Category Archives: Prosecco Rive

Dinner with Massimo Bottura on Ellis Island

Massimo Bottura is the chef owner of the Michelin 3-starred Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. The restaurant was voted the #1 spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list in 2016, and this year was named #2.

He was in New York recently to prepare a meal to benefit God’s Love We Deliver featuring some of his signature dishes which were matched with wines by master wine maker Roberto Cipresso.

Roberto Cipresso and Natalie Oliveros

Michele and I were fortunate enough to be invited to this event by Natalie Oliveros, owner of La Fiorita Winery in Tuscany.

The event was held at Ellis Island. About 100 guests boarded the ferry at Battery Park and cruised past the Statue of Liberty to the museum where the event was held.

Mike De Simone. Gianna and Chazz Palminteri and Charles Scicolone

Actor Chazz Palmentieri was the host and entertained us with charming stories of his life and career.

Bottura also spoke about his approach to cooking.

We can’t do any better to describe the spectacular dishes that were served that night than to quote Bottura’s own poetic descriptions which follow along with the wines that accompanied them.

Baccala Mare Nostrum

An Emilian chef dreams of the Mediterranean Sea in the form of a baccala filet floating in a verdant broth of Vesuvian tomatoes and green olives infused with Sorrento lemons, wild oregano and extra virgin olive oil. 

Falaghina Del Sannino 2016 DOC Lorenzo Nifo Sarrapochiello made from 100% Falaghina made from organic grapes. The soil is clay and calcareous marl, The vines are 10 to 15 years old, there are 4,000 vines per hectare and the training system is espalier, guyot. Harvest is by hand the third week of September. The grapes are crushed and then fermented for 18 to 20 days, followed by 2 months in stainless steel and 2 months in bottle before release. The wine has hints of pear and pineapple with a touch of spice

Polenta and Rice in Praise of a Pizza

This is not a pizza. When the northern Italian Vialone Nano rice and polenta tradition encounter the southern Italian flavors of tomato, anchovy and oregano even a serious risotto can become sunny. The rice is simmered in buffalo mozzarella milk, the polenta is crisped in the oven like pizza crust and the classic pizza toppings are hidden from view.

Pinot Grigio 2016 IGT 100% from vineyards in the Dolomiti  Casata Monfort made from 100% Pinot Grigio. The vineyard is at 300 meters, sandy soil and the training system is pergola trentina. Grapes are pressed in a completely sealed environment and then the wine making process takes place. Fermentation at a controlled temperature with selected yeast strains. The wine was pile yellow with copper highlights. This is a distinctive fruity wine with hints of ripe pear.

The Crunchy Part of Lasagne

Chef Bottura mischievously re-invents the classic Italian recipe while remaining faithful to his childhood memory of stealing he burned corners from his grandmother Ancella’s labor of love. A sheet of crunchy tri-color pasta balances on a hand chopped meat ragu and airy béchamel like a bird about to take flight.

Beautiful, Psychedelic, Spin-Painted Veal, Not Flame Grilled

A tribute to English artist Damien Hirst’s spin-painted canvases, this beef filet takes on the Tuscan tradition of grilled meat without lighting a flame. The meat is marinated in milk as if it were veal, brushed with vegetable charcoal for a fax-grill effect then cooked at a low temperature to preserve essential proteins. It is dressed with creamy potatoes, puree of orange and yellow peppers, a red beet reduction and extra old Villa Manodori Artigianale balsamic vinegar from Modena.

Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2006 DOCG La Fiorita made from 100% Sangiovese from the 3.1 hectare Pian Bossolino vineyards at 350 meters. The exposure is south east, training system is spurred cordon and there are 7,000 plants per hectare and the soil is galestro. Harvest is at the beginning of October. Fermentation is Slavonian oak casks for 10 days with selected yeasts. During maceration pumping over and delestage takes place. Type and capacity of aging casks: 12 months in new and second passage French oak; 12 months is Slavonian oak of 80Hl. Aging time: 24 months in wood, 6 months in steel and 30 months in bottle before release. This is a complex wine with hints of red fruit, spice, balsam and a touch of tobacco and chocolate.

Since 2011 the winery has been owned by Natalie Oliveros. Natalie was sitting at the same table as Michele and I. I had met her when I was the wine director of i-Trulli and was the first one to buy her wines.

Caesar Salad in Bloom

The evergreen and stoic Caesar softens into an ornamental garden of late summer fragrances and colors. Chrysantheum petals, elderflower vinegar, dried cherries, and chamomile honey dressings reminds us of nature’s bounty as we safeguard our memories for the long winter to come.

Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart

This dessert calls attention the poetry of imperfection. Lemon zabaglione, verbena sorbet and fragmented pie crust meet candied bergamot, savory capers, dried oregano and hop pepper oil in praise of southern Italy, a place that is broken but never without emotion.

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Natural Grand Cuvée Del Fondator, Motus Vital Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut Natural- Millesimato 2015 Rive San Pietro Barbozza Bortolomiol made from 100% Glera. Elvira, Maria Elena, Giuliana and Luisa Bortolomio run the winery. This wine was created to honor Giuliano Bortolomio the founder of the winery in the 1940’s and the first to produce a Prosecco brut.  Training system is capuccina modificata. Harvest is at the middle of September. There is a gentle pressing after the skins have been removed. Fermentation at a controlled temperature with selected yeasts. The sparkling wine method used is the Martinotti-Charmat. The wine is left on the lee for ten months. Residual sugar 0 g/l: dosage zero. This is complex and dry Prosecco with nice white fruit and a perfect way to end this wonderful evening.



Leave a comment

Filed under Bortolomiol, Brunello, La Fiorita, Massimo Bottura, Pinot Grigio, Prosecco, Prosecco Rive


Prosecco is the leading selling sparkling wine in Italy. In addition, it outsells Champagne in the UK and sales of Prosecco increase every year in the United States.IMG_7795

Recently I attended a Prosecco tasting panel hosted by Alan Tardi, the US brand ambassador for Prosecco at A Voce Restaurant. Innocente Nardi, President of the Consorzio Tutela del Vino Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore made a few opening remarks. The tasting panel consisted of Scott Carney, M.S., Dean of wine studies, International Culinary Center; Oliver Flosse, Wine Director, Marc,U.S.A.; and Robin Kelly O’Connor CSW, CWE, Italian Wine Merchants. There were six Proseccos at the seminar and they were a true representation of the Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG.IMG_7800

The Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore zone is located in the region of the Veneto, about 50 kilometers north of Venice, midway between the Dolomite Mountains to the north and the Adriatic Sea to the south. The DOCG zone consists of 15 municipalities with the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene at the eastern and western extremes. It extends over 20,000 hectares of which 6,500 are vineyards at altitudes of 50 to 500 meters.IMG_7762

According to the Consorzio Tutela del Vino Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG, there is a “Prosecco Pyramid” which looks like this. At the top is Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG- 107 hectares, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore-15 townships, Colli Asoland DOCG. Prosecco/ Prosecco Superiore, 17 townships and Prosecco Treviso 95 townships and Prosecco DOC 556 townships.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco may be made in 3 different styles: Spumante bubbly), Frizzante, lightly effervescent), or Tranquillo (still). Only the Spumante version is allowed to have the name Superiore.

Prosecco DOCG must be made with at least 85% Glera grapes with the addition of Verdiso, Bianchetta, Trevigana, Petera and Gela Lunga. Prosecco Superiore Spumante may also contain up to 15% of Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero and Chardonnay.

When at least a minimum of 85% of the wine comes from a specific vintage, the year may be indicated on the bottle along with the term Millesimato.

Prosecco Superiore DOCG has three levels of sweetness: “Dry” 17-32 g/l, “Extra Dry” 12.17 g/l, and “Brut” 0 -12 g/l

Most sparking Proseccos are made using the “Italian Method” in an autoclave (pressurized tank). For “metodo classico,” it is also permitted to carry out the second fermentation in the bottle.

The ProseccoIMG_7700

Valdobbiadene Prosecco “Credamora” Col Fondo DOCG Malibràn

Mr. Carney explained the Col Fondo method: before the invention of the autoclave, Prosecco was bottled with its own yeasts and placed in the producer’s cellar to rest. During this time a refermentation took place and the remaining sugar turned into twisting bubbles and so Prosecco was produced. After a few months it became fizzy and the refermented yeast was lying at the bottom of the bottle. The name Col Fondo comes from Sur-lie. A few days before opening the bottle it should be placed in a vertical position, so the yeast falls to the bottom of the bottle. According to the producer the wine should be decanted and the remaining yeast poured into a glass, so you can taste the Prosecco’s heart.

It is classified as a semi-sparkling wine and marked extra brut. The sugar content is zero.

The vineyards are cultivated using the Sylvoz system and the harvest is by hand. There is a soft pressing of the grapes. There is a natural fining in the bottle with its own yeast and there is no filtration. Secondary fermentation is a natural fermentation in the bottle.

Mr. Carney pointed out that the wine was cloudy and they had to decant the wine because it had the Fondo (sediment) on the bottom. The wine is well balanced and complex with hints of ripe fruit, bread crust and yeast.IMG_7701

Rive di Farra di Soligo “Col Credas” Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut 2014. Adami Made from 100% Glera from the Credazzo-Farra di Soligo area. The vineyards are at 350 to 400 meters and the soil is clay, dry, nutrient-poor, fairly shallow, bedded in calcareous rock. The exposure is south and southeast. The training system is double-arched cane and there are 2,500 to 3,500 vines per hectare. Harvest takes place from September 20 to October 10. There is a light pressing of the grapes with a bladder press and the must settles by gravity. Fermentation is at a controlled temperature 17-19°C with cultured yeasts. Then maturation is on the fine lees in steel tanks for 3 months. The second fermentation is the Metodo Italiano which takes place in steel pressured tanks and is at 15-17°C. There is cold tartrate stabilization at -4°C. A tight filtration takes place before bottling to remove the spent yeast from the sparkling wine. The sugar is 4g/l.

In 2009 a new category called Rive (hillside in local dialect) was added. This designation isfor sparkling wine made entirely from the grapes of one particular village or hamlet, the name of which is listed on the label. Riva is always vintage dated. There are 43 officially recognized Rive. This gives more prominence to the subzones. The wine has floral notes with hints of apple and pear with a dry finish.

Valdobbiadene Prosecco “lus Naturae” Superiore DOCG Brut 2013. Bortolomiol100 % Gela. They have been using organic wine-growing techniques for many years. Everything is done by hand. Ius Naturae – the Natural law.

The training system is the double inverted and the harvest takes place in early September. Winemaking is off the skins by gentle pressing. Primary fermentation with selected yeasts. Fining for 3 months. Residual sugar 10.0 g/l. The wine is fruity with hints of apples and pears, good minerality and a nice long finishIMG_7704

Riva di Ogliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra-Dry 2014 Masottina 100% Glera. Area of production Conegliano-Ogliano. Hilly and the soil is of morainic-alluvial origin with glacial deposits, moderately compact with presence of limestone. The vineyard is at 150 meters and the harvest is in late August/early September. Residual sugar 7g/l.

Alcoholic fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks using selected yeasts.

Secondary fermentation is in an autoclave at a low temperature. The wine remains in the bottle for one month before release. Mr. Flosse said that this was a very traditional Prosecco. It has hints of pineapple, peach and orange peel with floral notes.IMG_7703

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore ‘Solitario” DOCG ‘Dry” & “Spumante” 2014. Made from 100% Glera. Dea Rivalta The soil is a mix of clay limestone and rock, the high hills are south facing and the harvest tales place at the end of September. The residual sugar is 26g/l. The wine is fruity with hints of pear, white peach and apple.IMG_7702

Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze, Private Cartizze DOCG Brut 2012 100% Glera Bisol. The vineyard exposure is south/southeast residual sugar 5.5 g/l. The second fermentation takes place in the bottle with zero dosage. Refining in the bottle for 11 months.

Alan Tardi said that Cartizze has always been considered the pinnacle of Conegliano Valdobbiadene production. The vineyards, 107 hectares occupy an entire southwest-facing hillside. Its summit is in the village of Santo Stefano and goes down in a steep patchwork of tiny terraced parcels to the Piave River. There are about 140 proprietors that work their small family plots by hand as they have been doing for generations. This is a full and balanced Prosecco with hints of apple, pear and peaches.

Mr. Kelly added that it is the most expensive type of Prosecco and this one sells for about $45.




Filed under Prosecco, Prosecco Col Fondo, Prosecco Rive, Spumante, Uncategorized