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.