Wines of Sicily and Sardinia

Sicily: A major share of Sicily’s DOC production is represented by Marsala, a sweet wine originated by English merchants two centuries ago. Marsala, Sicily’s proudest wine has enjoyed a comeback in recent years among connoisseurs, who favor the dry Vergine and Superiore Riserva, with the warmly complex flavors that rank them with the finest fortified wines of Europe.

The other DOC wine made in quantity is the pale white, bone dry Bianco D’Alcamo. Moscato di Pantelleria, from the remote isle off the coast of Tunisia, is among the richest and most esteemed of Italian sweet wines in the Naturale and Passito Extra versions. Malvasia delle Lipari, from the volcanic Aeolian isles, is a dessert wine as exquisite as it is rare.

The dry white and red wines of Etna, whose vine adorn the lower slopes of the volcano, show class. Production of other traditional DOCs-the dry red Faro and sweet Moscatos of Noto and Siracusa- has been slight in recent years. But the volume of Premium wines has increased somewhat with the addition of DOCs from various parts of the island.

The greatest surge in volume of quality wines has come from the rapid expansion of IGT wines. Many fine wines come from native varieties, notably Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascareseand Perricone (Pignatello), among the reds and Inzolia and Grecanico among the whites. Also prominent are such international varieties as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, which show real promise in Sicily, whether as single varietals or in blends.

A major share of Sicily’s wine is produced by cooperatives, but the number of privately owned estates has been growing. Prominent wine houses from northern and central Italy have invested in vineyards and cellars on the island.

Sardinia: The island’s most productive vineyards area is the Campidano, the fertile plains and rolling hills northwest of the capital and major port of Cagliari. The varieties grown there -Giro’, Malvasia, Monica, Moscato, Nasco and Nuragus- carry the name of Cagliari in their denominations: Cagliari DOC.

The wooded slopes of the northern Gallura peninsula and the northwestern coatal area around Sassari and Alghero are known for premium whites. Vermentino makes whites of depth and style, under Vermentino di Gallura DOCG.

Moscato can be either still or sparkling. But it is always sweet. Notably the one from Sorso and Sennori, around the hills of Gallura. Malvasia, may be sweet, but it is perhaps most impressive dry wine, from the town of Bosa and the Planarigia hills, on the western side of the island, as well as under the Cagliari DOC. Still other refined sweet white is Semidano DOC from the town of Mogoro.

A distinguished Sardinian wine is Vernaccia di Oristano. Grown around the town of Oristano, it becomes a Sherry-like amber wine with a rich array of nuances and bouquet and flavor.

A popular white variety is Nuragus, which is believed to have been brought ther by the Phoenicians. Nuragus is the source of modern dry white. Clean and crisp in flavor.

The island’s important red varieties are Cannonau, a relative of Granacha, brought from Spain, and Carignano and Monica, also of Spanish origin. Cannonau and Monica can be dry or sweet, though trends fovor the dry type, toned down in strength.

Vineyards in the rugged eastern coastal range around Nuoro are noted for rich, red Cannonau. Cannonau also makes a fine sweet wine, which can be reminiscent of Port. In addition to it’s 20 wines DOC and DOCG, Sardinia has 15 IGTs, the most of any region.

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Wines of North East Italy

 Auronzo Dolomites

Veneto Region has many great wines both reds and whites. Venice’s Region has solidified its position as Italy’s largest producer and exporter, as well as the leader in volume of classified wines. Verona region produces the well-known trio of Soave, Bardolino and Valpolicella, plus the very popular bubbly of Prosecco. Since DOC/DOCG represent a third of production. Veneto also produces and exports a good quantity of IGT wines, often at modest prices.

Veneto has three main area of production of premium wines: the Western province of Verona in the hills near Lake Garda and the town of Soave; the Central hills in the province of Vicenza, Padova and Treviso; the Eastern plains of the piave and Tagliamento river basin along the Adriatic coast northeast of Venice. Four of the top ten wines in the DOC/DOCG appellation are found in Veneto by volume: Conegliano-Valdobbiadene (Prosecco) fourth, soave fifth, Valpolicella sixth and Bardolino tenth.

Verona’s classic wines are made with native vines Soave. It is usually dry and still, though sparkling and sweet Recioto versions are also recommended. Soave Superiore and Recioto di Soave have been promoted to DOCG, while regular Soave remains DOC.

Valpolicella made from a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes, is a hearty red to drink young. Grapes from the vineards in the hills north of Verona can be partly dried and made into the richly dry Amarone della Valpolicella or the opulently sweet Recioto della Valpolicella, both DOCG.

Amarone, amply structured red is long to the palate, is one of the favorite wines for aging the world over. Valpolicella Ripasso is a new DOC wine and is produced by the Ripasso Method, by which Valpolicella is fermented a second time with the pomice of Amarone oe Recioto to gain body and strength.

Bardolino, made from the basic grapes of Valpolicella grown along the shores of Lake Garda, is enviably easy to drink, whether in the red Superiore DOCG or the deep pink Chiaretto version. Treviso province is the source of the very popular Prosecco wine. Noe DOCG, a Cornegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco is a dry to softly sweet white, almost always bubbly, whether frizzante or fully spumante. A refined version of Prosecco from the hills near Valdobbiadene is known as Superiore di Cartizze.

To help build the supply for a wine much in demand, Prosecco DOC has been created in parts of Veneto and nearby Friuli. Producers of Prosecco have used their experience with sparkling wine, to build a market with Pinots and Chardonnay, made either by tank fermentation or the Metodo Classico , fermentation in the bottle.

Merlot and Cabernet Franc, have been the workhorse varieties of central and eastern Veneto for decades, often in light and easy wines to drink young. But some producers blend the two, increasingly with Cabernet Souvignon, and age the wines in barrels to develop great style and complexity.

Pinot Grigio, Souvignon, and Chardonnay continue to gain ground, often in youthfully fruity versions  but also as oak-aged wines of dept. Veneto shares six DOC zones with other regions: Garda, Lugana and San Martino della Battaglia with Lombardy, Lison-Pramaggiore and Prosecco with Friuli and Valdadige with Trentino. Once a year Verona hosts the largest wine expo in Italy called Vinitaly.


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The three northern regions of Italy are called “the Venezie” and set the standard in producing modern white and red wines of quality.  They use sophisticated methods to make both  types of wines.  After replacing Apulia and Sicily, Veneto leads the way as the largest producer of wine of all the twenty regions.  It produces large quantities of DOC wines do in part to Verona’s trio grapes of Soave, valpolicella and Bardolino. Friuli and Trentino produce limited quantities but boast enviable percentage of classified wines.
The determining factor for all three regions is the climate: cold in the Alps in the North and warm by Adriatic sea.
The valleys between the mountains along the Po, Piave, Adige and Tagliamento rivers are warm. Growers in Veneto work with an amazing assortment of native- autoctone – and imported vines to produce what indisputably are a majority of white wines and many reds, ranging from young and simple to aged and complex. This has contributed to the popularity after such whites around the world as Soave and Pinot Grigio.  But producers in Trentino and Friuli have created wines of depth and style to dispel the idea that Italian whites are by Nature light and fresh.  Veneto’s whites account for 55% of total production.
These wines are made from Soave, Valpolicella and Bardolino grapes.  In central Veneto and Friuli, imported varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet and Pinots, including Chardonnay and Sauvignon grow side by side with the local varietals: Tocai, Prosecco,  Verduzzo, Refoso, Schioppettino,  Ribolla Gialla and Raboso.
In Trentino red wines still prevail  dominated by Schiava or Vernatsch,  though Teroldego,  Algerian and Marzemino hold their own against Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot noir.  The whites  prominent in Trentino are Chardonnay, pinot Grigio,  Sauvignon and Gewrztraminer.
Since so many varieties are grown in all three regions the practice has been to the wines under a single DOC name for a large geographical area: Veneto’s Piave, Friuli’s Collio and Colli Orienali and province-whide applications of Trentino and Alto Adige. Given it’s a long list but it seems to aide consumers to connect the wines with its territory.
Salute! Cheers!
(C)- Daniele Matteo,  2014.

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Recent Wine Tasting

On May 9th, 2013, I had the opportunity to meet several Wine Producers from region Trentino in the Uppermost North-Western Region of Italy bordering Austria. The event took place at the Astor Center, Downtown, West Village, New York  City.

I was impressed with the quality of denomination TrentoDoc “Sparkling Wines”, made with  “Metodo Classico” (Classic Method), with fermentation in the Bottle.

I met several Managers of local Wineries (Azienda Agricola) where they produce fine wines without chemicals, therefore these are ‘ Organic’.

I was especially impressed by the ‘Spumante’ wine produced by Azienta Agricola  MASO MARTIS of Martignano, Trento. They had six TrentoDoc to choose from. Mostly ‘Brut’ (Dry), but not too dry. They are produced with Metodo Classico, consisting of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Nero, ageing 24 months in bottle , with alcohol content of 12.50%.

They have a Maso Martis Brut Rose’. with 100% Pinot Nero, ageing 24 months, a little on the ‘sweet side  and a Maso Martis Brut Riserva  70% Pinot Nero, 30% Chardonnay ageing 52/60 Months before release. It tasted great, with hints of fruit and aromas. To top it all, a Madame Maris rare vintage, 70% Pinot Nero, 25% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Meunier. A great taste culmination to a day full of activities.

The Reds of TrentoDoc are all made with indigenous Vines, like Teroldego Rotaliano e Lagrein, Marzemino, Nosiola, and others. They are strictly wines Doc. Very well made with modern techniques, and a superb taste of  ’Chestnuta’ and ‘Frutti di Bosco’.

I was very much impressed with the quality of these wines grown at altitudes of 600 meters at the foothills of Italy’s Rockies, the Dolomiti Mountains.


Lagrein: A full-bodied red wine with a pleasant and stimulating taste, thanks to its continously evolving bouquet, with hints of wild berries and spicey flavours. An ideal wine to pair with strong dishes.

Merlot: A great mouth-filling red wine, full bodied with balanced fragrances and flavours. Round and mellow. Strong and delicate a wine for great occasions.

Pinot Nero: Bright ruby red colour with fragrances of morello cherries and smoked meat. Pleasantly sharp with ann elegant and pleasant taste. Aged for a few months in small wooden casks and bottled when still very young.
Cabernet: Obtained by fermenting cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc grapes together. It is a generous wine with a strong personality for its garnet red colour, and for its rich bouquet with green and herbaceus notes. Recommended for roasted red meats, game dishes and aged cheeses.
Chardonnay: White wine, with bouquet and taste of mountain apples, the pride of trentino farming. A bouquet of exotic fragrances, with a hint of vanilla. A full aftertaste remind you of fragrances of freshly picked fruit.
Pinot Bianco: Elegantly aromatic, smooth and lively. A delicious aperitif. Its aromatic qualities make it ideal wine for pairing with fish and white meats dishes.

Pinot Grigio: A dry crispy scented white wine, with intense and full flavours, with taste of apples and fruits. Ideal for aperitif. when young. At all times it is ideal to accompany a whole meal. Serve chilled.

Muller Thurgau: A white wine slightly spiced, evoking wild grasses. Floral on the finish, evoking hints of jasmine. It has a strong aromatic structure and should be uncorked while still young. Serve chilled.
Moscato Giallo:A  fresh aromatic and fruity white wine. It is balanced and armonious. Serve chilled.

Gewurztraminer: Aromatic white wine par excellence. With a deep yellow colour and golden highlights. To the nose an intense fragrance of incense and rosehip. A finish with notes of tropical fruits. Smooth and pleasing to the palate. An ideal aperitif wine. It also goes well with gourmet pastries. Serve chilled.

Teroldego Rotaliano DOC : A lively red wine with an intense ruby red colour and purple nuances. The nose offers a pleasing fuity bouquet, with rasberry and wild fruit notes. On the palate it is dry and savoury.

Trenti and Alto-Adige, the region on the North-Whestern part of Italy, near Switzerland and Austria, with its majestic mountains ‘le Dolomiti’, offers a quality production of good DOC wines, both reds and whites. Look for them in your local wine bar or liquor store and enjoy the taste of the ‘ Dolomiti’ !

Daniele Matteo, May 19, 2013

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Daniele Matteo (right), with Wine and Food Institute (, President Lucio Caputo.

Tasting Notes Gala Italia, NYC, 2014.

This February I had the privilege to attend the 29th Edition of Gala Italia 2014 held in the Grand Ballroom of the Pierre Hotel in New York City. It is an important event organized every year by the Italian Wine and Food Institute, the Italian Trade Commission, under the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and sponsored by the Ministry of Economic Development of Italy. Its mission is to promote Italian wines and food of Italy in North America!

There were many exhibitors present straight from Italy. Others were represented by their Agents here in the U.S. Following is a list of wines I sampled, and a brief tasting note for each.

Sassoalloro, IGT Rosso Toscano 2009 –  This dry, medium-bodied wine had a clear ruby-red color, a distinct aroma and a smooth taste of wild berries, with a pleasant finish.

Brunello di Montalcino DOC, 2008 – A full-bodied wine made from sangiovese grapes. Deep red color and nice buquet, but still too young, since it is packed with fruit that with aging will develop into layers of rich, complex, smoky-spicy fruit flavors!

Terralba, Bianco 2012 – Made from Tocai and Rondinella grapes in the Veneto Region near Padova. Nice strw color, flowery fragrances and citrus aromas. It was awarded the “Certificate of Merit” by the Jury.

Terraforte, Rosso 2009.- A blend of Sangiovese and Merlot grapes. Full-bodied. Ruby red color. Pleasant fragrances, rich aromas, with hints of dried fruits!

Chianti Classico DOCG, il Picchio Riserva 2009 – I was impressed by this wine.Dry, great color, with distinct aromas and a pleasant aftertaste.

Teroldego Rotaliano DOC, Riserva 2007 – It was awarded the “Certificate of Merit” by the Jury. A well-balanced wine. Good structure. Dry with hints of dry fruits. Nice buquet and a smooth finish.

“Quaranta”, Nero D’Avola 2012.- Awarded with the “Certificate of Merit” by the Jury. It is a dry well-balanced winewith hints of fruits. Nice aromas and pleasant finish.

Rubesco Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG, 2007 – It also won the “Certificate of Merit ” by the Jury. The winning blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo grapes imparts this wine a dry, full-bodied wine with pleasant aromas and a pleasant aftertaste.

Duca D’Atene, Negroamaro, DOC Salento 2007 – Awarded the “Certificate of Merit” by the Jury. This is a dry, full-bodied wine with a ruby red color, with pleasant fragrances and a balanced finish.

I was quite impressed by two  wines from Sardinia :

La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna DOC, 2012 – A straw-colored white, with flowery bouquet, citrus aromas, and smooth finish.

Cannonau di Sardegna DOC Riserva 2009.- Awarded the “Certificate of Merit” by the Jury. This dry wine made from Grenache grapes, has very distinctive aromas and a pleasant finish.

Secco Bertani Valpolicella Valpantena DOC, 2011- Also won the “Certificate of Merit” by the Jury. A combo of Corvina and Rondinella grapes, made by the Ripasso Method, where dry grapes are added to new wine. It depicted a dry full-bodied wine, with bouquet of dried fruita, with distinct aromas and a balanced finish.

Another standout was Alta Luna, Pinot Noir Dolomiti IGT, 2011. It also won the “Certificate of Merit” by the Jury. It is a dry, medium-bodied wine from the Italian Alps in Trentino. It is a well-balanced wine, with an elegant bouquet and a smooth finish.

I was impressed by two wines of Irpinia: Greco di Tufo, 2012 – A dry, pleasant straw-gold color white, with flowery bouquet, citrus aromas and a smooth finish.

Rubrato Irpinia Aglianico DOC 2011 – It was awarded the “Certificate of Merit” by the Panel of the Jury. It is a dry, full-bodied wine. Garnet color, with hint of tobacco and dried fruita, with a balanced finish.

There would be no event without some entries regarding  ‘Casa Zonin’.

Zonin, Prosecco Cuvee 1821, NV- It also got the “Certificate of Merit” by the Jury. It is a blend of different grapes, dry, floral bouquet with a distinctive aroma of citrus fruit.

The other two entries who also got the “Certificate of Merit” by Jury are:

Feudo Principi di Butera, Nero D’Avola IGT, 2011, from Sicily, and Ca’ Bolani, Altrusio Refoso Friuli Aquileia DOC, 2007.  I can only say that the Nero d’Avola was exceptional, and the Refoso from Friuli had a great aroma.

Another Prosecco which won the “Certificate of Merit” by Jury, was :

“Oro Puro” Prosecco di Valdoddiadene. Superiore DOCG, NV.- I also liked it. It wasn’t too dry with citrus aromas. Finally according to my notes ‘Consorzio Asti’ presented one “Asti DOCG 2013”, which also won the “Certificate of Merit” by the Jury. It was excellent, in the tradition of Asti Spumante appreciated all over the world!

And at last, some very interesting proposition from the tiny island of Pantelleri, off the coast of Sicily.  Kuddia Gialla, Bianco IGT Sicilia 2011- As the name implies, a dry white wine, straw-yellow color, very aromatic and smooth finish.

Passito di Pantelleria DOC, 2008 – It was awarded the “Certificate of Merit” by the Jury. A superb dessert wine to die for! – Drink Up America!

Salute!-(c) Daniele Matteo. Food & Wine Editor- 2014.


IMG_3327           Daniel with sister Concetta Matteo

Daniele with sister, Concetta Matteo

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Taste wine like an Expert!

Here’s some advice on how to taste your wine to see if you like it or not.
Use your three senses: sight,  smell and taste  – to study each wine carefully and determine what are the characteristics and decide whether it appeals to you.
1 – How would you describe the color?  Is the wine clear or cloudy?  Hold your glass against the light,  to judge the wine ‘s clarity and brilliance,  which are both assets.
Then tip the glass a bit, hold it against a white background,  and look at the edge of the wine.  If it is faded, the wine is old. The color is even and consistent to the edge,  the wine is  young.  Look at the  color: white wines darken with age, while reds get lighter.
2 – Swirl the wine in your glass to incorporate air, which releases the bouquet,  and stick your nose well into glass,  inhaling deeply.  How would you describe the smell?  Spicy? Fruity?   A wine’s bouquet is one of nicest characteristics,  so enjoy it and pay attention to it. If the smell is strange : corky or unpleasant,  the wine has turned bad, do not drink it.
3 – Now take a decent-size  mouthful of wine – not just a sip – and swirl it around in your mouth : “chew” it, so that it covers your tastebuds.  Whistle some air in your mouth,  to release the full flavor of the wine.  Is he wine dry or sweet?  Bitter?  Or smooth?  Thin? Or full-bodied? Is it balanced? Or it’s acidity or fruitiness overpower all other aspects of the wine’s taste? And, most important : do you like it or not? After you swallow the wine notice the aftertaste : does the flavor linger in the back of the mouth?
Most of the wines you taste will be uneventful,  but once in a while you cone across  a GREAT wine , or a really TERRIBLE  one, and you will be able to understand just what aspects of that particular wine makes it GREAT or TERRIBLE.  As you become more knowledgeable about wine , you will come to appreciate the subtle differences from one variety to another. From instance from Barolo to Sirah. etc. And you will taste wine just like an expert!  Enjoy!
(C)- Daniele Matteo,  Wine Editor, 2015.
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Daniele Matteo Wine Tasting

Daniele Matteo, at Wine Tasting


 Wonderful Italian wines for the Summer.
This event was held in the Ice-NYC  building in New York City. On June  23, 2015. Mr. Lucio Caputo, Pres. Of Italian Wine and Food Institute, , and the Commissioner of Ice,  Italian Trade Commission, , Mr. Mauro, co-sponsored this event to showcase  some some great white, Rose’ and  Sparkling wines  for the  Summer.  The atmosphere was intimate.  Only qualified Trade and Press in attendance.  Here’s my take on the wines featured :
Palm Bay  Int’l. – Station #2.
Ferrari, Brut, NV , a dry, bubbly white, with a  distinct  aroma, with hints of  Apples and  dried fruits. With a pleasant finish.
Lunetta, Prosecco,  NV – a lite sparkling wine .  Fruity with hints of  berries.  With a pleasant finish.
Sella&Mosca, La Cala, 2014. A dry sparkling wine.  Fruity with hints of  berries.  With a pleasant finish.
Cavit, Moscato, 2014.  Sweet aromas with citrus  flavors.
They also manned  Station  #3.
Bertani, Due Uve,  2014.  A dry, fruity blend with hints of citrus.
Feudi di San GregorioGregorio,  Falanghina,  2014.  Great bouquet.  A dry fruity wine with hints of berries and a pleasant  aftertaste.
Planeta, La Segreta Bianco, 2014.  This dry white wine from Sicily with hints of berries and a pleasant finish.
Rocca delle Macie, Moonlight  2014.  This dry white wine from Tuscany with hints of berries and a smooth finish.
Prestige Wine Imports,  was manning Station #4.Rotari
 Rotari, Rose’, NV, this dry sparkling wine with a bouquet of Summer alpine  meadows.  Pleasant to the palate with hints of berries and a distinct finish.
Mezzacorona,  Rose’, 2014.  This Rose’ from  Trentino. Extra -dry. Lite. With aromas of citrus and minerals  with pleasant finish.
Stemmari, Rose’, 2014.  A dry wine with hints of berries and smooth finish.
Mezzacorona,  Moscato, 2013. A sweet  wine with hints of  peach and  honey.  With a  clean finish.
Zonin USA  at Station  #6.
Zonin, Prosecco,  NV.  A dry sparkling wine with hints of  almonds and  citrus.  With a clean finish.
Rocca di Montemassi, Vermentino, 2014.  This dry white wine made with Vermentino grapes in the  hills of  Maremma, Tuscany.  Hints of almonds and citrus fruits with clean finish.
Ca’Bolani, Pinot Grigio,  2013.  This  medium -bodied wine with hints of citrus and  peach with  a pleasant finish.
Castello del Poggio, Rosato, NV. 2014.  This 50/50 blend of Pinot Nero and  Moscato. Is a great dessert wine with floral bouquet.
Winebow. Station  #7.
Tasca D’Almerita, Regaleali Bianco, 2014.  This dry white wine from Sicily with hints of citrus and Apple.  With smooth finish.
Tasca D’Almerita, Leone, 2013.  A dry IGT white wine with hints of citrus and bouquet of violets.  With  a clean finish.
Peter/Warren  Importer. Station  #8.
Comelli Paolino, Friulano, DOC Friuli Colli Orientali, 2013.
This dry white wine from Friuli with hints of apples and  minerals.  Floral bouquet and smooth finish.
Comelli Paolino, Sauvignon,  DOC  Friuli Colli Orientali 2013.  A dry fruity white wine  with hints of citrus and apple , with a smooth finish.
Gruppo I  Vini. Station  #10.
Balan, Prosecco  2014.  A sparkling wine made with “Metodo Classico”. With hints of fresh fruits a bouquet of  violets.  Smooth and  crisp.
Balan, Pinot Grigio, 2013.  A dry
IGT white wine with hints of berries and citrus.  Very  Pleasant after -taste.
Balan, Sauvignon  Blanc, 2013 . A dry white wine  With hints of citrus and almonds. With a pleasant finish.
Balan, Moscato , 2014.  A sweet white wine made with Moscato grapes.  With hints of  peaches and minerals.  With a sensible  aftertaste.
Gruppo I  Vini. Station  #11.
Corbera, Chardonnay  2013.  A dry fruity white wine  made in Sicily with Chardonnay grapes.  Crisp  Fruity  With  Hints of berries.  With a distinct finish.
Corbera, Grillo, 2013.  Another Sicilian gem made with  Vermentino grapes.  Not too dry. Lite.  With hints of citrus and violets. A pleasant aftertaste.
Royal Wine Corp . Station  #12.
They brought  four selections from  Puglia.
Bartenura, Prosecco, NV. 2014.  A dry smooth sparkling wine.  Fruity with hints of berries and apples.  With a lingering aftertaste.
Bartenura, Malvasia 2014.  A very  Pleasant Rose ‘ wine  made with  Malvasia grapes. With hints of  strawberries. This  great dessert wine.
Nartenura, Pinot Grigio  2014.  A medium-bodied white wine with hints of  violets and fresh fruits.  With a distinct bouquet.
Bartenura, Moscato 2014.  A sweet white wine  With hints of  melon and pears. It makes  a nice aperitif on a hot summer night !
Take Note :
White and sparkling wines are to be enjoyed young,  with a few exceptions  of those designated  DOCG. They should be served chilled at tem.  50-54 F. They  are best served as aperitif.  Aperitivo.  Or with antipasto,  seafood, salads,  white  meat  cheese and dessert.   We also got to drink  mineral water  from Italy.
Some local Italian Restaurants prepared their preferred dishes.
Cacio & Vino R istorante  served  arancine.  Rice balls. Caponata. Eggplants  Sicilian style.  And cannolis.
Risotteria  Melotti. Served their specialty  risotto with black truffles.
Serafina Fabulous Grill served brushetta.
A very enjoyable event indeed. I was pleased to  see some  old friends.  Everybody had a very cheery good time!
BuonAppetito! Salute! Cheers!
(C)- Daniele Matteo.  Wine Editor.  2015.
Daniele Matteo with Tom Celli

Daniele Matteo with nephew Tom Celli.


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TreBicchieri Gambero rosso


I was pleased to attend the TRE BICCHIIERI GAMBERO ROSSO Wine Tasting event at Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, New York City, this past February.  There were 193 Produces from all over Italy showcasing about 1,000 wines.  I’m following TRE BICCHIIERI GAMBERO ROSSO by listing each winery by their place of origin.

Here are my Tasting Notes :

1- Abbazia di Novacella. * Alto Adige.
Valle Isarco   Praepositus  ’13.*
Valle Isarco Kerner Praepositus  ’14.*
Moscato Rosa Praepositus ’14.*.
Praepositus 2013. Makes the best of the cool growing season and aging 12 months in the Cellar.  It is Smokey interwoven with juicy ripe exotic fruits. In the mouth it handles its acidity well, thanks to a tangy flavor and full texture. The Moscato Rosa is amabile and nicely balanced.
2- Vigne Surrau. Sardinia. *
Vermentino di Gallura Superiore Sciala ’14.* -A Tre Bicchieri winner. This white wine is to the nose fresh almonds and with hints of citrus and aromatic herbs.
3- Allegrini. Veneto. *
Amarone della Valpolicella Classico ’11*. This sumptuous wine is most convincing.  On the nose simple fresh aromas dominated by crisp succulent red berries.
4- Poggio al Tesoro– Tuscany.
Dedicato a Walter ’12.* .
Bogheri Superiore Sondraia ’12.-
Bolgheri Vermentino Sciosole ’14. *
The Dedicato a Walter ’12. One of the best Bogheri Superiore I tasted.  The aromatic profile is citrus grassy. Very fresh and original.
6- Merotto.  Veneto.
Valdobiadene Brut Rive di Col San Martino N/V and Cuve’ del Fondatore Graziano Merotti ’14. * . It is very elegant. A Brut with a fresh inviting nose of blossom of spring flowers.
9- Montenidoli. Tuscany. ..
Vernaccia di San Gimignano Carato ’11.
A biodynamic produced wine.  This Tre Bicchieri winner with vibrant citrus aromas with hints of peach and apricots fruits and a firm moutfilling palate with well-defined freshness and a lingering finish.
10- Perticaia. UMBRIA.
Montefalco Sagrantino ’11.-
Trebbiano Spoleto ’14-* Impeccable.
The Sagrantino very well made with convincing style.  It is delicate with nuances seductive red fruit. Followed by a taste in which flavor triumphs over power. With low tannins.
14- Villa Raiano . Campania. ..
Fiano di Avellino 22′- 2013.*
This winery from Serinow Avellino practices organic farming.  They focus on Falanghina and Aglianico grapes. This Tre Bicchieri winner with beautiful intact fruits, fragrant aromas bright acidity and a solid compact body leading to an enjoyable finish. It has extraordinary aging potential.
17- Pala. Sardinia.
Vermentino di Sardegna Stellato ’14. .
Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva ’13- *
The Cannonau excellent. A great graceful wine.  The Vermentino won the Tre Bicchieri award.  It has savoury salty notes and a log palate.
18- Umani. Ronchi. Marche…
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Superiore Vecchie Vigne ’13. This winery from Ancona. They also make. ..
Conero Campo San Giorgio Riserva ’10, Conero Cumaro Riserva ’11. And. .
Pelago ’11- a certified organic vineyard.
These vintage wines each year are well made and complex. Vecchie Vigne has nuances of masterful harmony with a lingering long finish.  The elegant Pelago is structured and quaffable.
19- Cantina Sociale di Carpi e Sorbara. Emilia Romagna.
Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco Omaggio a Gino Friedman ’13-
Lambrudco di Sorbara Omaggio a Gino Friedman FB ’13- * and Lambrusco di Sorbara Amabile Emma ’14.- * . This winery from Modena produces wines that are linear. With extremely delicate fruit and an austere lean palate. The body provided by the lees in suspension.  It offers a salty citrus finish. The Omaggio 2014. -is trusting mineral and crisp.  With nose of blossom red berries and apples.
27- Badia a Coltibuono. Tuscany. .
Chianti Classico 2013.  Winery in Gaiolein Chianti.  Siena. Certified organic.  I met the winery owner personally.  This Chianti Classico 2013 displays sunny aromas and a tangy well-organized palate.  The same for Chianti Classico Riserva 2013. It is supple with clean aromas and slightly more ruffled palate.
28- Tenuta Sant’Antonio. Veneto. .
Amarone della Valpolicella Campo dei Gigli 2011. – and Valpolicella Superiore la Bandina ’11-* winery near Verona. The warm 2011 harvest gave this Amarone a sunny ripe character, with fruit perfectly suited for smokey nuances of autumn leaves.  Valpolicella la Bandina shows a fresher more intriguing nose over a juicy taut palate. These wines are produced without added sulfites.
29- Vietti. Piedmont.
Barolo Rocche di Castiglione 2011. and Barbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza la Crena 2011-* and Barolo Castiglione 2011.  Winery in Cuneo. They produce consistently quality wines.  A reflection of Langhe’s finest terroir.  Thisb year ‘s Tre Bicchieriwinner coincides with the 50th anniversary of  winemaking.  It is deeply complex to the nose focusing on notes of quinine tar and violent with balsamic hints. It has a well-round tannins with a rarely long finish.
35- Bortolomiol.  Veneto. .
Valdobiadene Brut Prior 2014.-*
Valdobiadene Brut Ius Naturae 2014 and Valdobiadene Extra Dry Banda Rossa 2015.-  Winery in Valdobiadene, Treviso.
Certified organic.  Focus is on Prosecco Spumante Brut. The Brut Prior has an attractive hue with fine sparkle as and elegant aromas of apple alongside flowers and almonds.  Consistently elegant palate.  The Motus Vitae dedicated to the founder Giuliano Bortolomiol is more mature complex to the nose with dry flowers and Mediterranean scrub. Followed by a palate perfectly integrated with fizz.


This concludes TRE BICCHIIERI GAMBERO ROSSO NYC Tasting Notes.  Part 1
(C)-*Daniele Matteo Editor of Wine Tasting.


★(¯`*•.¸,¤°´ ◕‿◕ `°¤,¸.•*´¯)♥★♥(¯`*•.¸,¤°´★◕‿◕★`°¤,¸.•*´¯)★


TRE BICCHIERI GAMBERO ROSSO – Tasting Notes (contd.)

43- Pietradolce.  Sicily – *.
Etna DOC Rosso V. Barbagalli ’12- Red of the year.  By Gambero Rosso.
Etna DOC Rosso Archineri ’12- and. ..
Etna DOC Rosato Pietradolce ’14-*
The vineyards are located on the Northern slopes of  Mt. Etna an active volcano.  The soil therefore volcanic and the wines are elegant and harmonious.  The grapes are Carricanteand  nerello. They make a wine of extraordinary complexity and finesse which earned it Tre Bicchieri.  The Vigna Barbagalli 2012. Shows a complex deep nose.  With red berries fruits and  mineral spicy notes and the palate  has a  leisurely long finish.
45- Fuligni. Tuscany.
Brunello di Montalcino 2010.  Winery located in Montalcino, Siena.
This Brunello like many others of this latest vintage already on the market is exceptional.  From the first impact of a luscious and deep aromas to medicinal herbs to Orange zest.  Also tobacco and roots. While texture is poised for a tangy  flow and silky tannins.  One of  the very best wines of Italy.  Keep it in the Cellar for the next decade.
50- Tenuta dell’Ornellaia.  Tuscany.
Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia ’12*-
Bolgheri Rosso le Serre Nuove  ’13 . And. ..
Poggio alle  Gazze ’13*- the winery located near Livorno.  This is a very  prestigious brand of Italian wines in the world.  The Frescobaldi family owns the Estate. The 2012 Ornellaia really impresses with stylistic precision.  It has an oaky component and  a wonderful fruity extract.
52- Re Manfredi – Terre degli Svevi . Basilicata.
Aglianicodel Vulture Serpara ’10.*
Winery in Venosa.  Potenza. This 2010 Aglianico is one of the best.  Elegant concentrated but also very balanced. It displays red and black fruitiness with smooth tannins with elegant notes of spices and  mountain herbs.
56- Marchesi di  Barolo . Piedmont.
Barolo Cannubi 2011*- winery is located in Barolo.  Cunuo. The wines are aged in Castello Falletti’s underground Cellars. This Barolo  has a spicy fruity nose and an exceptional well-constructed palate.  It deserves the Tre Bicchieri award.
57- Le Chiuse . Tuscany.
Brunello di Montalcino 2010.
Brunello di Montalcino 2011.
This winery is located in Montalcino.  Siena and it organically farms and grows Sangiovese grapes.  The wine is aged in large  oak Botti. It is a wine  complex and multifaceted.  Le Chiuse 2010 Brunello is a real champ!  With  detectable fragrant fruits and hints of  damp earth and  a very accomplished palate with acidity and flavor.  Leave it in the Cellar for the next decade!
58- Tenuta Viglone. Puglia.
Gioia del Colle Primitivo Marpione Riserva 2011. ..and. ..
Gioia del Colle Pri-mit-ivo 2012*-
Johe ’13-  These Gioia del Colle DOC wine zone are top quality.  The Primitivo Riserva 2011  is spicy and  black berry fruits and moutfilling full with a gutsy finish accentuated by Mediterranean scrub. Slightly  sweet but still brilliant is the 2012 vintage. . While the blend  of 50% Aleatico and  Primitivo the fruity  Johe ’13 . With notes of ginger is highly drinkable .
64- Azienda Agricola Punica.  Sardinia.
Barrua 2012*-
Montessu 2013.*-
Winery located near Caglari. These are great wines made with grapes from int’l varieties.  This Barrua is extremely well made. With aromas of myrte. Spices and  red berry  rush to the palate.  Soft tannins and a  long clean finish.
65- Feudo Maccari.  Sicily.
Saia 2013.
Grillo 2014.
And Nero D’Avola 2014.* winery near Noto. Saia received Tre Bicchieri award for a well-made wine with Nero D’Avola grapes. It has salty mineral notes and  dried violets and a deep  spirited palate of rare length.
67- Masi.  Veneto.  Amarone della Valpolicella Vaio
Anarone della Valpolicella Classico Campolongo di Torbe 2009.*
Winery in Valpolicella.  Verona.  This 2009 vintage with its nose of intense  ripe fruits and  a backdrop of light oak.  The Vaio Amarone shows a  more approachable nose.  With a rounded palate and rugged tannins.
68- Il Colombaio di Santa Chiara . Tuscany.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano l’Albereta Riserva 2012*-
Winery located in San Gimignano.  Siena.  Certified organic.  This white Vernaccia earned Tre Bicchieri award.   It is complex to the nose with fragrance floral hints alongside mineral sensations and alternating citrus and apple fruits.  The palate nicely  balanced with some acidity blended with other components and a pleasant lingering finish.
69- Barone Pizzini. Lombardy.
Franciacorta Brut Naturae 2011*.
Franciacorta Brut Bagnadore Riserva 2008.  And. ..
Franciacorta Animante Brut N/V.
Winery located near Brescia. Certified organic.  The Spumante Brut Naturae won Tre Bicchieri for four years in a row!  With its bright straw green  hue and  a very fine  bead.With an elegant complex nose of citrus and  white fruits.  And delicate hints of aromatic herbs.  The palate is fleshy and satisfying. With a lively vein of acidity and minerals notes with a long finish.
70- Leone de Castris. Puglia.
Salice Salentino Rosso per lui Riserva 2013.  And. .
Salice Salentino Rosso 50 gradi Vendemmia Riserva 2013.
Winery in Salice Salentino. Lecce.  The 2013 Riserva is great.  Spicy  with hints of dark color fruits and  well-crafted  succulent  and solidly made. The Primitivo Per Lui is a bit more aggressive and  smooth.  While te Riserva  2013 is balanced and shows good fruits.
75- Chiaromonte.  Puglia.
Gioia del Colle Primitivo Muro Sant’Angelo Contrada Barbatto 2012*-
Winery located near Bari.  Wines made from old bush-trained vines. The soil is mineral rich limestone . Terra Rossa and clay. This Primitivo 2012 displays  an intense nose of dark  berry fruits with hints of Mediterranean scrub and a juicy  full-flavored palate. Fresh with good balance and  length.
76- Graci. Sicily.
Etna DOC Rosso Arcuria 2013.*
Winery located near Catania. This red wine opens  to spice.  Iron filings and  ripe peach on the nose,  over a  leisurely fleshy palate . Sustained by  spirited tannins.
77- Ca’ Rugate. Veneto.
SoaveClassico Monte Alto 2013*-
Soave Classico Monte Fiorentine ’14…
Amarone della Valpolicella 2012*-
Winery located near Verona.  The soavewhite wine is made with Garganega grapes.  It shows a perfect fusion  of aromas and oak. With an elegant nose and  good progression on the palate.  The Florentine shows fresh aromas and  a crisp palate.  I like to mention  an impressive leap of quality for the Amarone .
80- Castello Romitorio. Tuscany.
Brunello di Montalcino 2010.
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010
Brunello di Montalcino Filo di Seta ’11.
Winery located in Montalcino. Siena.
Great wines.  The 2010 vintage excellent for Brunellos. Aromas of roots beets and  a hint of blood-rich meat with oakysensation integrated into harmonious hedge palate.  Tannins fine-grained. A Tre Bicchieri winner.  Keep it in the Cellar for the next decade!
81- Valle d’Aosta . Les Cretes.
Valle d’Aosta  Chardonnay Cuvee’ Bois ’13.
Valle d’Aosta  Petite Arvine ’14.
Valle d’Aosta  Pinot Noir ’14*-
A Tre Bicchieri winner the chardonnay a venerable Valle d’Oasta flagship in wine world.  Very well made. The 2013 has luscious color . A nose which Sent of acacia flowers.  With fruits and cinnamon and vanilla spices.  The tangy mouth opulent but not oily. Rich fresh and  leisurely. The floral Petite Arvine is excellent!
 84- Torre Rosazza.  Friuli Venezia Giulia.
FCO Pinot Bianco ’14*-
FCO Pinot Grigio ’14*- and …
FCO Friulano ’14*-
The winery is located in Udine.
This estate in Northeast Italy produces quality whites of all tiles. This year the favorite  was the Pinot Bianco 2014 which earned the Tre Bicchieri for its elegant aromas and soft palate.
85- Cantine Lunae Bosoni. Liguria.
Colli di Luni Vermentino Etichetta Nera ’14 …and …
Collidi Luni Vermentino Etichetta Grigia ’14 … and …
Colli di Luni Rosso Niccolo’ V .2011*.-
The Etichetta Nera Vermentino  took top honors from Tre Bicchieri. Its intriguing  bright green hue combines with a pleasing body. With hints of basil . Intense aromas of wild roses and  notes of ripe fruits.  With a mouth-filling  structure and  persistent soft finish.
87- Mesa– Sardinia.
Carignano del Sulcis Buio Buio Riserva ‘ 12. ..and…
Vermentino di Sardegna Giunco ’14…
Carignano del Sulcis Buio ’14.*-
Winery located near Cagliari. Tre Bicchieri goes to the Riserva with notes of ripe  red berry fruits and Mediterranean scrubland.  Crisp and lush on the palate with considerable length.
88-La Guardiense. Campania.
Falanghina del Sannio Janare ’14*-
Sannio Aglianico ’12*-
The winery located near Benevento. Once again Falanghina earned Tre Bicchieri one of Campania region bedt white DOCG wines.  With modern luscious style and a bouquet of  tropical fruit.  Wild flowers and aromatic herbs.  The tangy mineral taut palate is brimming with fruit.
88 – Mastroberardino . Campania.
Winery run by Piero Mastroberardino located in Atripalda, Irpinia.
He owns various vineyards with a Cellar and Agroturismo. From vineyard in Radici di Mirabella comes a well made agluanico wine Radici . This Taurasi DOCG wine 2011 offers ripe dark berry fruits.  Roasted coffee and a rounded palate.
90 – Santa Barbara.  Marche.
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Stefano Antonucci ’13*- …and…
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico ’14*-  …and ..
Verdicchio dei Castelli di  Jesi Classico Superiore Balciana ’13*-
Winery located near Ancona.  The Verdicchio wine is macerated on the skins. It has aromas of  white tea and citrus peel. And deep salty palate.  The favorite of Tre Bicchieri is the Stefano Antonucci 2013 with its fine fruity balanced aromas.
104 – Masciarelli.  Abruzzo.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Marina Cvetic ’11*-  This winery is located near Chieti.  It is well known for making Mediterranean style wines.  This Montepulciano wine is excellent with complex aromas ranging from ashes to lively fruits and rounded palat.  With prominent.  Expansive varietal tannins.  The flavor is tangy and dynamic despite the powerful structure .
104  – Azienda Agricola Agri-Bio Vitivinicola Stefania Pepe. Abruzzo.
The winery is located near Teramo.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG  Pepe Nero 2007.*
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC  DNA  2008 …and …
Trebbiano d’Baruzzi DOC Pepe Bianco 2007. * Stefania creates only organic and biodynamic wines.  Her wines are made with tender loving care. And offer a great value.
There are more wines to rate, but frankly it’s impossible to list all. You might find the Guide ITALIAN WINES- 2016, published by GAMBERO ROSSO quite useful in this regards.
Salute! Cheers!
(C)*- Daniele Matteo Editor of Wine Tasting Notes on


★(¯`*•.¸,¤°´ ◕‿◕ `°¤,¸.•*´¯)♥★♥(¯`*•.¸,¤°´★◕‿◕★`°¤,¸.•*´¯)★



Francesco Gibellini Castelvetro and Mrs. Giovannella Fugazza.


D.M with Ed McCarthy

D.M with Ed McCarthy

VIAS Grand Portfolio Tasting NYC.

With great expectation, I went to  New York City on the morning of May 16th 2016 to attend the 35th Grand Tasting of the Italian wines imported by Mr. Fabrizio Pedrolli, founder and owner of VIAS Imports Ltd. Http://
It was held in the lobby if a modern building, in Chelsea, a neighborhood of West Side. NYC.
Mr. Pedrolli warmly welcomed all participants. He expressed his gratitude with these kind words: “We are excited, honored and proud, to share our one-of-a-kind Portfolio with the wine community in the Crown Jewel of Epicurean Markets, New York City.  Today we celebrate the achievements of our Producers and Partners. Whether they are veterans and have been with us since our humble beginnings in 1983 or they represent the bright rising stars of the ever changing wine landscape. In Italy as in other parts of the World, our industry is more dynamic than ever! We explore the vast nuances that this great Peninsula has to offer at the highest quality level.  From unique indigenous grapes that give us distinct, reliable flavor, profiles, to family traditions going back for generations, we are proud to represent the ninety one present here today. “– Fabrizio Pedrolli, Founder and Owner, Vias.
I want to say that I couldn’t taste all the 1000 + wines present.  However, I did taste enough to be able to write toyou about them:
Total = 91 wineries; 62 Crus; 83 Indigenous grapes and 33 years of activity! Where Passion meets Wine!
BISOL. Veneto. Table #1.
Located in Valdobbiadene the Busol family produces quality DOCG Prosecco’s, for many generations.
Jeio Brut Valdobbiadene. Prosecco. DOC, NV.
100% Glera grapes. Good sparkling wine. Not too dry. Bouquet of dried flowers. To the palate some peach and almond flavors.
Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore di Cartizze DOCG.  100% Glera grapes.  A little amabile.  Smooth. Great aromas and bouquet.
Crede Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. Ablend of Glera, Pinot Bianco and. verdiso. Great aromas and floral bouquet.  A great prosecco for special occasions!

BRANCHER. Veneto.  Valdobbiadene . Winemaker Mariano Pancot has been making great Proseccos since 1996. These sparkling wines are generous, with balanced flavors and intense fragrances. Flowery, fresh and velvety. Cheers!
Extra. Dry Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG.  100% Glera grapes.  With hints of citrus and pineapple.
TENUTA PEDERZANA.  Emilia-Romagna.  Table #2.
Francesco Ghibellini, and his uncle Massimo Pederzana have successfully cloned an ancient strain of Grasparossa grape in Guyot-trained vineyard. The result a great wine rich in aromas with excellent polypheanol levels.
Cantolibero Lambrusco Grasparossa di CASTELVETERO DOC. 100% Lambrusco Grasparossa di Catelvetro 2014.
Great aperitivo. Drued fruits and medium-bodied.
Lambrusco Grasparossa di Catelvetro DOC. 100% Lambrusco Grasparossa di Catelvetro 2014.
A different take but nice aromas and flavors.
CASTELLO DI LUZZANO. Lombardy.  Table. #2.
They. Are located in Colli Piacentini near the Emilia-Romagna border. I had the pleadure to meet the owner Donna Givannella Fugazza who owns a castle which she turned into a Bead & Breakfast and trattoria on weekends. They have successfully cloned Barbera and Bonarda. Grapes. The wines are distinct with color taste and aromas.
Tasto di Seta Malvasia. Colli Piacentini DOC. 100% Malvasia di Candia Aromatica. 2015. Flowery aromas a little amabile. Great aperitivo.
Sommossa Bonarda Frizzante Oltrepo’ Pavese DOC. 2015. 100 % Bonarda. Soflt, morbido, round and balanced.
Romeo Gutturnio Classico Riserva DOC.  Barbera and Bonarda blend.
A great crisp wine well made. Aromas of black cherries and raspberries.
MONTONALE. Lombardy.  Table #2.
Located near Brescia. It is in the Lugana DOC appellation.  It is particularly suitable for growing of Turbiana aka Trebbiano diLugana. The soil is minerally rich and clay dominates the landscape.
Montunal Lugana DOC. 2015. – 100% Turbiana.  A high level of minerals. Good acidity. An intense and complex bouquet. Great aperitif! Serve chilled.
Situated in Valpolicella Classico.  The Scamperle family cultivates fir nany generations the classic trio: Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Molinara. As well as some Oseleta and Croatina.
Valpolicella Classico DOC 2014.
A blend in the tradition of Valpolicella of Corvina , Corvinone,  Rondinella,  Sangiovese and Molinara! Result?  A dry light wine to drink young.
I Progni Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore DOC 2014.
Another blend of Corvina,  Corvinone,  Rondinella,  Molinara,  Croatina and Sangiovese.  A medium- bodied light wine to be enjoyed while young.
Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC 2012.
A blend of Covina,  Rondinella,  Croatina,  and Corvinone 2012.
It is very aromatic. It still needs time to develop all the flavors and aromas. Drink in 2019?
La Marega Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2012.
A blend of Corvina. Rondinella. Criatina. Dindarella. Sangiovese and Corvinone.  Why so nay grapes? To enhance the quality of the wine. To bring out all the flavors and aromas frim each varietal!
Pergole Vece Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2011.
Corvina. Rondinella. Corvinone.  Croatina and Oseleta. Jammy. Spicy. Corposo. Full- bodied and great aromas.  Drink now.
Pergole Vece Recioto Della Valpolicella Classico DOCG.  Again:
Corvina,  Rondinella,  Croatina, Sangiovese,  Oseleta, and Corvinone. A great dessert wine!
Thus shows how creative the people of Valpolicella are in blending all the grapes they cultivate in making a range if wines from Ripasso to Amarone! Bravi vinai!
Il STEFANINI. Veneto. Table. #3.
This rather young winery specializes. In making aromatic whites with Garganega grapes.  This grape is indigenous in Soave Region.
Il Sele Soave DOC. 2015.
I’m not fund of Soave. I’m more a Pinot Grigio/Vermentino drinker. But thus Soave made with 100 % Garganega was excellent.  Aronatic. Bouquet and balanced!
Monte de Toni Soave Classico DOC 2014.
100% Garganega grapes.  Excellent.
Monte di Fice Soave CLassico Superiore DOCG 2014.
100 % Garganega. A light flowery and dry eine with hints of pear.
COLLE DEI BARDELLINI.  Liguria. Table #3.
They cultivate Vermentino,  Pigato and Rossese, varietals on the steep hills overlooking the sea of Liguria.
Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente DOC 2015. 100% Pigato.  A little on the light side similar to a Soave.
U Mente Vermentino Riviera Ligure di Ponente DOC 2015.
100% Vermentino.  Not impressed.  Light anf aromatic. Not like Vermentino di Gallura. Sardinia.
RAPIDO.  Piedmont.  Table #4.
Le Dolci Colline Brut Prosecco DOC. NV.
100 % Glera uva. Thus Prosecco sparkling from Veneto is fresh,  smooth and fruity. Easy on the taste buds.
Le Dolci Colline Spumante Rose’ DOC. Glera and Brachetto. Blend. N. V. On the sweet side. A refreshing summer drink.
Brut Prosecco DOC NV.
100% Glera uva.
Rapido Prosecco.  Great aromas fruits and citrus sparkling wine.
Pinot Grigio delle Venezie. IGT 2015.
100%Pinot Grigio.  Any Pinot Grigio from Venezie:  Veneto. Trentino. Friuli. Ii is an easy to drink wine. This one is an exception. I wrote the notes in a hurry I can’t even read them!
Sangiovese Puglia IGT 2014.
100% Sangiovese.  This great Chianti variety doesn’t grow well only in Tuscany. It has some nice aromas and flavors. Drink in 2018.
ARALDICA. Piedmont.  Table #4
La Luciana Gavi DOCG 2015.
GAVI appellation. Is one if the best known not just in Italy. The grape is indigenous to Gavi and it makes a great wine. You have to try it next time you order seafood in your favorite restaurant.
Albera Barbera D’Asti DOCG. 2014.
100% Barbera grapes. A great. Vitigno.  It is a little softer than Barolo but a great accompaniment to almost any meal.
CASTELVERO. Piedmont.  Table #4.
Cortese Piemonte DOC 2015.
100% Cortese.  It is not called Gavi but it’s the same grape. A great white.
Barbera Piemonte DOC 2015.
100 % Barbera grapes.
I liked it. Round, soft, easy on the palate.  Enjoy!
IL CASCINONE.  Piedmont.  Table #4.
Located in Monferrato the winery produces several varietals including Barbera, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Rive Barbera D’Asti Superiore DOCG. 2013.
100% Barbera D’Asti grapes.
Balanced. Fresh. Nice acidity. Not overpowering.
MAISON ANSELMET.Valle D’Aosta.  Table #4.
Torrette Superieur Vallee’ D’Aoste DOC 2014.
Petit Rouge, Comalin and Funim Grapes.  They must blend because the high altitude there, they cultivate in the Alps. A medium- Bodied balanced wine.
FuminVallee’ D’Aoste DOC 2012.
100% Fumin grapes, soft floral.
This ends my first part. Of Tasting notes of Vias Wines.





COLPETRONE. Part of wine company TENUTE DEL CERRO. Umbria.   Table.   #16.
Situated in Montefalco Zone it is one of the principal producer of Sagrantino an indigenous grape variety that thrives in the hills of Umbria. This vitigno is rich in tannins and polyphenols. It also produces a Montefalco Rosso. Which brings together Sagrantino and Sangiovese.
Rosso di Montefalco DOC 2011.
A blend of Sangiovese, Sagrantino and Merlot.
Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2010.
100 % Sagrantino.
Gold Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2006.
100% Sagrantino.
Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito DOCG 2009.
100 % Sagrantino.  A sweet dessert wine.
FEUDI DEL PISCIOTTO. Sicily.  Table #17.
It is located near Caltagirone a few miles from the sea. It is an historic Feudo of 18th Century, now a Cellar utilized solely for aging the wines.
The new winery is utilized for winemaking.
Marengo Grillo Sicilia IGT 2013.
100% Grillo grapes.
Tirsat Sicilia IGT 2013.
A blend of chardonnay and Viognier.
L’Eterno Pinit Noir Sicilia IGT 2011.
100 % Pinot Noir.
Versace Nero D’Avola Sicilia IGT 2013.
100 % Nero D’Avola grapes.
Marengo Frappato Sicilia IGT 2013.
100% Frappato grapes.
Valli Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG 2011.
A bkend if Nero D’Avola and Frappato grapes.
Ferre’ Passito Sicilia IGT 2014.
A blend of Gewuirtztraminer and Semillon. A sweet dessert wine selected by fashion icon Gianfranco himself!
PRINCIPE PALLAVINCI. Lazio.   Table #18.
The family has been making wine for 300 years.  They did some renovations back in the 1980’s and are making wines in a redtored old stable. Where they dry grapes to make raisin wine . While barrels are stored in climate controlled grottos.  They use traditional/modern winemaking techniques.
Frascati  DOC 2015.
A blend of Malvasia di Candia,  Malvasia del Lazio and , Bombino,  Chardonnay,  and Greco.
What a combo! Gone are the days when it came in a bottle the shape of a fish!
Piggio Verde Frascati Superiore DOCG 2015.
A great blend of Malvasia di Candia,  Malvasia Del Lazio,  Greco and Greghetto + Trebbiano Toscano.
Casa Romana Rosso Lazio IGT 2011.
A blend of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Stillato Passito Malvasia Puntinata Lazio IGT 2013.
100 % Malvasia Puntinata grapes.
A great dessert wine.
ARGILLAE. Umbria.  Table #18.
Over 600 acres of vines near medieval town of Orvieto. This is the labor of love of the Bonollo, DiCosimo and Ascenzi families who cooperate to bring you a great product.
Grechetto Umbria IGT 2015.
100 % Grechetto grapes.
Orvieto DOC 2015.
A blend of: Trebbiano,  Grechetto,  Chardonnay,  Malvasia di Candia and Sauvignon grapes.
Sinuoso Umbria IGT 2013.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes.
CATALDI MADONNA. Abruzzi.   Table.   #19.
Luigi Cataldi Madonna runs the winery restored by his father in 1968.
Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC 2015.
100 % Trebbiano d’Abruzzo grapes.
Cerasuolo Montpulciano d’ABruzzo DOC 2015.
100 % Montpulciano grapes.
GIANCARLO CECI . Puglia.   Table #19.
In the town of Andria near the port city of Bari Mr. Ceci has been growing organic grapes since the                       early part of this Century.
Panascio Bombino Bianco Castel del Monte DOC 2015.
100 % Bombino Bianco grapes.
Parco Grande Castel del Monte DOC 2014.
A grest blend of Uva di Troia, Aglianico, Montpulciano and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Parco Marano Nero di Troia Castel Del Monte DOCG 2014.
100 % Uva di Troia grapes.
CANTINA VALLE TRITANA. Abruzzi.   Table.   #20.
Situated in the town of Capestrano at the foothills of Gran Sasso Mountains.  It benefits from a microclimate of warm days and cold nights.  It produces goog Montepulciano and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo grapes.
Capostrano Passerina Colli Aprutini IGT 2015.
100 % Passerina grapes.
Capostrano Verdicchio di Matelica DOC 2014.
100 % Verdicchio grapes.
Capostrano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2013.
100 % Montpulciano d’Abruzzo grapes.
STATTI. Calabria.   Table #20.
Greco Calabria IGT 2015.
100 % Greco grapes.
Lamezia Bianco DOC 2015.
A blend of Greco and Mantonico grapes.
Mantonico Calabria IGT 2013.
100 % Mantonico grapes.
A great white. Friuty smooth and flavorful.
Gaglioppo Calabria IGT 2015.
100 % Gaglioppo grapes.
Lamezia Rosso DOC 2015.
A blend of indigenous grapes: Gaglioppo,  Greco Nero and Magliocco.
DONATO D’ANGELO. Basilicata.   Table.   #20.
Located in the Vulture Mount.  Area the winery produces Aglianico del Vulture wine. Aglianico is known for its great aging potential and its ability to soften its tannins and reach a silky texture with time.
It is referred to as the Barolo of the South!
Calice Aglianico del Vulture DOC 2012.
100 % Aglianico grapes.
A great structured full-bodied , ruby red wine which I stared drinking at age 3 when my father and my uncle were making it in Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi,  Avellino in Irpinia where I spent my teen-age years and went to school before emigrating to North America.
TENUTA I GELSI. Basilicata.  Table.   #21.
This winery us licated on the slopes if dead volcano Mount Vulture. It also focuses on cultivating Aglianico grapes . i Gelsi refers to the Mulberry trees that line the entrance to the Estate.
Gelso Rosso Basilicata IGT 2014.
100 % Aglianico grapes.
Ofanto L’Emozioni Aglianico del Vulture DOC 2011.
100% Aglianico grapes.
Two great wines. Stash them in the Cellars for the next couple years.
PURATO. Sicily.   Table.   #21.
The winery is eco-friendly and it is Certified organic by U.S.D.A. amerca’s Dept. of Agriculture Agency.
Catarratto Pinot Grigio Terre Siciliane IGP 2015.
A blend of Catarratto and Pinot Grigio grapes.
Nero D’Avola Terre Siciliane IGP 2015.
100 % Nero D’Avola grapes.
FEUDO DI SANTA TERESA. Sicily.    Table.    #21.
Its vineyards benefit from cool brezzes frim the Mediterranean sea. They use only natural cultivation and it is Certified Organic by The U.S.D.A. Amerca’s agriculture agency.
Frappato Sicilia IGT 2015.
100 % Frappato grapes.
Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico DOCG 2013.
A great blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato grapes.
TERREDORA DI PAOLO. Campania.   Table.   #22.
With 500 acres of vines it us one if the largest wineries cantina in Southern Italy in the Avellino Province also known as Irpinia where I grew up.
Its wines are intense and elegant with a complex bouquet that distinguishes Terradora . they concentrate on indigenous varietals including Aglianico, Fiano, Greco di Tufo and Falanghina. Campania is undergoing a renaissance at the moment with integration if traditional snd modern winemaking methods!
Corte di Giso Falanghina Irpinia DOC 2015.
100% Falanghina grapes.
Coda di Volpe Campania IGT. 2015.
100 % Coda di Volpe grapes.  ( in the shape of fox’s tail!).
Loggia della Serra Greco di Tufo DOCG 2015.
100 % Greco di Tufo grapes.
Fiano di Avellino DOCG 2014.
100 % Fiano grapes.
My favorite.
Aglianico Campania IGT 2013.
100 % Aglianico grapes.
Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Rosso DOC 2014.
100 % Piedirosso grapes.
A great wine.
Taurasi DOCG 2010.
Taurasi DOCG. 2009.
Two outstanding wined drink now!
NURAGHE CRABIONI. Sardinia.  Table.  #22.
A Nuraghe is an ancient tower made of stones located everywhere in Sardinia.  It is the inspiration for the winemaker to make quality wines rich in aromas and character!
Vermentino di Sardegna DOC 2015.
100 % Vermentino grapes.
It is one if my favorite. I think Sardinia has the right climate and soil for cultivation of Vermentino and Sagrantino grapes.This is nicely balanced minerality and acidity with citrus and floral notes.
Pair with seafood and drink chilled. Never add ice to wine. It’s like oil and vinegar:  they don’t belong together.
Cannonau di Sardegna DOC 2014.
100% cannonau grapes.
It has an intense bouquet.  Nites if ripe red fruit. Pair with grilled meats and mature cheese.
TERRE DEL PRINCIPE . Campania.    Table.   #23.
They are dedicated to Pallagrello and Casavecchia who enjoy international stardom.
Fontanavigna Pallagrello Bianco Terre del Volturno IGT 2013.
100 % Pallagrello Bianco grapes.
Castello delle Femmine Pallagrello Nero / Casavecchia. Terre del Volturno IGT 2012.
A great blend of Pallagrello Nero and Casavecchia grapes.
Vigna i Piancastelli Terre del Volturno IGT 2011.
A blend of Pallagrello Nero and Casavecchia grapes.
CANTELE. Puglia Wine Trails.  Table #23.
This family-run winery at the heel of Puglia produces indigenous varietals: Primitivo (Zinfandel), and Negroamaro. And int’l. Ones: Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah.
Chardonnay Salento IGT 2015.
100 % Chardonnay grapes.
Amativo Salento IGT 2013.
A blend of Primitivo and Negroamaro grapes.
Primitivo Salento IGT 2013.
100 % Primitivo grapes.
Salice Salentino Riserva DOC 2012.
100 % Negroamaro grapes.
One of my favorite.  Balanced, smooth, ordinary and inexpensive like most wines of Puglia.  No pretenses,  just well-made frutto di Bacco! Baccu’s juice!
CANTINE COLOSI. Sicily.  Table #24.
This csntina enjoyes tge great sunny weather of Salinas a small Eolian island of Sicily.  They have a new Cellar right in the middle if Malvasia vineyards in the Eolian archipelago.
Nero d’Avola Terre Siciliane IGP 2014.
100 % Nero d’Avola grapes.
Bianco Terre Siciliane IGP 2015.
A great bkend of Inzolia, Catarratto and Grillo grapes.
A grest white. Aromatic and flavorful.
Passito Sicilia IGP 2010.
100 % Moscato di Alessandria Egypt grapes!
Very aromatic, sweet dessert wine.
Malvasia delle Lipari Passito di Salina DOC 2009.
A blend of Malvasia delle Lipari and Corinto Nero grapes.
A dessert wine to die for!
Now you know why I like these events!
This officially concludes my extensive Wine Tasting Notes for
@viaswine. Also:
There were some Malbecs from Patagonia Argentina that were pretty good,  and some wineries from California. Washington State and North Fork, Long Island, in New York State.
A special mention to Marimar Torres from Marimar Estate in Rusduan River Valley, California near Sonoma Coast who makes diligent Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays!
Also a mention to Pellegrini Wine Company. Also from Russian River valley in California, who make good Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnays. The Sauvignon Blanc was very good. Flirts with aromas of peach. She also had some great Pinot Noirs. Salute! Cheers!
Drink in moderation!
(C)_2016. Daniele Matteo, Wine Editor.

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D.Matteo and John Leech

D.Matteo and Mr. John Leech of Araldica Wines

VIAS Grand Portfolio Tasting NYC.(Contd)

I was able to taste so many different wines from Italy on May 16 at the VIAS Grand Portfolio Tasting in New York City, @viaswine.
Here, I will list some wines  for your benefit, that I did NOT personally taste, so you can look for them in your local Wine Store and try for yourself. Remember variety is the spice of life. Most of these wines are produced in small quantities with traditional and/or modern techniques.  Note the abundance of white varietals offered by the Northeast near the borders of Austria and Slovenia high up in the Alps. You don’t have to settle just for Pinot Grigio and Soave anymore.  You have choice!
STRASSERHOF. Alto Adige.     Table # 10.
The Baumgarten family has been producing exceptional whites at altitude of 2,626 Meters above Sea Level since 2003 in Valle Isarco. The wines are elegant and minerally-rich in aromas.
Kerner Alto Adige Valle Isarco DOC 2014.
100 % Kerner grape. A German variety.
Sylvaner Alto Adige Valle Isarco DOC 2014.
100 % Sylvaner.
Veltriner Alto Adige Valle Isarco DOC 2014.
100 % Veltriner grapes.
Riesling Alto Adige Valle  Isarco DOC 2014.
100 Riesling grapes. Another German variety.
PACHERHOF. Alto Adige also Table #10.
This winery located in the Eisack Valley and produces typically German whites: Kerner, Gruiner, Veltliner,  Muiller Thurgau, Sylvaner,  Riesling and the grand dame of all Gewuirtztraminer on 8 Hectares of land. They practice organic cultivation.
Pinot Grigio Alto Adige Valle Isarco DOC 2015.
100 % Pinot Grigio grapes.
Kerner Alto Adige Valle Isarco DOC 2014.
100 % Kerner grapes.
Muiller Thurgau Alto Adige Valle Isarco DOC 2014.
100 Muiller Thurgau grapes.
Sylvaner Alto Adige Valle Isarco DOC 2014.
100 Sylvaner grapes.
Sylvaner Alte Reben Alto Adige Valle Isarco DOC 2014.
100 % Sylvaner grapes.
Riesling Alto Adige Valle Isarco DOC 2013.
100 Riesling grapes.
Gewuirtztraminer Alto Adige Valle Isarco DOC 2014.
100 Gewuirtztraminer grapes.
Located in a 12th Century Augustan Monastery.  It produces indigenous wines by renowned winemaker, Enologist: Prof. Enrico Paternoster.
Mach Riserva del Fondatore Brut Trento DOC 2008.
A sparkling like Prosecco made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. I did taste it. Aromatic with citrus and pear flavors. Serve chilled.
Pinot Grigio Trentino DOC 2014.
100 Pinot Grigio grapes.
Chardonnay Trentino DOC 2013.
Pinot Bianco Trentino DOC 2014.
100 Pinot Bianco grapes.
Nosiola Trentino DOC 2014.
100 % Nosiola grapes.
Castel San Michele Incrocio Manzoni Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT 2014.
100% Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13.
Muiller Thurgau Trentino DOC 2014.
100 % Muiller Thurgau grapes.
Sauvignon Blanc Trentino DOC 2014.
The grapes are hand harvested, cold pressed and undergo traditional vilification with brief maceration:  Part is fermented in stainless steel and lart in casks of rovere.
The color is straw yellow.  The bouquet is fruity and crisp. With a well I structured flavor. I would suggest to pair it with seafood appetizers, fish and white meats.
Serve chilled at temp. 50* F.
Riesling Trentino DOC 2014.
100 Riesling Renano, (German) .
LUISA. Friuli Venezia Giulia.    Table #12.
Pinot Grigio Isonzo Del Friuli DOC 2015.
100% Pinot Grigio grapes.
It is aged in the bottle for 2 months.
Bright straw-yellow color. Scented of acacia blossoms and ripe tropical fruits.  It pairs well with starters, prosciutto, fresh cheese, white meats and vegan.
Ribolla Gialla Venezia Giulia IGT 2015.
100 % Ribolla Gialla grapes.
This straw-yellow color with greenish tints is dry crisp and slightly. Citrus flavors.  It has a pleasant bouquet with floral notes of acacia.  It pairs well with hors d’oeuvres of white fish and shellfish such as oysters and clams.

Friulano Isonzo del Friuli DOC 2015.                                                                                                                      This is 100% Friulano. No longer called Tocaj. Grapes.
A very essence of Friuli with an intense straw-yellow color with a fruity flavor of almonds. Dry on the palate but round and velvety.
It pairs well with fresh cheese and vegetable or rice dishes.
Friulano i Ferretti. Isonzo Del Friuli DOC 2013.
It is a well-made white, elegant with personality.  50% of friulano grapes are naturally dried on the vine for. 12 days resulting in a concentrated, aromatic and unique wine.  Thus 100 % Friulano further shows an intense scent if peaches and pineapples. It is soft crisp and harmonious.  A pleasant aftertaste.  Accompaniment:  oily fish, white meat and vegan dishes.
Sauvignon Blanc Isonzo Del Friuli DOC 2015.
100 Sauvignon Blanc grapes.
A golden hue, a great structure reminiscent of Pinot Grigio with a very fine bouquet reminiscent of sage, paprika and tomatoes. Excellent acidity. Match with starters. Spicy dishes, Chinese food and crustaceans.
Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso Isonzo Del Friuli DOC 2013.
100 % Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso grapes.  I bet you never heard of this grape. Elevated in oak wood casks for circa 18 months.  Aging in the  bottle for 2 additional years.  A very popular red in Friuli. Garnet red color. Intense scent of dried fruits. Frutti di bosco. And blackberries. Tanninus spicy and a sustained aftertaste.  It ages well and gets gentler with age. Pair it with spicy. Chinese food, roasted meats and piquant cheese.
Merlot Isonzo Del Friuli DOC 2014.
100 % Merlot grapes.
This Merlot thrives in Friuli where the quality if the soil combines with cold climate. Ruby red color with shades of violets. Fruity with flavors of raspberries and blueberries and aromas of violets.  Slightly tannic with chewable touches.  Toasted meats and small game.
Cabernet Franc Isonzo Del Friuli DOC 2014.
100 % Cabernet Franc grapes.
This is the pride if the Corona and one of their most requested wines.
It has a real personally.  It has an intense ruby red color. full-bodied. Typically grassy a bit sour. It’s an aquired taste.  Pair with spicy Chinese cuisine and meats.
ARGIANO.  Tuscany.    Table #13.
Rosso di Montalcino DOC 2014.
100 % Sangiovese Grosso.
Solengo Rosso Toscano IGT 2013.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/  Syrah/Merlot/ Petit Verdot.
A balanced full of flivor a nuances a great supertoscan!
Argiano Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011.
100% Sangiovese Grosso grapes.
A great vintage. This the last release since it takes about five years to make a great Brunello. It will get better with more refinement in your Cantina. Cellar.
Argiano Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010.
100 % Sangiovese Grosso grapes.
2010 was a great year for Brunellos. Spicy, jammy, zesty. It will age well. Stash it in you Cellar.
BRUNI. Tuscany.    Table: 15.
Winery belonging to brothers Marco and Moreno Bruni is situated in the Maremma Toscana zone in the South.
Plinio Vermentino Maremma Toscana DOC 2015.
100% Vermentino grapes.
Early harvest and maturation in bottle.
Marteto Morellino di Scansano DOCG 2015.
a blend of Sangiovese/Syrah/ Alicante/ with 85% Sangiovese grapes.
Poggio d’Elsa Maremma Toscana DOC 2015.
A blend of Sangiovese/ Cabernet Sauvignon/  with affinamento. In bottle.
Oltreconfine Alicante Maremma Toscana DOC 2013.
100 % Alicante. Aka Grenache.
Affinamento in bottle.
LA LASTRA. Tuscany.    Table #15.
This winery is located in the medieval town of San Gimignano, known for its towers.  These wines                           are known for their minerality and longevity.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG 2015.
Vernaccia di S. Gimignano/  Tebbiano or Malvasia.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva DOCG 2013.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
(Tebbiano or Malvasia) .
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG 2014.
A blend of 85% Sangiovese,   Canaiolo Nero. Grapes and Trebbiano and Malvasia Bianca.
Great wines.  Crafted with modern winemaking methods with respect for biodiversity.
Salute!  This concludes my notes for now.

Thank you for your kind attention and words of encouragement!
(C)-2016. Daniele Matteo Chief Wine Editor at


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DrGrayBeard !

Hello there !

This is my blog about Italian wines and Cuisine .

 I’m Daniele Matteo, Blogger/Wine Broker and this is my humble effort at blogging.  I am a kind of self proclaimed connoisseur of Italian wines. I am Bilingual: Italian/Spanish-English. I love ‘ la Cucina Mediterranea ‘ and Italian Wines. I love to cook, so a page has been dedicated to simple recipes of Italy. I enjoy the company of good old friends and I love The Beatles, Saturday-nite-fever, The Bee-Gees etc. Salute !

I love writing about Italian wines from different wine producing regions of Italy. In this blog, I will be writing about various kinds of Italian wines, grapes and  some methods used to make such great and fantastic wines.

I have been thinking about a website dedicated mainly to the great Italian Wines. So finally, I dreamed up this Website, in  which I will try to present my take, on various Italian Wines, my Wine tasting escapades , Wine producing  regions of Italy and the grapes, the processes etc., used for this.

Italy is one of the well known producers of premium Wines: Red, Whites, Spumante and Proseccos.

I really don’t have any specific favorite region to talk about. Each region, be it North-West, or North-East, Central, including Tuscany, and South: Campania, Puglia e Calabria, including  the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, has it’s own special wines and products.

I plan on blogging about each one of them, in due time.



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I’ve been Blogging about Italian Foods and Wines for about one year now, and some of you faithful readers, still wonder what some terms mean when designating a particular product.

 Here’s a brief explanation of what they mean. Italian Government and European Commission give certain Designations to some Products of a specific Region. For example Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, is given DOP: which means ‘Denominazione di Origine Protetta’. This means that it is protected from counterfeit  mozzarella from other zones in the world. Also Chianti wines DOC: Denominazione di Origine Controllata, means ‘wine made from at least 85% sangiovese grapes in the town of Chianti, Florence, Italy. Chianti California is NOT Chianti DOC !

Similarly Brunello di Montalcino is designated DOCG – Denominazione di Origine Controllata and Garantita. It is made with 100% sangiovese grapes, and applies only to the producers in the town of Montalcino, Italy. Also, Taurasi DOC, a red wine made in the Province of Avellino, Campania, with 100% Aglianico, grapes ! IGT, on the other hand, refers to many fine local wines da Tavola It means: Indicazione Geografica Tipica. Specific to that town! Vernaccia di San Gimignano was the first white wine to receive DOCG Denomination in 1966. Today thre are more than 350 Zones, designated as: DOC/DOCG, and IGT for wines and DOP: Denominazione di Origine Protetta for other foods and products!

 Although sometimes producers stray from the requirements and do incur penalties! Italy boasts thousands of vine varieties and producers like to plant Indigenous vines to make unique wines. These vines varietals are found only in Italy and nowhere else in the world! In Italy they are called Autoctone. Have you heard of Soave outside Italy? What about Trebbiano? Uva di Troia? Malvasia? Cerasuolo? Primitivo? Coda di Volpe?

 Italy also makes a great amount of white wines. They vary from light and fruity to Barrel-matured ones, which can last for years! Some Regions in the North are known for their bubbly wines. They can be lightly fizzy, fruity or the full Sparkling Spumante, known in France as Champagne! 

It is made in two ways:

By seal-tank Charmant Method or Bottle-Fermented: Metodo Classico Tradizionale! The consumers in America and other parts of the world may be overwhelmed with all these choices! This is where comes in. I want to explain in plain English the nuances of the varieties of wines from each Region of Italy! The better informed you are the more you enjoy your selection!

Salute! Cheers! Cin-Cin!-(c) Daniele Matteo : Food and Wine Editor 2014.



With Joe Chirico, the owner of Marco Polo Ristorante in Carroll Gardens,  Brooklyn, N.Y.

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Wine/Cheese Pairings

Mild soft cheeses: Bel Paese, Stracchino, Mozzarella di Bufala, Ricotta:
Wines: Light to medium-bodied whites: such as Orvieto, Frascati, Soave, Lugana, Albana di Romagna. Alcamo Bianco, Ischia Bianco, Sauvignon,  Verdicchio. Light ripened or seasoned cheeses such as Fontina, Caciotta, Robiola, Provola, Burrata.
Roses or light reds. Such as Bardolino, Garda Chiaretto, Dolcetto di Dogliano, Grignolino,  Marzemino, Rosato di Salento.
Ripe or medium-aged cheeses: Grana Padano, Parmigiano Reggiano,   Pecorino Toscano, Pecorino Sardo, Santiago and Cacicavallo : Pairing with robust midium-aged reds: Such as Barbaresco,  Barolo, Barbera, Brunello di Montalcino, Taurasi, Aglianico del Vulture,  Lagrein, Teroldego Rotaliano.
For sharp and very ripe cheeses: Such as Bitto, Sharp Provolone,  Gorgonzola,  Pecorino Siciliano, Ragusano and Pecorino Romano : Pairing with a variety of dry full-bodied wines , such as Amarone della Valpolicella,  Sagrantino, Primitivo di Manduria, Marsala Vergine, Vernaccia di Oristano. Also sweet wines such as Recioto di Soave, Vin Santo, Aleatico or Picolit.  Salute! Cheers!
(C)- Daniele Matteo,  Food and Wine Editor- 2014.
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 Here’s a suggestion of some :    Food and Wine Pairing for Appetizers:
Asparagus with butter and parmigiano cheese  -: Collio Sauvignon wine.
Raw vegetables dipped into hot Olive oil,  garlic and anchovies  -:  Barbera d’Asti.
Bresaola – sliced dried beef of Valtellina’  -: Valtellina Rosso.
Carpaccio – sliced raw veal with shavings of mushrooms and Grana Padano cheese  -:  Colli Euganei Merlot
Crostini di Fegato – chicken liver pate’ on crisp bread  -: Chianti Colli Fiorentini.
Fiori di zucchini fritti – fried zucchini flowers  -:  Orvieto Classico.
Frutti di Mare – Seafood salad  -: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico.
Granseola Veneziana- spider crab minced with Olive oil, pepper, lemon and served on its shell  -:  Soave Classico Superiore.
Mozzarella in Carrozza – breaded and fried sandwich of Buffalo Mozzarella and anchovies  -:  Greco di Tufo.
Ostriche – raw oysters  -:  Gavi
Peperonata – stewed peppers  – :  Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
Prosciutto. San Daniele con fichi – San Daniele prosciutto with figs -: Colli Orientali del Friuli,  Friulano.
Next I’ll talk about pairing with Primi: First Course. Read on …….
Daniele Matteo,  Editor.  2015.
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Primi Piatti (First course), Wine pairing

Bucatini alla Mantriciana – Bucatini pasta with salt pork, chili peppers, tomatoes and grated
Romanocheese -:  Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
Cassola – Spicy Sardinian fish soup with crustaceans and mollusks- : Vermentino di Gallura.
Crespelle con ricotta e spinaci – Crepes rolled and stuffed with ricotta and spinach -: Trentino Chardonnay
Fettuccine al Burro – egg noodles with butter,  cream and grated Parmesan cheese – : Frascati Superiore.
Gnocchi di Patate con ragu’ – potato gnocchi with meat sauce and grated cheese -: Valpolicella Classico Superiore.
Lasagne Al Forno – Lasagna with meat baked is the oven -: Rosso Piceno.
Orecchiette con cime di rape – Orecchiette with turnips,  garlic and chili peppers -: Castel del Monte Rosato.
Panissa – Piemontese risotto with red beans and pork – : Monferrato Barbera.
Pasta e fagioli – Bean soup and pasta -: Friuli Grave Merlot
Ribollita – Tuscan vegetable-bean soup with bread and extra virgin olive oil -: Morellino di Scansano.
Risotto alla Certosina – rice with crayfish,  frogs,  perch, vegetables and mushrooms -: Oltrepo’ Pavese Pinot Bianco.
Tortelli di Zucca – egg  pasta envelopes filled with pumpkin and topped with Grana Padanocheese-: Lugana Superiore.
Tortellini in Brodo – stuffed egg pasta rolls in Capon broth topped with parmesan cheese -: Albana di Romagna Secco.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara – spaghetti with salt pork, eggs, peppers and grated Romano cheese -: Velletri Rosso.
Spaghetti con Le vongole veracity – Spaghetti with baby clams sauteed with Olive oil, garlic and parsley -: Ischia Biancolella
This concludes my suggestion for Primi Piatti. First Course. Read next my suggestion for Secondi :  Main Course. 
BuonAppetito! Salute!
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Second I Piatti (Main Course), Wine Pairings.

Abbacchio alla Cacciatora – baby lamb cooked with rosemary, garlic and anchovies -: Cerveteri Rosso.
Arista di Maiale – pork loin roast with rosemary, garlic and wild fennel -:Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Baccala’ alla Vicentina – dried cod cooked with milk, onions, anchovies and parmesan cheese  -: Colli Berici Friulano Rosso.
Brasato al Barolo – beef braised in Barolo wine – : Barolo.
Bollito Misto – beef, veal,  hen and sausage simmered and served with salsa verde: piquant green -: Colli Piacentini Gutturnio.
Branzino al Forno – Baked sea bass – : Collio Bianco Riserva.
Fritto Misto di Pesce – crisp fried shrimp  squid and other fresh fish -: Trentino Sauvignon
Melanzane alla Parmigiana – eggplant baked with tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella and parmesan -: Vesuvio Rosato.
Pollo alla Diavola – spicy charcoal chicken, grilled -: Rosso Conero.
Porceddu – suckling piglet roasted on a spit at an open hearth -: Cannonau di Sardegna Secco.
Scampi alla Griglia- charcoal grilled scampi with lemon and herbs -: Friuli Isonzo Sauvignon
Trota al Burro – Brook trout pan roasted with butter and herbs -: Alto Adige Muller Thurgau.
Vitello Tonnato – cold veal slices with creamy tuna sauce and capers -: Franciacorta Brut Millesimato.
This concludes my series on Wine/ Food pairings.
This is only a small list but hopefully you get the idea. Remember Italian foods are very simple and you are encouraged to experiment with different wines.
BuonAppetito! Salute!
(C) Daniele Matteo,  Food and Editor- 2015.
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Italian Wines – The story behind the success.

(C) Daniele Matteo,  Food and Editor- 2015.
  (¯`*•.¸,¤°´★◕‿◕★`°¤,¸.•*´¯)★(¯`*•.¸,¤°´★◕‿◕★`°¤,¸.•*´¯)★(¯`*•.¸,¤°´★ ◕‿◕★`°¤,¸.•*´¯)
 Daniele Matteo, Long Island
Daniele Matteo at the vineyard in North Fork, Long Island, New York.
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