November Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubParmigiano_ReggianoG. Cravero
Parmigiano Reggiano

Bra, Italy

This cheese is unlike your typical parmesan. It’s smooth, creamy, lush, sweet, buttery, aromatic, fruity and mouthwatering. Because it is so unique, this cheese is recommended to served alone, or as the star of your cheese board – not to be grated atop your dishes.  

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS:
This cheese pairs beautifully with a glass of Prosecco. It will also pair well with any of the wines from our November Wine Club Selections. For beer, look for a light Pilsner or Lager. 

WINESTYLES: Bold, Mellow or Silky
BEERSTYLES: Crisp & Clean

ABOUT G. CRAVERO:
Founded in 1855 by Giorgio Cravero, the Cravero family have been carefully selecting and maturing the very best Parmigiano Reggiano in their own cheese caves in Bra, Piedmont, Italy. For the past five generations, the traditions have been passed down from father to son, each perfecting the craft of cheese aging. Today, their cheese is packed up and shipped out to more than 20 different countries across the globe.

The Cravero family works with a select group of small-scale producers in the Tuscan Emilian Apennine region to buy their cheese; it’s this local pasture and forage that lends the milk to be so creamy, soft and subtly sweet.  After the selected cheeses have been aged for about 12 months, they are brought to the Cravero maturing rooms in Bra, where the magic really starts to happen. From here, the team pays close attention to the changing seasons for the next 24 months to guarantee the unique nature of their product.

In June of 2022, we (owners, Bryan and Andrea McGinness, a few of our WineStyles guests, and myself) had the opportunity to tour Cravero’s facility during our trip to Northern Italy with Cheese Journeys. We meet with the current owner, Giorgio Cravero (the third Giorgio since 1855), who showed us around, what he considered to be, his small family business. Their twenty-foot high aging rooms (or caves), house around 5,000 wheels of cheese – a capacity that seemed daunting to us, however, Cravero explained to be “tiny” in comparison to other affineurs (someone who practices the art of caring for, ripening and aging the cheese). Learn more about their family history here.

Information © G. Cravero – All Rights Reserved.


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October Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubBarolo_Via_Nuova_DOCG_Wine_BottleE. Pira e Figli
Barolo Via Nuova DOCG 2018
Nebbiolo
Piedmont, Italy

BOLD WINE STYLE

This classic Barolo blend combines structure with elegance and complexity, emphasizing the particularities of each vineyard site. Though a bit timid when first opened, some time in the glass (or decanter) will reveal Via Nuova’s alluring ethereal floral and fruit perfumes. This wine is clear and lively garnet red in color. It is dry, savory and harmonious; soft in flavor but full with a lasting persistence due to the tannin.

Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Nebbiolo, certified organic grapes
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Vineyard: Terlo and Liste in Barolo, Ravera and Mosconi in Monforte d’Alba, and Gabutti and Baudana in Serralunga d’Alba
Yield: 450 kg/ha
Aging: Aging for 24 months in lightly toasted 30% new French oak barriques
Average age of vines: 30 years
Acidity: 6.37 g/L
Production: 4,500 bottles
Soil: Calcareous clay, Sant’Agata marl (sandstone)
Average Altitude: 340 m (1,115 feet) above sea level
Vinification: Fermentation in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature with daily punch downs and pump-overs
Harvest: Mid-October
Cellar: E. Pira Chiara Boschis, Barolo
Bottling: Aged an additional 1 year in bottle
Release: Spring, 3.5 years after harvest
Critical Acclaim: 

  • James Suckling 94 pts. – 2018 vintage
  • Wine Advocate 94 pts. – 2018 vintage
  • Vinous Media 94 pts. – 2018 vintage
  • See previous vintage scores here.
Chiara_Boschis_E. Pira & Figli_Vineyard_and_winery

© Chiara Boschis, owner of E. Pira & Figli

WINEMAKER NOTES:
Via Nuova (New Road) was the name of a small vineyard on the edge of the historical center of Barolo, the name coming from its proximity to the road (new at that time) connecting Barolo to Novello. All that remains today of the road is a small walking path through the vineyards. The wine was produced as a single-vineyard Barolo for many years until, in 2010, this small Cru was incorporated into the larger Terlo subzone. And so, as a sort of homage to tradition, Barolo Via Nuova is now produced as a blend of 6 different vineyards: Terlo and Liste in Barolo, Ravera e Mosconi in Monforte d’Alba and Gabutti and Baudana in Serralunga d’Alba. – E. Pira e Figli


Barolo_Mosconi_DOCG_Wine_BottleCollectors Wine ClubE. Pira e Figli
Barolo Mosconi DOCG 2018
Nebbiolo
Piedmont, Italy

BOLD WINE STYLE

Garnet red in color, this wine is complimented by open perfumes of flowers and mature fruit with some spicy notes. This is a long-lasting wine of power and concentration with firm, velvety tannins.

Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Nebbiolo, certified organic grapes
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Vineyard: Mosconi (a single-vineyard property acquired in 2009) in Moforte d’Alba
Yield: 450 kg/ha
Aging: Aging for 24 months in lightly toasted 30% new French oak barriques
Average age of vines: 30 years
Acidity: 6.37 g/L
Production: 4,700 bottles
Soil: Calcareous clay marl soils from the tertiary period, with areas rich in calcium carbonate and iron
Average Altitude: 400 m (1,312 feet) above sea level
Vinification: Fermentation in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature with daily punch downs and pump-overs
Harvest: Mid-October
Cellar: E. Pira Chiara Boschis, Barolo
Bottling: Aged an additional 1 year in bottle
Release: Spring, 3.5 years after harvest
Critical Acclaim: 

  • Wine Advocate 96 pts. – 2018 vintage
  • James Suckling 94 pts. – 2018 vintage
  • Vinous Media 94 pts. – 2018 vintage
  • See previous vintage scores here.

WINEMAKER NOTES:
The most recently acquired parcel, the famous Mosconi Cru in Monforte d’Alba was purchased in 2009. The vineyard’s particular heavy clay soil (in some areas calcium carbonate and iron give the soil a reddish-gray color) lends considerable structure to this wine, making it a Barolo ideal for aging. – E. Pira e Figli 

Chiara_Boschis_Barolo_Wine_Cellar

© Chiara Boschis, owner of E. Pira & Figli

ABOUT E. PIRA E FIGLI WINERY:

E. Pira e Figli is a key player in the history of Barolo. The Pira family, whose members have been vignerons since the seventeenth century, started producing and bottling wines by the 19th century, and received immediate praise for their work. 

In late 1980, the Pira lineage came to a tragic end with the death of the legendary, Luigi (Gigi) Pira (one of the last remaining winemakers to carry out the pressing on foot and the production without the support of any technical means). The estate was then sold to the Boschis family, who had deep family ties with the Pira family. By the end of the 1980’s, Chiara Boschis took the reins of the winery, becoming one of the first women producers in the Langhe. She quickly became a ‘Superwoman’ of the region with her daring and innovative decisions – garnering much acclaim from international publications.

Since 2010, Chiara has been joined by her brother, Giorgio, who shares her same great passion for work in the vineyard and in the cellar. Learn more about their story here.

Photos and Information © E. Pira e Figli – All Rights Reserved.


Donatella_Colombini_Rosso_di_Montalcino_Wine_BottleCollectors Wine ClubDonatella Cinelli Colombini
Rosso di Montalcino

Sangiovese
Tuscany, Italy

BOLD WINE STYLE

This wine is “Brunello’s younger and smiley brother”. Obtained from the same Sangiovese grapes and the same Montalcino area, but designed to be consumed sooner. This young red wine is very intense and brilliant ruby red in color. The nose is fine, rich, and well expressed; there are notes of ripe small red berries, spices and dark flowers, such as violets. The palate is full, harmonious and pleasant. The tannins are silky and well balanced by the richness of the fruit. The persistence is pleasant and lengthy.

Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Sangiovese
Serving: Serve at a temperature between 60.8ºF-64.4ºF, in a balloon shapes wine goblet. Those who wish to open and drink immediately will find it useful to use a decanter.
Food Pairing: Versatile and perfect for the table. Opt for important first courses, roasts, tasty cheeses and cold cuts. This wine requires food that is intense in taste, but not too fatty or greasy.

Critical Acclaim: 90-91/100 from some of the most prestigious international wine magazines 

ABOUT THE VINEYARDS:
The vineyards at Casato Prime Donne are cultivated following the organic regime and cover a total of 16 hectares, three of which are always designated to the production of Rosso di Montalcino. These vineyards are on the northern, and coolest, area of Montalcino, on a hill about 225 m. above sea level, where the soil is made up of clays and sea sands. Each vineyard is divided into 6 small parcels and contain about 5,000 vines per hectare. The grapes are cultivated with the spurred cordon method, and the average production is about 6 tons of grapes per hectare.

HARVEST AND VINIFICATION:
The grapes are harvested by hand between September 15th and October 10th (depending on the climate of the year). The clusters are chosen right in the vineyard and then the berries are selected on an automatic sorting table where two women work. Generally the grapes for Rosso di Montalcino arrive first and then those for the Brunello. To learn more about the vinification process, click here.

Donatella Cinelli Colombini_Women_Staff_Vineyard

© Photo from Donatella Cinelli Colombini

AGING:
After the racking/separation of the wine from the lees, the Rosso di Montalcino begins its aging in oak barrels around February. The oak barrels are chosen according to the characteristics of the vintage – from 5 to 40 hl in size – with or without toasting.  Duration of barrel aging also varies according to the wine, and can go for some months. As for home aging, aim for 3-4 years, and not much more. Keep the bottles lying down in a dark and cool place to keep the Rosso di Montalcino perfectly harmonious and pleasant, rich in taste with soft tannins and great finesse. 

ABOUT DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI WINERY:

Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini-cantina-storica-Fattoria-del-Colle-640x640

© Owner, Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Born in 1953 to a family of producers of Brunello di Montalcino, Donatella Cinelli Colombini founded her own estate in 1998 comprising of Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda and Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino.

Casato Prime Donne is about a 40 hectare property on the northern slope of Montalcino. This estate has belonged to the Colombini family at least since the end of the 16th century and was originally used by Donatella’s maternal forefathers for hunting and to host brides for their honeymoons.

The last three generations, the farm has been passed from mother to daughter – it belonged to grandmother Giuliana Tamanit, then mother Francesca Colombini, now Donatella Cinelli Colombini, who will give it to her daughter, Violante. Donatella has given this location a special meaning, as it is the first winery in Italy to be all female staffed, a flagship for women who work in wine. She has received countless awards and international success for her achievements within the industry. Learn more about their story here.

Photos and Information Information © Donatella Cinelli Colombini – All Rights Reserved.


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June Sweet Club Iowa

 

Sweet Wine ClubSan-Antonio_blackberry-orange-wineSan Antonio Fruit Farm Wines
Blackberry Orange
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

The San Antonio Fruit Farm Blackberry-Orange wine is made with white moscato grapes that are harvested from the northern hillside vineyards in Piedmont, Italy, when the warm days and perfect nights bring them to optimal maturation.  Blackberry-orange juice is then blended to create a delicate yet rich flavor profile. This wonderfully light, fruity and sparkling beverage will complement any moment. Serve chilled with light snacks.

Varietals: Brachetto, Malvasia
Analysis:
6% alcohol / volume
TA: 4-6 g/L
pH: 3.15-3.60
Residual Sugar: 90 g/L
AVA: Piedmont, Italy
Natural Grape: 100%
Additional Facts: Vegan, Gluten Free, No Artificial Additives, Female Winemakers

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


San-Antonio_Strawberry-Guava-wineSan Antonio Fruit Farm Wines
Strawberry Guava
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

This semi-sweet Strawberry Guava Wine is handcrafted with White Moscato and Brachetto grapes that are harvested from the northern hillside vineyards in Piedmont, Italy. Strawberry-guava fruit juice is then blended to create a delicate and rich flavor profile. This wine is also perfect for any occasion as it is wonderfully light, fruity and sparkling.

Varietals: White Moscato, Brachetto
Analysis:
6% alcohol / volume
TA: 4-6 g/L
pH: 3.05-3.40
Residual Sugar: 90 g/L
AVA: Piedmont, Italy
Natural Grape: 100%
Additional Facts: Vegan, Gluten Free, No Artificial Additives, Female Winemakers

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with a fresh, young, soft cheese – such as a Brie. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
For over a century, the Riboli family has family has been carrying out the tradition of creating best-selling wines in the market. Paula and Ivana – Italian female winemakers specializing in quality management and new product development at Riboli Family Wines – sought out to craft a new varietal with distinctive flavor profiles. San Antonio Fruit Farm is a new semi-sweet varietal with dual fruit-forward flavors. It was created for those looking to drink refreshing, low alcohol, natural fruit wines. 


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April Sweet Club Iowa

Sweet Wine ClubBellafina_Pink Moscato_Bottle ImageBellafina
Pink Moscato Rosa
Delle Venezie IGT, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Bellafina’s Pink Moscato is pale pink in color. It highlights notes of melon, peach and red berries, with a bouquet that is typical of the Moscato grape. The wine is sweet and aromatic.

Analysis: 8.0% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Moscato Rosa
Residual Sugar: 75.0 g/L
Total Acidity: 5.8 g/L
Appellation: Delle Venezie IGT
Area of Production/Origin: Veneto Region and Friuli Venezia Giulia Region
Harvest: First half of September
Serving Suggestion: Serve at 45ºF-50ºF
Food Pairing: Delicious by itself or with a variety of antipasti, soft cheeses, and desserts with berries and cream – such as pastries and cakes

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

VINIFICATION:
The vinification of rose wines is characterized by a short and cold maceration. The juice is then removed from the skins where it has picked up pale and delicate red hue without extracting too much tannin and retaining the natural freshness and aromatic complexity of the wine. Fermentation takes place at the controlled temperature of 64ºF. After a period of storage, a careful coupage follows to obtain the Moscato Rosé Frizzante cuvée. The base-wine is transferred to tanks where exact amounts of must and selected yeasts are added to obtain the desired levels of pressure, alcohol and residual sugar (Martinotti/Charmat method). This is followed by cold stabilization.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Bellafina comes from the union of two Italian words – “bella” meaning “beautiful” and “fina” meaning “fine” or “delicate”. Their wines are a perfect reflection of the Italian lifestyle; lightly sparkling and easy drinking, making for the perfect pairing to any cuisine. Bellafina has been bottled by Casa Vinicola Botter since 1928. Today, the Botter family is managed by the family’s third generation. They continue to produce wines under environmentally friendly policies and with innovative production techniques, specializing in wines from Veneto.


ercole-moscato-bottle-150Ercole
Moscato d’Asti DOCG
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Ercole (pronounced AIR-KOH-LAY) means “Hercules” in Italian. Crafted in a fun, juicy, mouthwatering style in northern Italy, this white Moscato wine is aromatic and floral. There are earthy notes of honey and stone, along with fruity layers of green apple, pear, pineapple and other tropical notes.

Analysis: 5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Moscato, Muscat Blanc
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Allergens: Contains sulfates
Food Pairings: This Italian Moscato d’Asti would pair beautifully with an aperitif or fruity dessert

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an aged cheese such as a cheddar or a gruyere. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Made by The Piedmont Guy, Ercole is their line of everyday wines that honor the work of the Italian wine growers. Made possible by the generations-old cooperative of local growers in the Monferrato area, Ercole wines are produced with sustainably farmed fruit to reflect the authenticity and beauty of their origins. The cooperative behind Ercole works mainly with old vines ranging from 30-50 years old; all of which adhere to the European Union rule for sustainable farming. None of these growers use systemic treatments or chemicals; and both vinification and bottling are certified vegan. Learn more here.


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December Sweet Club Iowa

 

Sweet Wine Clubpiquitos moscato sweet wine clubPiquitos
Moscato
D.O. Valencia, Spain

NECTAR WINE STYLE

A fizzy moscato dedicated to wine lovers without complexes looking for fun and to get a party started.

This Moscato is bright lemon-gold in color with a light pearliness in its appearance. The nose is clean and youthful with heavy floral and fruity notes of mandarin peel, honeysuckle and sweet orange blossom. The palate has a sweetness that coats the mouth, then refreshes itself with the airy bubbles. It is luscious and harmoniously balanced.

Analysis: 11% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Moscatel
TA: 5.47 g/L
pH: 3.23
RS: 51.2 g/L
V. Acidity: 0.15 g/L
Region: D.O. Valencia, Spain
Vineyard:
Valley Valentino & Alto Turia in the heart of Valencia
Age of Vines: 15-20 year-old vines
Yield: 50 hl/ha
Altitude: 200-650 m.
Climate: Warm Mediterranean
Harvest: First fortnight of September
Vinification: Cold Maceration
Fermentation: 53.6-60.8ºF
Aging: Stainless Steel

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

ABOUT THE WINERY: 
Piquitos is intended to mean “little kisses” in Spanish, as their wines are designed to share their love. Sourced from sunny Mediterranean Coast in Valencia, Spain, Piquitos is made by the team from Hammeken Cellars – an innovative producer and exporter of Spanish wines. Their philosophy is to gather the best local grapes and traditions in Spain and pair those with the “New World” winemaking techniques and styles to produce high quality, fruit forward and fresh wines. Learn more about their company here.


Tintero moscato wineCantine Elvio Tintero
Moscato d’Asti ‘Sori Gramella’
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Delightfully fizzy and slightly sweet, an irresistible combination.

The third generation Tintero family continues the traditions of winemaking in Gramella. “Sori” in Piedmontese indicates the south-facing slope of a hill, that pampers the grapes with 20% more sunshine. Cantine Elvio Tintero are the only producers to sustainable farm and commercially bottle from this striking single-vineyard, limestone amphitheater. Vines were planted in the late 1980’s. Grapes are harvested and pressed, then kept at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks to provide the freshest wine possible.

Analysis: 7% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Moscato

Appellation: Moscato d’Asti, Langhe
RS: 110 g/L
Vine Age: Average 30 years
Soil Type: Clay, limestone with rocks
Vineyard Area: 25 hectares
Producer: Marco Tintero
Founded: 1900
Annual Production: 41,000 cases
Farming: Sustainable

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

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The winery’s legacy began in 1900 when a Frenchman named Pierre Tintero set out to Piedmont in search of work. Here, he found a job helping a widow, Rosina Cortese with her small estate, and just a few years later the couple fell in love, married and continued to grow their estate. Passed down from generation to generation, the family eventually took over the adjacent vineyard plots and began growing a small production of Moscato. It wasn’t until 1980, when grandson, Elvio, began experimenting with frizzante wine production, allowing the family to take advantage of the grape’s special affinity to the local terroir. Today, Elvio help’s his son and daughter-in-law run the estate producing fresh, easy and fun wines to drink with friends. Learn more about their story
here.


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September Sweet Club Iowa

 

Sweet Wine ClubLuca_Bosio_Dark_Red_Semi_Sweet_bottle_webLuca Bosio Vineyards
Dark Red Semi Sweet
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Deep red in color, this wine is full of red fruit aromas with notes of wild berries lifted by its crisp acidity. These sweet aromas of ripe red fruits showcase the authenticity of the Brachetto grape. The Dark Red Semi Sweet wine is made with 100% natural fruit and gluten free.

Analysis: 5% 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 also 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 5.5%, 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 Vineyards


Luca_Bosio_Moscato_dAsti_bottle_webLuca Bosio Vineyards
Moscato d’Asti DOCG
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Straw yellow in color, the Moscato d’Asti DOCG is sweet and smooth with notes of fruit and flower on the palate.

Analysis: 5.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Moscato
RS: 130 g/L
Total SO₂: 170 mg/l
Cultivation Area: Santo Stefano Belbo
Vineyard Altitude: 200/300m above sea level
Training System: Guyot
Soil: Clayey-Calcerous soil
Aging: 2 months on its own yeast

Fermentation: 5 days in steel tanks at a low temperature (59° F)
Vinification: Without skins
Pairing: Enjoy as an aperitif or at the end of a meal with fruits, aged cheeses or hazelnut cake.

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

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Located in the center of the Langhe region of Piedmont, Bosio Family Estates was established in 1967 by farmers Egidio and Angela. After being past down through three generations, and with tremendous success, innovation, and support from the family, the company has now taken the name Luca Bosio Vineyards.
Learn more here.


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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

 

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 Wine Club recipe pairing

Apple soup

APPLE SOUP WITH ROQUEFORT CROUTONS

INGREDIENTS:

• 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
• 1 ¼ lbs. Red Delicious apples (about 3 large), peeled, cored and sliced
• 1 ¼ lbs. Granny Smith apples (about 3 large), peeled, cored, and sliced
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 5 cups chicken stock or canned broth
• 1 ½ cups whipping cream
• ¼ cup Calvados (apple brandy)
• salt and freshly ground pepper
• ½ Red Delicious apple, cored (unpeeled)
• ½ Granny Smith apple, cored (unpeeled)
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
• Roquefort Croutons

DIRECTIONS:
• Melt 4 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 ¼ pound red apples, 1 ¼ pounds Granny Smith apples, onion and garlic and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock and simmer until apples are very tender, about 25 minutes. Puree mixture in batches in blender or processor. Return puree to pan. Add cream and Calvados. Bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared one day ahead. Cool, cover and refrigerate).
• Cut each apple half into 12 thin slices. Mix with lemon juice. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
•Bring soup to simmer over medium heat. Ladle into bowls. Top each bowl with 2 red apple slices and 2 Granny Smith apple slices. Sprinkle with chives. Serve with Roquefort croutons.

CROUTON INGREDIENTS:
• 4 bacon slices
• 18 1/4 inch-thick slices of French bread baguette
• 4 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled
• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

CROUTON DIRECTIONS:
• Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Cook bacon in heavy medium skillet until crisp.  Transfer to paper towels and drain.  Crumble bacon.  Arrange bread slices on heavy large backing sheet.  Bake until beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes.  Mix cheese and butter in processor until smooth.  Spread one side of each crouton with cheese mixture. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover croutons at an store at room temperature.
• Preheat broiler.  Broil croutons 5 inches from heat source until cheese bubbles, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon. Serve warm, plated next to soup or on top of soup.  © Recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit, Oct 1998

NOVEMBER WINE CLUB

Cortese Piedmont ItalySilky styleCa’ de Lion
Il Sognatore Cortese
Dell’ Alto Monferrato DOC
Piedmont, Italy

SILKY WINE STYLE

Ca’ de Lion was founded in 1871 by Luigi Ghione. The winery takes the name of the family ancestor, Leone Ghione (1655). Generations of expertise in Piedmont has elevated this artisanal producer to its highest level. Farming sustainably and naturally, the wines from this estate show a purity of flavor. The depth and nuance of the wine vibrates and speaks of the place where it comes from, in the hills of Canelli. Harvested by hand during the first week of September, vinification and maturing took place in stainless steel tanks. This wine has exotic and aromatic notes of jasmine, white peach, stone fruits and a touch of mint. In the mouth, the wine is bright with lemon-lime acidity and a refreshing finish. Serve chilled. Pairs well with antipasti, salads, seafood and lighter fare.

winemaker Silvio Ghione

Silvio Ghione, Winemaker

“Brilliant green tones, with perfume nose of a yellow and white fruits and herbs. On the palate, pleasant white wine, surrounded by a good freshness. Excellent as apéritif, with fish or meat dishes.” – Silvio Ghione, Winemaker

Winemaker: Silvio Ghione
Appellation: Piedmont, Italy
Varietal: 100% Cortese
Analysis: 12.0% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

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Sweet Potato Ravioli November Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Sweet Potato RavioliSWEET POTATO RAVIOLI

RAVIOLI INGREDIENTS:
• 1 ½ pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
• 2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
• ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 48 square wonton wrappers
• 2 large egg whites, beaten until foamy

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
• ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter
• 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
• chopped, toasted pecans (optional)

RAVIOLI DIRECTIONS:
• Pierce potatoes all over with fork. Cook potatoes in microwave on high until soft throughout, about 6 minutes per side. Cool slightly. Cut potatoes in half; scoop 2 packed cups potato flesh into large bowl. Mix in brown sugar and nutmeg. Season sweet potato filling with salt and pepper.
• Line large baking sheet with plastic wrap. Place one wonton wrapper on work surface. Using pastry brush, lightly brush wrapper with beaten egg whites. Place one tablespoon sweet potato filling in center of wrapper. Top with another wrapper. Press edges together to seal. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. (Can be made up to 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

SAUCE DIRECTIONS:
• Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Carefully mix in vinegar and thyme.
• Meanwhile, working in batches, cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, carefully transfer ravioli to hot butter sauce; spoon sauce over to coat ravioli. Transfer to plates. Sprinkle with pecans, if desired; serve immediately. © Recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit, Feb 2003

NOVEMBER WINE CLUB

Mellow style logoCa De Lion Wine BottleCa’ de Lion
Rosso Blend
Piedmont, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Founded in 1871 by Luigi Ghione, Ca’ de Lion winery takes its name from the family ancestor Leone Ghione (1655). Generations of expertise in Piedmont have elevated this artisanal producer to its highest level. Farming sustainably and naturally, the wines from this estate show a purity of flavor. The depth and nuance of the wine vibrates and speaks of the place where it comes from, in the Canelli hills. This vintage was hand-harvested in the middle of September and vinified traditionally in stainless steel tanks, then refined in bottle. It’s a spectacular, unique and indigenous blend. The wine is velvet in the mouth. Brilliant aromatics reveal layers of violet, fresh rose, luxardo cherry, and blackberry. Very light oak and lip-smacking acidity makes this a stellar wine that can be paired with a variety of foods. Serve with a light chill. The wine can be decanted 30 minutes prior to serving.

winemaker Silvio Ghione

Silvio Ghione, Winemaker

“Ruby color with orange tones. Lasting scent with airy perfume, rich with violet and rose. Rounded and very fresh on the palate, light and velvety tannins. Open and let breathe before serving, pairs well with game and cheese.” – Silvio Ghione, Winemaker

Winemaker: Silvio Ghione
Appellation: Piedmont, Italy
Varietal: 60% Ruché, 40% Pinot Nero
Analysis: 13% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim: 93pts Wine Enthusiast 2013; Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

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, 4 free tasting tickets and special discounts to attend wine tasting events, classes and more!  Learn more >