Monthly Archives: April 2012

Vinitaly Continues – 2012 US Tour

I have been away from my blog for almost two whole weeks. In the meantime, I have traveled far and wide in the United States with much to tell and write about. Lucky for me I seem to move from one Vinitaly to the next. I know I am still stuck on Vinitaly Day 2 on this blog but the Vinitaly US Tour has taken precedence in the last month and I’m really excited for the Chicago and New York legs of the tour. Friends Tom Hyland and Charlie Aurturaola are leading seminars in Chicago and New York, respectively as is Ian Wolff of La Cucina Italiana. We’re going to have some great panels on brand building in NY and restaurant trends in both Chicago and NY. I’m really looking forward to visiting Chicago again for Monday’s event. What a great city with such a hot wine scene. Always much to learn from peers and new and old friends. If you aren’t yet signed up, please check out the information on If you are at the event, please come and say hello to me. I’ll be the woman in violet.

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Happy Easter, Buona Pasqua – Gita Fuori Porta

Today was Easter, a holiday I love actually. I tried to go to hear Gospel music but was thwarted in my attempt by renovations at the church I like to go to. I’m glad the Church is being renovated though, it needs it.

It’s a beautiful historic church in Harlem that I like to go to when I want to hear a sermon. Instead, I made my way to St. John the Divine, another church I am partial to on the West Side. Sometimes when I stand on west 112th street and look west at the rose window on St. John the Divine, I can fantasize that I am having a “gita fuori porta,” a lovely expression for a trip outside of the city, outside of the city walls. The view looks to me like that of a gothic cathedral, like Reims or Rouen.

I love French gothic Cathedrals and have spent many a day looking through them and traveling to see them specifically. To stay with the French theme, a friend and I shared an Easter meal at my local haunt, Picnic. A bistro with delicious but too pricey food. I had a glass of Paul Blanck’s Pinot Blanc. It was bigger and fruitier than I had imagined but delicious nonetheless with lovely acidity and mineral notes. While I stayed in NYC this Easter, these jaunts made me feel like I had been on my own “gita fuori porta.”

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Happy Passover: Kosher Chianti from Terra di Seta

Today is the first night of Passover and I brought a bottle of Kosher wine to my family gathering. I brought the wine all the way from Italy in fact, it’s the 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva from the Terra di Seta winery. I just met with Daniele and his life wife Maria at Vinitaly. They gave me a bottle of this wine to try at home and I thought I would save it for tonight.

I wrote extensively about them on this blog last year. They are a lovely couple that make a really nice Chianti at Italy’s only all Kosher winery.

Many in the States know other Italian wines but most are made by teams of religious Jews who work in an otherwise none Kosher winery. Today as my family celebrates the Exodus I know my Dad will tell the story of when his two relatives showed up after the Holocaust during the Seder. in 1948 when he opened the door to let in Elijah, he found his long lost relatives standing outside Lillian and Samuel. They were the only ones to escape from Auschwitz. My great grandmother lost 7 sisters and their families during the Holocaust, 80 people. Tonight, as always we remember them and all the others who perished because of their faith. I’m by no means a religious person but this is one holiday I always celebrate and a story I always will remember and pass on. Chag Sameach.

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Vinitaly Day 2: Part 2 – Lombardy & Lugana, Valle d’Aosta & Prie Blanc, Petite Arvine

Vinitaly this year was blessed with incredible weather. It actually felt almost like Summer or certainly the end of Spring. Usually I try to taste whites in the morning and reds in the afternoon. I know I am not alone in this. Areas of the country with big red wines tended to be more crowded in the late hours of the day.

Every year, I start my day in the Lombardy pavilion. It is always in the Palaexpo and is the first building when you get in the door. There are many white wines from the region that I love including of course, all of the Franciacorta wines.

This year, I had a meeting with a producer that makes Lugana. Lugana is a white wine made in the Lake Garda region from the Trebbiano di Lugana grape. While Trebbiano Toscano or other Trebbianos are often dismissed, this Trebbiano is one to remember. I tried three wines made with the Lugana and was quite impressed with all three.

I had done a big Lugana tasting two years ago as well and know that the wine can also age. I think Lugana could be the next big aperitivo wine. It has lots of minerality, great white fruit and floral notes and is relatively contained in terms of its alcoholic content, 12 -12.5%.

I also spent time on Monday last at the Valle d’Aosta counter. Another big hit from a previous Vinitaly. This year I tasted through some of the whites from the region including great wines from Ottin. I really liked their Petite Arvine, among other wines.

This wine did speak of a place and made me want to yodel, just like the Enoteca blogger mentioned. It was minerally and nicely acidic with great floral notes.

Prie Blanc, another white from the Valle d’Aosta is the grape used to make the well-known wines from Blanche de la Salle et Morgex. The wines from Ermes Pavese really stood out for me this time. I was impressed by the clarity and precision of these wines which was a refreshing change from some of the wines I had tasted. These wines screamed of place and altitude, just what I wanted – a sense of terroir.

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Filed under Italian indigenous Grape Varieties, Italian regions, Italian wineries, Lombardy, Valle d'Aosta, wines