Exploring the Diversity of Prosecco Superiore DOCG

Enjoy Prosecco? Sure you do. It is one of the most refreshing sparkling wines in the world. Prosecco is great to drink on its own, yet it pairs very well with food. How well? Last night, Giulia Pussini and Cinzia Sommarvia of the Consorzio Tutela del Vino Congliano Valddobbiadene Prosecco DOCG region came all the way to New York, to a SoHo restaurant called Marche Maman to showcase how well the many different styles of their wine pairs with food Cinzia, pictured in the black dress with the blonde hair, spoke extensively about the different styles of Prosecco DOCG  (Dry, Brut, Extra Brut) that are enjoyed at different times in the course of a meal. The dishes had an Asian theme, with passed Hors d’Oeuvres including mini braised beef roll garnished with cilantro, for example, served with San Feletto Congliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut, and the appetizer of steamed pork ...

Yarden Inc Tasting & Seminar with Golan Heights Winery Winemaker Victor Schoenfeld at Gramercy Tavern

Of course, you have been hearing the buzz about Israeli wines for years now. Yet when you think about wine from Israel, did you ever think “cool climate” or “volcanic?” So you can imagine how interesting it was for me to sit down for a tasting with very crisp white wines with fresh acidity and learn that they were from Israel. Most people think of Israel as a Mediterranean climate. The secret, according to longtime winemaker American-born Victor Schoenfeld, is that the Golan Heights is one of the highest altitude regions in Israel, and also, planting the white varieties on the North facing side. Victor is also very active in the vineyards, as he feels this is where wine is truly made. The tasting began with the Yarden Brut Rose 2012, 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, with over five years on the lees. The wine was a very pale ...

#AlsaceRocks Trade Events in NYC

It was very exciting to attend the #AlsaceRocks event on June 24, where lucky guests had the opportunity to try a very wide variety of Alsace wines, ranging from sparkling to late harvest. Wines of Alsace USA and Stephanie Teuwen and her staff really created a fabulous event, with a “soil station” so that guests could try Riesling from different terroirs, for example, and also taste the range of Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Blanc, and other wines from a variety of vineyards in Alsace. Though the  Alsace Rocks walk around tasting was remarkable, the two lectures I attended, featuring Joshua Nadel, MS, Alsace Ambassador and Beverage Director of NoHo Hospitality Group, as well as Thierry Fritsch. Head Oenologist and Chief Educator for the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d’Alsace.

The first seminar focused on ageability of Alsace wines, with bottlings dating back to 1989, and the second was “Rockin’ with Riesling,” which discussed soil ...

Dinner with California Winemaker Bob Peti, Eponymous

It was delightful to see California winemaker Bob Pepi again, as he dashed through New York for a flurry of business meetings.

As a consulting winemaker in North and South America, Bob likes to joke that he’s seen 58 vintages, referring not to his age as much as taking advantage of the ability to make two harvests a year. As a consultant to wineries in Argentina in the early days, he’s seen the full evolution of that country’s wine, from its original emphasis on heavier white wines and now its lighter, fresher style, partially as a result of his influence in that country.

While it is not quite appropriate to say that Bob was “to the manner born,” he did have a head-start in life by virtue of the fact his father had the good sense to buy some top land in the Napa Valley in the mid-sixties. As incredible ...

Tasting With Craig McAllister, Head Winemaker of La Crema

What a great tasting today with Craig McAllister, Head Winemaker of La Crema, part of the Jackson Wine Family. Craig originally joined the La Crema team in 2007 as the Harvest Enologist.  After gaining additional experience abroad, he joined the La Crema team full time in 2009. He is passionate about cool-climate winemaking, which is evident from several of the wines experienced at today’s tasting. We started with the 2017 Pinot Noir rosé from the Saralee , so exclusive it is only sold in fine restaurants and through the La Crema wine club. Then we moved on to two single vineyard Chardonnay, the first was the Saralee Chardonnay 2015, a luxurious rich wine with malolactic fermentation and lees aging, and then the Kelli Ann Chardonnay which was extremely Burgundian in style.  Then we moved on to two Pinot Noir wines, the first was the 2015 Russian River ...

Visiting Ida Agnoletti and Her Winery in Montello

    What a wonderful experience to have these precious moments with Ida Agnoletti. Though I have not heard about her before this visit to her region in the area of Asolo E Montello, if she was a winemaker in the Napa Valley everyone would know about her because of her adventurous nature and all the many different ways she is flirting with a variety of wine vinification techniques.   In this report it is more important to tell you about the spirit of Ida than talk about tasting notes of her Prosecco and her signature dry red wines. The spirit of Ida is a very forceful thing. It infuses everything she does and everyone she encounters. When we first met her in near the vineyard, we initially received a shot of her personality. Yet at that point she was a bit more reserved, simply telling us a bit about ...

Visiting Asolo

You have heard of the delicious sparkling wine called Prosecco, yes? And if you love wine, you might have heard that Prosecco actually comes from the name of a region called Prosecco. (In the Old World, wines take their name from the town). Yet did you realize that much of the highest-end, best quality Prosecco actually comes from a mountainous town called Asolo, just about a half-hour from the Marco Polo airport in Venice. I had not heard of Asolo DOCG either, and like most wine experts presumed Conegliano-Valdabbiadene DOCG was the only region that offered quality DOCG wines The consortium of Asolo DOCG wants to change that. Towards that end, they invited select USA journalists to visit the region not just with an eye towards trying the wine, but experiencing the people and the terroir. It is a brilliant idea, because at trade fairs just tasting a wine reveals ...

Visiting the Tenuta Amadio Estate

The Tenuta Amadio estate embodies an ancient yet modern spirit, the result of the love and commitment of the various generations of the Rech family for these hills. Our visit with charming brother and sister Simone and Silvia Rech, members of the new generation, began with a tour of this gorgeous estate. The estate’s origins date back to 1850, when the head of the family Amadio Rech came into possession of this terrain in the Castelli di Monfumo hills and began to grow grapes and the famous autochthonous apples.
After being a source of income and support for all the family for many years, the apple market collapsed and the estate was abandoned. Simone and Silvia Rech brought back to life thanks to their passion.

The estate is divided into three separate vineyards: Vigneto del Biss, Vigneto del Longon and Vigneto Era Grande, allowing for the cultivation of grapes with different ...

Tuesday Morning Tasting of Asolo Prosecco Superior Extra Brut

This morning started with a greeting by the consorzio president, Armand Serena.

Yesterday morning, Monday, we tasted the Extra Brut, and today we were to taste the Extra Dry. Before the tasting began, we chatted with Mr. Serena a bit about what was preferred globally – dry or sweet Prosecco. From the American point of view, a dry wine is “viewed” as being more prestigious, but many today are drinking sweet. All the wines presented had excellent balance. One interesting note: this trip is all about terroir, namely the terroir of Asolo. Today it was much easier to taste the terroir, and the differences between the producers, than in the tastings yesterday. Perhaps sugar creates a barrier to terroir.  In any event all the wines were fabulous and I love the 2016 Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG made to showcase the cooperative and the pure expression of Asolo terroir.

Asolo ...

Tour of Historic Asolo Tasting and Tour with Simone Morlin

The official kick off of this visit is the charming town of Asolo, a very affluent town that has some very high hotels, yet retains its historic natural charm.  The city with its ancient stone walls and curved streets is famous for a variety of historic reasons, but today it is the premiere producer of the best DOCG and DOC Prosecco.

In the tasting room of Bottiglieria Al Moretto, led by affable director of the Asolo E Montello consortium director Simone Morlin, we taste an excellent representation of Prosecco from Asolo.

The wine was specially chosen – and created- to represent the classic style of DOCG wine from Asolo.  The reason is that in the past, various wines from different producers would be showcased at wine tasting events and fairs such as VinItaly and ProWein.

But with nearly 100 producers in the consortium, choosing just one or two ...

Lovely Serena Agriturimo Hotel in Asolo, Italy

Do you remember the scene in The Godfather when the mother goes to the estate of the lording “Don” to not kill her only remaining son? Do you remember that grand mansion and expansive grounds?

That is what I was reminded of when my driver pulled the Agriturismo Villa Serena. It is a beautiful estate that looks like it was over a hundred years old, but it was realy just build about ten years ago by a single family.

The concept of an Agriturismo is designed to highlight local wine, olive oil and other farm products to sell to tourists who can also stay at the Agriturismo and get a sense of “local life”

In any event, it is the lovely Serena herself who welcomes me to the estate. The Agriturismo provides a delicious breakfast but not lunch, so I made due with some wine from the Agriturismo and some ...

Chateau Montelena 2015 Calistoga Zinfandel

Do you love Zinfandel? On the Master of Wine exams, you can usually find a California Zinfandel in our flight of 12 wines to be blind tasted. Why do I mention this?  Because the Institute of Masters of Wine is a British based program (though filled with international students), the UK folks seem to see “California Zinfandel” as the shinning star of what the USA has to offer. And if you love Zinfandel, you must agree! Last night I tried the Chateau Montelena 2015 Calistoga Zinfandel and thought it was fabulous. The tannins were very velvet, showcasing the way the wine spent 16 months in French, Irih, and American oak, 19% new. And the acidity was very well integrated into the wine, rendering it brisk and refreshing as opposed to heavy despite the 14.5%. It’s a great wine for all types of cuisine, not just steak, though it is ...

Trivento Malbec Wine, Anytime

Is there such a thing as too much Malbec? I recently had the opportunity to try three Malbec wines from Argentina and they were all fabulous, reflecting differences in terroir and also winemaking. The Trivento Reserve Malbec 2016 ($11) was in French oak barrels for six months, resulting in that discreet but luscious taste of vanilla and spice with black fruit. The Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec 2015 is a great example of high altitude viticulture, with refreshing acidity and ripe black fruit. And the Casillero del Diablo Malbec 2016 simply delicious. The wines were enjoyed with a wide variety of food – and amazingly, none of them steak. The Trivento Reserve Malbec went great with branzino at a top Italian restaurant, and the Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec with S. African shrimp at a Greek restaurant. Trivento is one of the leading producers of Malbec wine in Argentina, and it shows. ...

Food and Wine Books 2018

Food & Wine Books for 2018

A few of our favorite books for food & wine lovers.
Sous Vide Cookbook

The Complete Sous Vide Cookbookir?t=thewinschofph 20&l=am2&o=1&a=1977762808 - Vino Divino

Back in the Iron Age, I worked my way up into an executive chef position. I’m not talking prehistory (that would be a feat) but when all food was cooked using the raw power of hot iron grills under massive exhaust hoods. I left the kitchen back in the 90’s, just before a quiet revolution was about to begin. Actually, it had already started in the 1970’s in France, but it wasn’t until the first years of the 21st century that it started making its way into commercial North American kitchens. The technique, called sous vide cooking, remained virtually unknown outside of the professional chef community, despite how fundamentally it changed cooking.

This is a cookbook that should be on every home cook’s shelf. Chef Chris McDonald has a firm ...

Larousse Wine
Way of Whisky
Wine is Bottled Poetry
What a Swell Party it Was
Palate Passport
Pantry and Palate

Is Xinomavro Wine from Naoussa the new Pinot Noir?

The Greek Tribecca restaurant was the scene for an exciting evening of the Xinomavro grape from Naoussa. According to Jancis Robinson,Xinomavro is a black grape variety that is the most famous as the grape of Naoussa. Its name means ‘acid black’ and the wines can indeed seem harsh in youth but they age well. On hand during this evening hosted by the lovely Artemis of the Kohas Agency were representatives of the region including Markus Stolz from Elloinos, aka The Greek Wine Insider, and Sotiris Bafitis of Verity. Xinomavro is of the few Greek vine varieties which may not reach full ripeness in some years. The wines are very Pinot Noir-like, relatively soft but to have good acid, attractive bite, and age well. The post Is Xinomavro Wine from Naoussa the new Pinot Noir? appeared first on Wine Reviews: A Wine Story.
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