Italian wines have always been associated with food so with four brand new wines arriving today we thought we'd put together an Italian Dinner in Four Courses.
2020 Sorelle Bronca Prosecco Superiore Particella 232 Extra Brut
(Italy, Veneto, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG)
In the hills north-west of Venice is an area where the best Prosecco grapes (Glera) are grown. That appellation is Valdobbiadene. These vineyards produce world class, breath-taking sparkling wines and the Sorelle Bronca estate is one of the benchmarks.
This single vineyard bottling (232) from 40+ year old vines has a beautiful creamy mousse, subtle floral aromas intertwined with pear and Fiji apple notes. A playful balance between the electric acidity and the elegant charm leads us to declare this bottle of bubbles one of the best we’ve had from Italy in recent memory.
Pairings: Baccala is best enjoyed in the wine bars of Venice watching the locals banter and sipping this sparkling wine.
Here's a easier (than most) recipe for the dish.
Another antipasto dish to try with this wine is:
As for cheeses we suggest Piave, Rocchetta, and Asiago.
2019 Francesco Brigatti Vespolina Colline Novaresi
(Italy, Piedmont, Northern Piedmont, Colline Novaresi)
Ian d’Agata describes the red grape Vespolina as ‘one of Italy’s best native grape varieties’, strong praise from this expert. On the nose spicy and floral hints intertwine. Violet, black pepper, a sweet-sour sensation of raspberry and blueberry, balsamic and an earthy breath. The body is bright and balanced with nothing out of place and the finish is subtly long and endearing.
This is one of our ‘new’ favorite Italian finds.
Pairings: Agnolotti del Plin, a delicious pillow of a pasta filled with various meats and spices (don't miss this dish if you're dinning at Perbacco in SF),
and the staple: Porcini Risotto,
2016 Francesco Brigatti Ghemme Oltre Il Bosco
(Italy, Northern Piedmont, Ghemme)
Our second wine from Brigatti is a Nebbiolo from the region of Ghemme (pronounced Gamay, no relation).
100% Nebbiolo from the benchmark 2016 vintage, aged two years in large casks and delivering all the soulful complexity and age-worthy structured one could hope for from this place and grape. The same level of refinement and purity would cost you double in Barolo/Barbaresco. We’re not kidding.
Ruby color with garnet hues, bright red fruits, violet and spices, elegant and amazingly complex. This is a wonder of a wine. Drinking this over three days is ceremonial. A true masterpiece that will age long and gracefully.
Pairings: This is perfect wine for grilled steaks and stews.
A few suggestions:
Brasato al Barolo, which is simply a Piemonte 'pot roast' or stew with flair.
Then there's the classic
Salsiccia di Verduno which is a Northern Piemonte sausage enjoyed on its own or in a ragu.
2017 Chessa Moscato Kentales
(Italy, Sardinia, Cannonau di Sardegna)
This is an irresistible passito moscato from Sardinia. The nose is intense and stylish, with aromas of flowers accompanied by appealing notes of nuts and honey. Then a plethora of apricot, pear, and orchard fruits emerge.
This medium-bodied ‘sticky’ ends with a very memorable finish.
A truly delightful way to finish an evening.
Pairings: dried fruit, biscotti and soft cheeses.
A simple peach and fig salad with drizzled reduced Balsamic vinegar is another brilliant option.