June Sweet Club Iowa

 

Sweet Wine Clubmoscato-bottleRuffino
Moscato d’Asti DOCG
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

This sweet wine from the Piedmont region of northwest Italy has an aromatic bouquet and low alcohol content, making it an incredibly pleasant wine to drink. It is bright straw yellow in color. The nose is very fragrant and characteristic of the Moscato varietal. It showcases notes of acacia, elderberry, wisteria and citrus, followed by defined notes of peach, orange blossom and sage. On the palate, the wine delivers a pleasantly sweet taste, with flavors or sage and white stone fruit. Its frizzante wine style and balanced acidity make this wine a versatile companion for lunch, dinner, dessert, or simply on its own.

Analysis: 6% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% White Moscato
Harvest: Mid-September
Serving Temperature: 46°F to 50°F
Serving Glass: Ideally served in a high-stemmed, tulip-shaped glass, allowing the wine to touch the sip of the tongue first, where sweetness is first perceived
Pairing: Moscato d’Asti is a very versatile food companion. It pairs exceptionally well with any type of dessert; or pair with fresh bread, charcuterie, figs, melon or spicy foods.

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an herbal cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

HARVEST AND PRODUCTION: 
“We source the grapes for this wine from the Roero, Monferrato and Langhe regions in southern Piedmont. The first stage of Moscato production is a traditional white wine process. The second stage uses the Charmat method in which the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in tanks and is bottled under pressure to produce light, gently sparkling bubbles and to preserve the fresh, fruit characteristics of the Moscato Bianco grapes.” – Ruffino

ABOUT RUFFINO:
Ruffino is a large wine company based in Tuscany, producing wines from several wine regions in Central and Northern Italy, including Piedmont. The winery was established in 1877 when cousins Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino took on their passion for winemaking by establishing their first winery. Today, more than 140 years later, Ruffino continues to showcase the heritage of these true Italian wines. Learn more about their history here.


MNDASTINVTS-1000815Mondoro
Asti
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Produced entirely from white muscat (moscato) grapes grown in the strictly delineated Asti region of northern Italy, the wine has a delicately sweet character which makes it delightful and refreshing. It is pale yellow in color with fast moving bubbles. On the nose, there is a distinctive and intense aroma of honey and ripe peach. On the palate, it is an intensely sweet and fruity sparkling wine with hints of orange and candied pears.

Analysis: 7% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Moscato
Country: Italy
Region: Piedmont

Appellation: Asti DOCG
Vineyards: Grapes sourced from Canelli, Santo Stefano Belbo and Calosso

Pairing:
Enjoy as an aperitif or with fruit-based desserts.

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an herbal cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

© Photo by Palm Bay International

© Photo by Palm Bay International

HARVEST AND PRODUCTION:
The sparkling wine is created with the Asti Method. Grapes are crushed and the juice is stored at a low temperature until it is needed. When the wine is ready to be made, the grape must is warmed and fermentation takes place in pressurized tanks. Carbon dioxide is allowed to escape until the alcohol level reaches 6% and at this point, the Carbon dioxide is retained – which creates the bubbles. The fermentation continues until the alcohol has reached 7-7.5% alcohol by volume and the pressure is close to 5 atmospheres. The fermentation is stopped by chill filtration and the wine is bottled for immediate release.” – Mondoro


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Sweet Club

 

Duca Carlo Guarini Burdi Negroamaro

Caprese Pesto Pasta Bake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped herbs, such as thyme or oregano (I like a mix of both)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound short cut pasta
  • 3/4 cup basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
  • 23 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 8 ounces shredded or torn mozzarella or burrata cheese
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto (optional)
  • fresh basil, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch Pyrex deep baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cover the bottom of your Pyrex dish with olive oil. In the pan, toss together the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, herbs, crushed red pepper flakes, and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes or until the tomatoes collapse.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and add the pasta back to the pot. Immediately toss with the pesto, spinach, and half of the cheese. Add the tomatoes and all the juices from the tomatoes and gently toss to combine. Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Transfer the pasta back into the Pyrex dish used to roast the tomatoes.  
  4. Evenly sprinkle the remaining cheese over top the pasta, arrange the prosciutto, if using, over the cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the prosciutto is crisp. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh basil. Enjoy!  

© Recipe courtesy of Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest.

JUNE WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoBurdiRosso_1000x1300Duca Carlo Guarini
Burdi Negroamaro Rosso IGT Puglia

Scorrano, Italy

BOLD WINE STYLE

A red wine made from Negroamaro organic certified grapes. It is deep ruby red in color. On the nose it is intense of red fruits and berries, while on the palate it is well balanced and fruity. It is suited to all courses, but pairs exceptionally well with roasts, cheeses and pasta.

Varietal: 100% Negroamaro
Analysis:
13% alcohol / volume
Description: IGT Red Puglia
Yield:
100,000 kg. per hectare
Vinification:
Nine days maceration with skins, temperature controlled fermentation

ABOUT DUCA CARLO GUARINI:
For centuries, Guarini has cultivated their vineyards in the Puglia region of Italy. Their mission is to protect the heritage of the wines in this region, with organic, native grapes vinified in red, rosé and white. All of their wines are mono-varietal, organic and expertly made to respect and express the land where they grow. Learn more about their history here.

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Duca Carlo Guarini Burdi Bianco

Fish Tacos

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, or more to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb tilapia, cod, or mahi mahi

For Serving

  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup Cotija cheese (optional)

Fish Taco Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together vegetable oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper).
  • Place fish into a dish or gallon size resealable bag and pour marinade over fish (if using a bag seal bag and gently move bag around to evenly coat fish with marinade), allow to marinate in mixture 20 minutes (and no longer than 30 minutes).
  • Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Brush grill grates with oil and place fish on grill. Grill until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side (cook time will vary based on thickness of fish). To view oven or stovetop methods, click here.
  • While the fish is cooking whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Season with salt to taste.
  • Break fish into pieces, layer over warm tortillas. Top with cabbage, avocado, cilantro, cheese if using, and fish taco sauce. 

© Recipe courtesy of Jaclyn of Cooking Classy.

JUNE WINE CLUB:

Silky styleBurdiBiancoDuca Carlo Guarini
Burdi Bianco IGT Puglia
Scorrano, Italy

SILKY WINE STYLE

Burdi Bianco wine is light straw-yellow in color. It is intense and fruity on the nose, while on the palate it is fresh, fruity and balanced. This wine is paired well with fish and seafood.

Varietal: 100% Bombino
Analysis:
12% alcohol / volume

Yield: 120000 kg. per hectare
Vinification:
Two hour’s cold maceration with skins, temperature controlled fermentation

ABOUT DUCA CARLO GUARINI:
Since 1114, the Guarini Family has rooted their vineyards in the Apulia region of Italy, between Lecce and Brindisi, overlooking the Adriatic sea. Today, they own 700 hectares of property, farming grapes, olive groves and other grains and vegetables, including fiber and seed hemp. For centuries, they have kept their family’s traditions without sacrificing innovation. Learn more about their estate here.

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

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June Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Grilled Harissa Lamb Chops

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2–3 lbs lamb chops, lamb loin chops or sirloin steaks
  • Grillable veggies – your choice of Zucchini, summer squash, bell pepper, onion, eggplant, mushrooms, etc.
  • Spray olive oil (or use regular)
  • 15–20 fresh Mint leaves

Harissa Spice Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon whole caraway seeds (optional)

Harissa Yogurt:

  • 1 cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste (store-bought or homemade Harissa paste) more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika – optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat Grill to med-high.
  2. Cut lamb chops into single chops or portions. (Use a sharp chef’s knife and slice in between the bones.)  Pat dry.
  3. Mix spices and salt together in a shallow bowl (big enough to fit chop)
  4. Dip both sides of each chop, as well as fatty edge, into the Harissa rub, tap the excess off and place on a sheet pan.
  5. If grilling veggies, lightly toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill these first. Cover, set aside until serving.
  6. Grill the lamb chops. Spray the grill with olive oil spray. Place the chops down and grill 3 minutes (covered) or until good grill marks appear (don’t fiddle with them too much). Spray the top of lamb chops with olive oil, and turn them over. Turn the heat down to medium and grill another 3 minutes. Then, place the fatty edge of the lamb chop on the grill, so they are sitting upright, on their side, leaning them up against each other. Cover and cook another 2 minutes or so, to melt off that fatty layer.  (These are delicious served medium, but feel free to cook through on lower heat if that is your preference.) Remove from grill, cover with foil until ready to serve.
  7. Mix the yogurt with the harissa paste, starting conservatively, adding more to taste. Each Harissa paste has different levels of heat. Chef Sylvia Fountaine likes to a whisk in a teaspoon of smoked paprika to bump up the smoky flavor – up to you.
  8. To serve, cut the grilled veggies into bite-size pieces, and place them on a platter. Top with the grilled lamb chops. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
  9. Serve the Harissa yogurt on the side or spoon a little on each chop.
  10. Serve with a cooked grain like quinoa, basmati rice or even couscous.

Notes: If serving with a cooked grain, make sure to season it. ( Olive Oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and fresh parsley is nice.) You could serve it on the same platter, underneath the veggies and lamb, or serve it on the side.

© Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Fountaine from Feasting at Home.

JUNE WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoBurdiPrimitivoDuca Carlo Guarini
Burdi Primitivo
Rosso IGT Puglia
Scorrano, Italy

BOLD WINE STYLE

The Burdi Primitivo IGT Puglia Rosso wine is an every day wine, made from organic certified grapes. It is deep ruby red in color, and on the palate it is fruity and soft. This wine is ideal with any kind of food, especially pasta, grilled or roasted meat, and seasoned cheese.
 
Varietal: 100% Primitivo
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Description: IGT Red Puglia
Yield:
100,000 kg. per hectare
Vinification: Five Days maceration with skins, temperature controlled fermentation

 

ABOUT DUCA CARLO GUARINI:

The Guarini family has lived in Puglia since 1040, when their ancestors moved from Normandy, arriving in Terra d’Otranto. In 1114, Accardo Guarini, Count of Valesio, founded his vineyard overlooking the Adriatic sea in the Pìutri estate. Since then, the Guarini family continues to take care of the same vineyards, maintaining the traditions founded many centuries ago. Learn more here.

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

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April Sweet Club

 

Luca_Bosio_Sweet_Rosso_bottle-webSweet Wine ClubLuca Bosio Vineyards
Rosso
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Gorgeously fresh with tones of ripe berry, this wine is medium-bodied and well balanced.  It has a delicate frizzante.  With lower alcohol and lower calories, it’s an everyday drinkable wine to enjoy no matter the occasion. 

Analysis: 5.0% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Brachetto
Region: Piedmont, Italy


Pairing:
Serve slightly chilled on its own or with antipastos, prosciutto, fish and white meats.


WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an herbal cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

WINEMAKER NOTES: 
Basic Brachetto is playfully fizzy with two atmospheres of pressure and is known for having low alcohol at 5.0%, a natural range of sweetness. After fermentation, the residual sugar remains relatively high, making the wines sweeter than dry wines. Because the extra sugar stops fermentation early, non-fortified sweet reds tend to be lower in alcohol than dry wines.


Luca_Bosio_Sweet_Black_bottle-webLuca Bosio Vineyards
Black
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

A luscious, fruit forward red blend with voluptuous mouth-feel and layers of strawberries, juicy raspberry and hints of chocolate. The frizzante finish makes it superb.

Analysis: 5.0% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 95% Brachetto, 5% Raspberry, Strawberry fruit infused
Region: Piedmont, Italy

Pairing:
Serve slightly chilled on its own or with antipastos, prosciutto, fish and white meats.


WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an herbal cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

WINEMAKER NOTES:
Basic Brachetto is playfully fizzy with 2 atmospheres of pressure & is known for having low alcohol at 5.0%, a natural range of sweetness. After fermentation, the residual sugar remains relatively high, making the wines sweeter than dry wines. Because the extra sugar stops fermentation early, non-fortified sweet reds tend to be lower in alcohol than dry wines.

WINERY HISTORY:
Now in its 3rd generation, Bosio Family Estates was established in 1967 by farmers Egidio and Angela. After the success of his innovative and progressive ideas, and with the support of the family, the company has taken the name of Luca Bosio Vineyards. The winery is located in the center of the Langhe region of Piedmont, Italy.


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November Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubIl MoscatoMionetto
Il Moscato
Veneto, Italy

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Founded in 1887 by Francesco Mionetto in the small village of Valdobbiadene, Mionetto has an established reputation for quality, tradition and innovation. In the heart of the Prosecco region, Mionetto produces exceptional wines with consistent national and international acclaim.

Mionetto’s Il Moscato has a bright, golden, straw yellow color; persistent nose reminiscent of aromatic grapes; elegant, sweet, delicate palate. Overflowing with stone fruit aromas such as peach and apricot, with slight floral overtones On the palate, it tastes of bright juicy fruit with a refreshing zing from the delicate bubbles. The persistent, fine bubbles enhance the taste experience.

Food Pairing Recommendations: Ideal with fruit, pastries and tarts.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Bubbly’ section pair well with soft or pungent cheeses, such as a Brie and Camembert. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

Analysis:
7% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Moscato
Residual Sugar: 70 g/l
Acidity: 6 g/l
Winemaker: Francesco Mionetto

ABOUT THE WINERY:
In 1887, master winemaker Francesco Mionetto opened the winery in Valdobbiadene, in the heart of the Prosecco area, just north of Venice. His love and passion for the region and its wines are still to this day a fundamental value for this unique winery. Mionetto has become a flagship for the area and a shining example of Prosecco production on the international scene.

From the very beginning, Mionetto has always been a modern and innovative winery able to anticipate trends, while maintaining a strong bond to the traditions of its homeland, a feature which still today sets it apart from other sparkling wine producers.

PRODUCTION:
In 1982, the Mionetto family introduced autoclave fermentation by switching to the Charmat method, which allows for better preservation of the flavors and aromas of Prosecco and other sweet wines. After an initial soft pressing and the temperature-controlled first fermentation that takes place at the facilities of their selected producers, using the Charmat method, the second fermentation takes place in autoclaves instead of individual bottles. This additional temperature-controlled fermentation is recommended in order to help maintain the freshness and aroma of the grape in the bottling phase.

The winemaker’s job is not only to produce a high quality sparkling wine, but to maintain the relationships with local farmers who provide the grapes. Mionetto is fortunate to have relationships with vineyard owners that date back for generations. The strength and longevity of these relationships are what greatly affect the quality and quantity of grapes provided to a winery. 

THE TERRITORY:
Mionetto has become a flagship for the area and a shining example of Prosecco and Moscato production on the international scene. The beauty of the hills takes in many physical forms. While some slopes roll gently towards the valley, others are much steeper. For protection from the prevailing cold alpine winds and icy rains from the North, vines are on Southern slopes. Southeast slopes are best; they face the morning sun, benefiting from the early sunlight and a morning jolt of CO2, needed for sugar production. The climate is generally temperate: the area is protected by the Alps to the North and warmed by the winds of the Adriatic Sea to the East, mitigating the temperature in summer and producing rainfall that favors the proper growth of vines. In late summer, the area is characterized by great temperature variations between day and night, enabling the growth of aromatic substances in the grapes as they mature. Learn more here.

Croft Fine Tawny PortCroft
Fine Tawny Port

Douro Valley, Portugal

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Vivid tawny-red color. Nose of ripe mellow fruit with aromas of figs and prunes set off by an attractive woody and spicy character. Smooth and round on the palate, full of rich jammy flavors.

Food Pairing Recommendations:
Ports are very versatile and can be used for cooking sauces to roasted beef or lamb; or added in desserts for dimension and silkiness.  When simply drinking this port, keep it for desserts, or pair with more savory dishes such as Pâtés, Blue Cheeses, or Walnuts. Check out Croft’s recommended recipes and pairings here.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing:
Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with strong cheeses, such as a Stilton and other Blue cheeses. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.


Analysis: 20% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Blend
Residual Sugar: 100.6 g/l
Acidity: 3.37 g/l

Production:
The Fine Tawny is drawn from a reserve of fine wood ports which have been aged for up to three years in seasoned oak casks, each holding about 650 liters of wine. The individual wines are then blended to guarantee consistency of quality and house style. Croft Fine Tawny is bottled for immediate drinking.


ABOUT THE WINERY:
Croft is one of the most distinguished of all Port houses. Founded in 1588, it is the oldest firm still active today as a Port wine producer. The company is renowned above all for its Vintage Ports as well as for its range of wood aged reserves and tawnies, time-honored styles refined by skill and experience passed down the generations.

As important as its history, traditions and vineyards, is the fact that Croft remains a family company, dedicated to the production of the finest Ports of all styles, from full bodied reserve Ports to the iconic Croft Vintage Ports prized by the connoisseur and collector.

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Sweet Club

Spicy Italian Pork Cutlets

spicy-italian-porkINGREDIENTS:
•  ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
•  4 boneless pork chops, pounded to ½ inch thick
• salt and pepper to taste
• 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 large tomato, diced
• 1/3 cup chicken broth
• ½ cup dry white wine
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
• ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, and quickly sear on both sides. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, and saute the garlic about 30 seconds. Mix in the tomato, chicken broth, wine, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Return the pork chops to the skillet, and continue cooking 5 to 10 minutes, to an internal temperature of 145℉ degrees(63℃).   Serve pork with the tomato and broth mixture from the skillet.  Makes 4 servings.

Silky_StickerLuca_Bosio_ArneisLuca Bosio Vineyards
Roero Arneis
Piedmont, Italy

The Arneis grapes for this wine are grown in the Canale Village of the Roero region of Piedmont.  This area is in the Southeastern section, close to Turin, in the foothills of the Alps at 200-400 ft. above sea level.  The average vine is 20 years and they are grown in sandy soil, at a density of 5,000 plants per hectare.  After harvesting, the grapes spend 24 hours at low temperature in contact with the skin to increase complexities of the aromas.  They are then pressed and the must is fermented in temperature controlled steel tanks.  The wine spends five months on the lees and a final three months ageing in the bottle before shipping. This wine is a perfect accompaniment to white meats like chicken and pork, as well as fish and savory vegetable dishes.

“This wine is clean and bright with floral and tropical aromas.  The palate follows through with notes of pineapple, apricot and peach ending with a crisp and refreshing finish,” Luca Bosio, winemaker

Luca Bosio, winemaker

Luca Bosio, winemaker

Winemaker: Luca Bosio
Appellation: Roero, Piedmont, Italy
Varietal Blend:  100% Arneis
Analysis: 13% alcohol / volume

Pairing recipe with Riva Leone Cortese wine

salmon_toastSmoked Salmon, Fennel & Goat Cheese Toasts

INGREDIENTS:
• 8 oz soft fresh goat cheese
• 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, finely crushed
• 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
• 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
• 30 thin slices French-bread baguette
• 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
• 12 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon
• Lemon peel strips (for garnish)
• Tarragon sprigs (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix first 5 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Set aside.
Brush oil over both sides of bread. Arrange bread in single layer on large baking sheet. Bake until bread is just crisp, about 5 minutes per side. (Cheese mixture and toasts can be made 2 days ahead. Cover cheese mixture and chill. Cool toasts; store airtight at room temperature.)  Spread cheese mixture over toasts. Top with salmon, trimming to fit. Garnish with lemon peel strips and tarragon sprigs. Arrange on platter and serve. Recipe compliments of Bon Appétit, December 1999

RivaLeone_Gavi_wine_bottleRiva Leone
Cortese DOCGSilky_Sticker
Gavi, Italy

Today old vine growers of Piedmont still tell the story of the shrewd and tenacious fine-wine trader who operated in the hills around Alba in the 19th and 20th centuries. His name was Riva Leone and he was a pretty extravagant character. It is said that, whenever a wine pleased him during a tasting, he would call out in the way that was typical for that time: Marca Leone! Riva-Leone_winemaker-GiovanniThe Piedmont people’s enthusiasm for wine never faded over all these years and today it is still intact. And that is why Riva Leone today boasts a range of fine Piedmont wines. Cortese di Gavi or known simply as Gavi, derives it name from the town at the center of it’s production zone. Cortese, the local variety of the grape style, production dates back to 1876 and was awarded DOC status in 1974 and DOCG in 1998.

Winemaker: Giovanni Alessandria
Appellation: Gavi, Italy
Varietal Blend:  100% Gavi
Analysis: 12.5% alc/vol

Marco Barbanera, Super Tuscan wine and pasta pairing

Pasta Bolognese

INGREDIENTS:pasta-bolognese-wine-pairing

• 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes with juice or crushed tomatoes
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 6 ounces pancetta or 6 slices bacon, finely chopped
• 1/4 pound ground pork (not lean)
• 1/4 pound ground beef chuck (not lean)
• 1/4 pound ground veal
• 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
• 1 carrot, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
• 1 cup dry red wine
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pound small pasta such as orecchiette or rotini
• Garnish: Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

DIRECTIONS:

If using whole tomatoes, in blender or food processor, purée tomatoes with juice. Set aside.  In large, heavy pot over moderate heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking. Add pancetta and sauté until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add beef, pork, and veal and sauté, breaking up meat with back of spoon, until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add onion and carrot and sauté until vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir in red wine and simmer, scraping up browned bits stuck to bottom of pan, until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cream, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and brick-red in color, approximately 30 minutes. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until almost tender. Drain well and toss with sauce. Serve with grated cheese. Yields 6 servings. Recipe courtesy of Epicurious.com, Chef Joseph W. DiPerri, The Culinary Institute of America.

mellowBarbanera_Rosso Toscana SuperTuscanMarco Barbanera
Rosso Toscana IGT
Super Tuscan
Tuscany, Italy

Marco Barbanera’s winery is a supreme example of how traditional methods of winemaking have benefited from the careful introduction of modern techniques.  The experience and knowledge of many generations enable the Barbanera family to select the right vine for a particular vineyard with its particular microclimate.MARCO-BARBANERA-winemaker-Blog The work in the cellar demands a special degree of sensitivity and attention to detail. “It’s like composing a painting”, according to Marco Barbanera, “when it’s almost complete, with a last decisive brush stroke you can transform it into a masterpiece”. Pairs well with grilled or roasted red meat and spicy chicken dishes.

Winemaker: Marco Barbanera
Appellation: Tuscany, Italy
Varietal Blend:  Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis: 13% alc/vol

Summer Wine Tips

DougFrostInterview with Doug Frost, Master of Wine and Master Sommelier

What wines or sparkling wines do you advise people to select to enjoy over the summer?
First off, I always insist that people should drink whatever they like, and stop worrying about the “right” wine, whatever that is. As the temperature rises, most are thinking of cool, refreshing drinks, and that leaves lots of wine options. For reasonably priced bubbly, Prosecco from Italy and Cava from Spain have been the go-to wines for years. I’m a big German wine fan, and I go through lots of German Rieslings during the summer. The tangy, incipient tartness of Riesling is ideal for a touch of fruity sweetness. When you add that to spicy foods and even tangy BBQ sauces, it’s a surprisingly adept grape.

What white wines do you suggest to pair with popular summertime dishes?
If people use lighter vinaigrettes for their salads, crisp and tangy wines are just ideal. Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino and many Italian white wines make a lovely marriage, especially when you toss some grilled shrimp, fish or chicken on top of the salad.
Grill marks have a certain bitterness, even when they appear on grilled vegetables. Try either a fruity wine to offset the grill marks and the smoke (something fruity like Beaujolais, Dolcetto or Barbera) or use a wine that has a bit of bitterness, like more astringent Italian reds (Sagrantino, Sangiovese or Nebbiolo).

What are your tips for storing wine during the summer months?
Make sure never to leave wine bottles in a hot car. Heat can damage a wine in only a few minutes. If it’s too warm to leave your beloved pet in the car, don’t leave your favorite bottle of wine, either.