A parade of new releases from the traditionalTuscanywine countryand from parts not so well known, have made 2014 an” Italian Job,” witha flood of new releases.
With the Italian government’s help in some campaigns, Italian wineries in unfamiliar districts are introducing themselves to wine shops, restaurants and resorts.Italian restaurants are more than willing to stage generous 4 and 5 course dinners in exchange for an equal number ofdinner wines for their guests as they get to taste generous portions of unfamiliar premium Italian wines, with a specially produced gourmet dinner.Both Il Fornaio inCoronadowith GM Luca Allieri, and its restaurant inDelMar with Mathew Galli, are perfectionists at this event.Every month they find and pour Italian wines that inItaly, are well known in their areas, but have not gained the respectthat they should in theU.S.My local Italian distributor, Marco Barat,who has opened up many little-known Italian wines for me in the 8 years I have been writing on wine, notes thatTuscanyand Piedmont, which are the most well-known of the 20 districts inItalythat produce wine, aren’t even in the top 4 producers, which are:Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Sicily andPuglia.These districts produce great sellars like:Pinot Grigio, Lambrusco, Tebbiano. Nero D’ Avola and Primitivo.Still, there is no doubt that the most respected and expensive wines in Italy come from Tuscany with its Brunellos and Super Tuscan blends, like Tenuta dell Ornelaia ($978.), Biondi Santi $541.), and Antinori Guado al Tasso ($129.95)
On top of the new Italiancontemporary wines is an Italian red wine blend thatnever tasted so fashionable as in the new Viama Rosso Delle Venezie 2013 ( $15.)What could be more fun for ladies than to carry around a 1.5 liter box of wine in the shape ofa purse. It has shoulder strap and a discreet spout. This blend goes great with pasta, cheeses and grilled meats.The spigot makes it easy to drink what you need, then save the rest for another get together.Look for more atwww.wine-searcher.com.
Zonin is the name ofItaly’s largest family-owned wine company with a diversity ofItaly’s major regions including:Friuli,Lombardia,Veneto,Piedmont,Tuscany,PugliaandSicily.
Zonin has this month’s TASTE OF WINE of the month.Rocca di Montemassi, introduced last week and it comes fromTuscany’s newest exciting area, Maremma.Key markets are theU.S.andUnited Kingdom.Zonin controls wine solutions from vineyard to the glass and offer wines like Tenuta Ca’ Bolani Prosecco from Friuli, to Feudo Principi di Butera Synposio fromSicily.
A white wine of significance is the Tenuta Ca’Bolani Aquilis made from 100% Sauvignon inFriuli. Lino Vitale, the Pacific Coast Accounts manager is high on this wine.”This is crisp quality, balanced, acidic wine to pair perfectly with Italian food,”he promised.He also told me the wine is sold in both the wine shop and restaurant at Cucina Enoteca inDelMar.
Look for the complete lineup of Zonin wines atwww.zoninusa.com,
- The St Regis Monarch Beach inOrangeCountypresents a Farm to Feast eventSun. Aug.17 from 4 to 8pm.Chef Franck of the Monarch will prepare custom menu items along with succulent appetizers and fresh veggies from the VR Green Farms.Palumbo Family Wines of Temecula will provide the wines.$55. pp.Call800-722-1543.
- It’s the 21stAnnual Grape Stomp at Orfila Vineyards and Winery inEscondido, Sat. Aug. 23rdfrom4 to 8pm.Ticket includes:Dinner Buffet, live dance music, wine tasting, tractor rides and stomping of the grapes.Ticket price is $90. ea.Call760-738-6500x22.
- PAON Restaurant inCarlsbadhas a Stoplman Vineyards Wine Dinner,Thurs. Aug. 21with a reception starting at6:15pm.RSVP at760-729-7377.
- The Flight PathWine Bar & Bistro on Kettner inSan Diegohas a high-end Italian wine pairing event Mon, Aug. 25 from 6:30 to 8:30pm.Taste 5 wines and 5 paired appetizers.$45 pp.Call760-809-4709.
Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator .He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web.View and link up with his columns atwww.tasteofwinetv.com.Reach him at[email protected].