I’ve decide to challenge myself in June before my long Italy trip and will write 30 posts in 30 days on wines from all over. All of July will certainly be about Italy so this month, I think I will explore other countries as well. Happy reading!
Monthly Archives: May 2016
While the weather decides what it wants to do today, I have figured out what I feel like drinking with our picnic later – Beaujolais. Beaujolais made from the gamay grape comes in many different iterations, all of which would work with picnic fare. Beaujolais Nouveau is considered by many to be less than a stellar wine but I think it has a definite place at the picnic table as well. Fresh and friendly it is a wine that works well early in the day with a summer meal. Of course, the Beaujolais village wines are the more prestigious and the ones that can pair better with many of the aromas and flavors that grace any Barbecue worth it’s name. I particularly like Chiroubles but each one of the 10 cru Beaujolais has characteristics that make them great wines. Check out this guide to the Beaujolais crus by the Flatiron wine shop.
It is likely that your local wineshop will have at least one of the wines made by Louis Jadot. They are wonderful wines and almost always a sure bet to bring to a party as well.
A group that promotes Beaujolais is known Les Campagnons Du Beaujolais Summer has arrived and I intend to add Beaujolais Crus to my summer wine list. They are also easy on the wallet, always a joy.
I love eating outside and this weekend is supposed to be really hot so I am only in the mood for whites – particularly sparkling wine, of all kinds. I think your party hosts will agree with me and a bottle of something bubbly will do the trick. There are so many sparklers in the world that I love, Italian and others: Franciacorta, Prosecco, Trento DOC, Champagne, Cava, Blanquette di Limoux, and others. Last week at the Penin tasting I tried many fantastic Cavas and all would be a great choice with your holiday fare. I know I will be toasting with sparkling wine next week. I hope you will too.
In Italy, so many producers are making sparkling wine from indigenous varieties that you really have your pick of wines. I am excited to hear what you will be drinking. Cin Cin!
As Memorial Day approaches and I see so many sailors around New York City, my thoughts go to USA wines and USA veterans. I don’t know of any wineries started by US veterans. I am sure there are some though and I would love to taste their wines. Often Memorial Day is about picnics and the start of the summer but I try to remember what it really stands for and those who have sacrificed so much for this country. According to Wikipedia
“Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. Thank you to all those who have served our country, including all of older relatives who fought in WWII.
I’ve wanted to visit the Barboursville Winery in Virginia for about four years or ever since I picked up a brochure on Virginia wineries and what great stuff an Italian named Luca Paschina had been doing with grapes, especially Viognier in that area. He was working at Barboursville which is owned by the Zonin family from the Veneto. Thomas Jefferson, once a residence of the big white house in the picture, actually designed the original home at Barboursville.
Barboursville is an odd combination of American and Italian touches. The restaurant, aptly named the Palladio – both for the Zonin’s heritage from the Veneto and Jefferson’s preferred building style, served a lovely combination of Italian specialties with an American flair. The head sommelier of course hailed from Italy and is a member of the Italian Sommelier Association, as am I.
Barboursville is very famous for a wine…
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I watch Italian news every night after the PBS newshour and yesterday I realized that it was May 23 – the anniversary of Giovanni Falcone’s murder. Now it’s 24 years since his death and according to the Italian President, much has changed in terms of organized crime. I was happy to hear that piece of news. Falcone is still on my fridge and I think of him often.
Every year May 23 is a day that I mark in some way. It is the anniversary of the murder of a famous judge in Italy named Giovanni Falcone. His picture is on my refrigerator along with those of my family and Bruce Springsteen. Falcone was a hero in my world, a crusader for justice. He was also a man who was murdered with his wife and members of his “scorta” or protection detail by the Mafia. He was someone who was trying to do the right thing and make living in all parts of Italy, a country I love, better and freer for all.
Here’s a post I wrote about him a couple of years ago. I wonder what Italy would be like if he had lived and been able to continue his fight these last 21 years.
My wine of the week is Ronco del Gelso’s Vigna della Permuta. This wine is made from Malvasia, a grape that I am not usually partial to except when it comes from this particular part of Friuli, Isonzo. Here I find it shows great fruit, minerality, salinity and spice. A powerful combination that makes it a great food wine. I would love to have this wine with Indian food or Sushi. The aromas and flavors are due to the great micro-climate, soils and fresh breezes in this area as well as its proximity to the sea. The winery made it’s first official wine in 1988 when they were producing 3,000 bottles. They now make 150,000 some 28 years later. Most of their wines are whites but they also make a Cabernet and a red blend using Pignolo and Merlot. I tried a number of their wines at a tasting earlier this year and found them all to be beautifully made and elegant wines.
Thinking about Greece and Greek Wine Week I reread this post. While some of the troubles seem to have slightly abated, since I wrote this post the migrant crisis always comes to mind when I think of Greece and the thousands of people who have gone to their shores. Being in NYC, the crisis can seem very far away. I wonder if sailing around the islands in Greece makes it all the more real when you come upon objects perhaps at sea or are somewhere where lots of migrants end up such as Lesbos. It is hard to know what to do because on the one hand you want to support the country and travel there while on the other, it feels wrong to be vacationing in a spot where so many people are suffering and have lost everything. I haven’t worked out in my mind what the right thing to do is yet. I think about this topic a lot and I remember not visiting Lampedusa for this reason as well.
Greece has been top of mind all week because of their financial troubles and what it may mean for Europe. In my previous life, I used to write about such events and their impact on stock markets. In my current life, thinking about Greece leads me to write about Greek wines I have tasted lately as well. I feel lucky to be able to consider both of these worlds part of my professional life.
The Wines of Crete tasting two weeks ago transported me back immediately to that sun blessed country. Their wine making history is very involved, dating back to ancient times that it is almost overwhelming to think about. I visited Crete many years ago and remember the taste of the tomatoes on the island, oddly enough but hadn’t had the wines in a couple of years. The tasting was a welcome moment to try grape varieties that…
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