia Rivera Bedford $11IMG_9631

Violente 2012 Castel del Monte DOC 100% Nero di Troia Rivera $15 Puglia Bedford

Salice Salentino 2013 DOC 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia Nera Rivera Puglia $13 Bedford

Piedirosso Colli di Salerno 2014 IGT 85% Piedirosso and 15% local red varieties Apicella Campania $16 Wine EmporiumIMG_9628

Costa D’Amalfi Tramonti Rosso 2011 DOC Monte di Grazia 90% Tintore and 10% Piedirosso Campania $25 Wine Emporium

Nero D ‘Avola “Nerojbleo” 2010 IGT 100% Nero d’Avola Gulfi Sicily $ 21/23 Selected Estates

Ciro Classico 2011 DOC 100% Gaglioppo Cote Di Franze Calabria $ 20/22 Selected EstatesIMG_9625

Ciro Rosso Classico 2012 DOC 100% Gaglioppo Tenuta Baroni Capoano Calabria $16 Wine Emporium.

Primitivo di Manduria “Evita” 2012 DOP 100% Primitivo Le Sviare $19 Selected Estates

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Ciró, Italian Red Wine, Italian White Wine, Italian Wine, Vino 2016

A Barbera with a Difference

A  lunch and tasting  of a Barbera made by drying the grapes (appassimento) from the Ricossa Antica Winery

IMG_9966

Julianne Clark

Julianne Clark from the Ricossa Antica Winery marketing department greeted us at Lupa Restaurant in NYC. She said that the winery’s name comes from the Ricossa family that owned an award-winning distillery on the outskirts of Asti in Piedmont at the end of the 1800’s. The headquarters of the parent company, MGM Mondo Vino, is in Forli in Emilia Romagna.

Julianna said thay collaborate with quality producers from Piedmont. Mostly from the Nizza Monferrato area.
The  Consorzio Barbers D’Asti e Vini del Monfraffo is the group we approached with the idea of creating an Appassimento under Barbera Piemonte DOC. They then, presented this proposal to the lawmakers.
The Ricossa Antica Casa is a brand part of the MGM winery.

The winery buys all of their grapes from the best growers and producers in Piedmont where the wine is made. It is a Consorzio,the Consortium Barbera D’Asti e Vini del Monferrato, Julianne said, and can be looked upon as a collaboration of expertise from soil to the bottle. Since this was the first time any producer in Piedmont wanted to use the appassimento process to make Barbera, they had to ask permission from the government to do so. It took one year and was approved during the harvest of 2014 — just in time!IMG_9958

Piedmont Barbera Appassimento 2014 DOC 100% Barbera. The soil is calcareous clay and limestone and the training system is guyot. Harvest is in September/October. The grapes are hand picked. 20% are left on the vines (late harvest) and 80% (by regulation) are laid gently in small open cases of 5kg/10 lbs for about 4 to 6 weeks to dry in a temperature controlled room with fans used for ventilation. Maceration on the skins takes place in stainless steel tanks for 10/12 days after the drying of the grapes. The wine is aged for 8 months in stainless steel tanks and then for a minimum of 2 months in bottle before release.

Because of the appassimento process I expected a wine that was heavy and jammy but instead it was dry, elegant and balanced with good acidity and hints of blackberries figs and violets. It is an excellent food wine and I was very impressed by it. $25IMG_9961

They also make a very nice Gavi, Barbaresco and an excellent Moscato that was a perfect finish to the meal.

2 Comments

Filed under APPASSIMENTO PROCESS, Barbera, Italian Red Wine, Italian Wine, Ricossa

Rome: Restaurant by Restaurant

IMG_9779Since we were staying in Rome for 3 weeks, Michele and I decided to try a few restaurants that we had not tried before. Some we always wanted try, but never made it and others we were told about by friends. One was a place we had not been to in a long time.IMG_9864

Flavio Al Velavevodetto – Via di Monte Testaccio 9     Tel   06 57 44 194

This restaurant is around the corner from one of our favorites, Checchino al 1887. It serves traditional Roman food.IMG_9870

We had Bruschetta with burrata and anchovies, bollito meatballs (made from the boiled meats of a bollito misto), rabbit alla cacciatore, fettuccine with pork ragu.

The wines are on the wall in a room to the dining room and diners can go up and choose what they want.

De Cesare Via Del Casaletto, 45-47-49      Tel    06536015IMG_9872

The restaurant is a 20-minute ride from the center on the #8 tram. Take it to the last stop and the restaurant is right across the street. This was our first time here and we really enjoyed it.IMG_9877

Michele and I ate the same things, fried fiori di zucca stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies, fried totani (small squid), skate and broccoli soup, shrimp with tomatoes and sour cherry tart, crostata di visciole.IMG_9874

We drank a Tebbiano di Abruzzo 2014 from Pepe

Osteria Le Mani in Pasta, Via dei Genovesi,37 Trastevere   Tel  06.5816017.

We went here on a Saturday and the restaurant was very crowded and noisy. But it was a good noise — that of people eating good food, drinking wine and having a good time.IMG_9879

Many of the customers were regulars who stopped in at the kitchen to say hello to the chef on the way in and on the way out.IMG_9880

Many people were sharing the pasta dishes, as they were very large. However they were not doing it to eat less as they then ordered another pasta course to share.IMG_9882

To start, we had artichokes alla Romana, and octopus and potato salad, one of our favorites.

Michele had Fettuccine with ricotta salata and pancetta, which she really liked and I had spaghetti Vernaccia with white wine, caramelized onions and bacon. It was very good.IMG_9884

We drank a bottle of Falanghina.

Cul de Sac   Piazza di Piazza di Pasquino 73    Tel  06 68 80 10 94

On our way to The Piazza Navona, we passed an old favorite, Cul de Sac.IMG_9912

We used to go there often but for some reason we had stopped, so we decided to give it a try. It is perfect for lunch, less crowded than at dinnertime.IMG_9913

The salumi, cheese, and pate is much better than the hot food here and you can make a great meal of them. We had the boar pate, prosciutto, finocchiona salami and an assortment of unusual cheeses. They also have a great wine list and the staff is very nice and interested.

Trattoria Perilli,  Via Marmorata 39   Tel  06 575 5100IMG_9921

One review of this restaurant said that they value food over service; therefore the writer did not recommend it for North American tourists who, in his opinion, value service over food.  Michele and I do not agree. It is a true Roman restaurant, full of locals that know good food.IMG_9922

We had rigatoni carbonara, and roast suckling pig.IMG_9924

La Tavernaccia da Bruno – Via Giovanni da Castelbolognese 63    Tel 06.5812792IMG_9927

We had Bruschetta with grilled vegetablies, tagliolini with wild boar ragu, roast pork (yes, again),

IMG_9930mand a delicious ricotta torta with pistachios. The owner is from  Umbria so there is a mixing of Rome and Umbria in the food.

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Cul de Sac, Da Cesare, Flavio Al Velavevodetto, La Tavernaccia da Bruno, Osteria Le Mani in Pasta, Roman restaurants, Rome, Trattoria Perilli, Uncategorized