Saturday, July 16, 2011

Glass of Italy: Showcasing Lesser-Known Italian Wine Gems

Glass of Italy was a very well-thought-out approach to introducing a few journalists to a select number of quality Italian winemakers working with grapes and regions that are less well-known in the States.  A small luncheon at the Hudson Hotel in Manhattan provided one-on-one exposure between the journalists and winemakers, offering the opportunity to try these unique wines "in vivo" - that is, paired with appropriate foods.  Following the luncheon, a more-broadly-accessible tasting followed, where the same winemakers provided a wider range of wines to a larger audience in a more classical tasting format.


My primary takeaway:  These Italian winemakers are building some outstanding wines in wide-ranging regions with a number of lesser-known grape varietals.  Consider for instance, these locations:  Triveneto, Romagna, Chieti, Pescara, Montecucco, Rotaliano, Montagna, Tirano, Teglio, Bevagna, Castione Andevenno.  Or these varietals:  Pignola, Teroldego, Lagrein, Marzemino.   They'll stump many a well-qualified wine steward. 

Menu pairings at the luncheon were as follows:

First course: Fluke Crudo with poppy seeds and espelette in extra virgin olive oil, served with Caviro Trebbiano-Chardonnay Terre Forti.

Second course:  Roasted Pork Loin with Cippolini onions and potato hash, served with Caviro Sangiovese Rubicone IGT Terre Forti and Casal Di Pari Montecucco Rosso DOC.

Third course:  72hr Sous-Vide Short Ribs served medium rare with goat cheese polenta and natural jus, served with Marco Donati Teroldego Rotaliano, Cantina Di Villa Valterllina Superiore "Incontri" and Terre de Trinci Sagrantino di Montefalco.

Tasting notes and reviews from each of the winemakers may be accessed from the following links:


Caviro


Terre de Trinci


Cantina di Villa


Donati Marco


Casal di Pari

I would recognize the team at Balzac Communications & Marketing, which was the agency charged with orchestrating this event on behalf of the sponsoring trade association.  It proved both classy and informative. 


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