by Michelle Kwan
The varietals that encompass the wines of Italy are as diverse as the regions from which they are produced. It seems that there is an Italian wine for every occasion, cuisine and season. This year’s Summer Wines of Italy tasting, held at New York’s Italian Trade Commission on June 26, emphasized all that is indicative of summer, namely wines that were fruity, refreshing, light and effervescent.
The event, co-sponsored by the Italian Wine & Food Institute, featured 30 wines. Moscatos, Chardonnays, Proseccos and sparkling rosés dominated, although a number of reds, including Pinot Noir, Merlot blends and Chianti, were also represented.
Among the sparkling wines, the Cavalleri Brut, a blanc de blancs aged two years in the bottle, was dry, crisp and well balanced. On the sweeter side, the Bartenura Prosecco was full of fruit with hints of pear, while their newly-produced sparkling rosé was very sweet but light with hints of strawberries. The Zonin Cuvée 1812 Prosecco had a good balance of acidity and minerality. Their 2011 Masseria Altemura from Salento was full bodied with hints of pear. Both its color and flavor will enhance with aging.
Cheese, perhaps the perfect complement to wines of any season, included a selection of organic Italian varieties including Bitto, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Balze Volteranne, Pecorino Velathri, Roccolo Valtaleggio and Taleggio. We also enjoyed paper-thin prosciutto and a chilled roasted eggplant salad from SD26. All in all, summer in Italy could not have come at a better time to New York City.
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