Sunday, January 24, 2016

Vini di Alma: Una Degustazione per l'Anima dall'Anima #Vino

Degustazione di Vini con Vini di Alma


Alma vini è un produttore di vino italiano, basato su un modello rivoluzionario négociant.  Si può chiedere, qual è il modello négociant? Non era familiarità con questo termine sia, e così il mio interesse è stato raggiunto il picco quando mi sono imbattuto Alma online e visitato il loro sito. Era affascinante conoscere questo termine francese e come è stato utilizzato in Italia.  Alma tiene questa indicazione speciale, come négociant-eleveur, che è derivato dalla parola francese, elevage, che significa portare o sollevare in inglese. Elevage, quindi, si riferisce alla progressione del vino tra fermentazione e imbottigliamento.  Alma, come un négociant-eleveur, affina o porta vini al loro pieno potenziale o maturità di fusione, filtraggio, invecchiamento e imbottigliamento.  Fondatore di Alma, Alessandro Berselli ha più di 25 anni di esperienza nel settore del vino, come ha lavorato in ogni capacità.  Insieme al suo co-fondatore, Marco Olivieri, esperto enologo Roberto Gerbino e rinomato enologo, Jean-François Coquard, vini di Alma, che è stata fondata nel 2003, hanno prodotto diversi, raffinati vini italiani che coprono 12 regioni produttrici di vino in tutta Italia.  Alma ha vinto numerosi premi per i loro vini, come pure essendo incluso in TOP 100 di Wine Spectator, Il Più Emozionante Vini del 2015 elenco.
Alessandro Berselli, Jean-Francios Coquard e Marco Olivieri

The Wining Hour's Tasting: Alma Vini
Abbiamo ricevuto tre vini da gustare: Supreno Sangiovese, Berselli & Olivieri Signature Collection Merlot e Berselli & Olivieri Signature Collection Cabernet Sauvignon.

Supreno è da Masseria Supreno Estate di Alma in Puglia, dove si producono sia vini rossi e bianchi. Questo particolare vino, Supreno Sangiovese, è stato fatto da uve Sangiovese 80%, più ampiamente piantato uva insieme con 20% Merlot.  Questo vino ha subito la fermentazione e macerazione per almeno 15-20 giorni e * invecchiamento in barrique per 12 + mesi e 30% nuove di rovere.  Il Supreno Sangiovese era un rubino intenso all'occhio.  Al naso, c'era un odore di cioccolato, liquirizia e bacche di colore scuro.  Al palato erano note di ciliegia, fragola e prugne anche mature.  Ha dovuto morbidi tannini medi, un finale persistente ed era mezzo bodied.  Questo vino sarebbe coppia bene con piatti tipici toscani.  Abbiamo abbinato con olive, formaggi e salumi.  Questo vino versatile sarebbe andato bene con cibi leggeri, così come la maggior parte piatti a base di carne, come gli spaghetti alla Bolognese o lasagne, come un degustatrici o da sola.  E ' stato il 13,8% ABV.  Come un grande fan del Chianti (fatta principalmente da uve Sangiovese), questo vino è stato piacevole e familiare.


Successivamente, abbiamo assaggiato Berselli & Olivieri Signature Collection Merlot di Alma. Signature Collection di Alma vini prende i suoi fondatori, Alessandro Berselli e Marco Olivieri. Questa linea comprende l'indicazione Vino Varietale, che permette la miscelazione di specifiche uve raccolte in tutta Italia.  Riguardanti Signature Collection di Alma, Alma dice, "Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot e Syrah raggiungono il loro apice di qualità, dal punto di vista varietale e da quello enologico, in questi vini squisitamente artigianali." Infatti.


Il vitigno Merlot è prodotto da uve Merlot 100% nei vigneti di Alma in Piemonte, Lombardia e Puglia, con macerazione prolungata e affinato 12 mesi in botte.  La macerazione prolungata è dietro rubino vivido, di Merlot, aspetto violaceo.  Aveva un naso di spezie e frutti di bosco maturi, scuro.  Il gusto era audace e complessi, come i sapori svelati in strati, ma liscia con un finale persistente. Questo Merlot coppie bene con arrosti di carne e salse di carne/gioco pesante.   13,5% di alcol in volume. Questa coppia di Merlot sarebbe coppia bene con arrosti di carne, come arrosto di maiale e salse pesanti carni di selvaggina, come cinghiale. Così, anche se abbiamo provato questo Merlot con l'antipasto, esso avrebbe potuto gestire molto molto di più.

Il nostro vino terziario era Berselli & Olivieri Signature Collection Cabernet Sauvignon.  Questo Vino Varietale era 100% Cabernet Sauvignon da Lombardia, Sicilia e Toscana vigneti di Alma. Il Cabernet si vantava un 14% ABV ed era un colore rosso rubino scuro.  Aveva un odore interessante, terroso, cioccolato fondente e frutta.  Il palato era anche di frutta scura, come lamponi e cioccolato. Era ricco, intenso e medio-pieno corposo, con una finitura liscia. Abbiamo continuato a godere di questo vino con il nostro prossimo corso, Ravioli al tartufo, preparato dal nostro Chef-in formazione, Evan. I Ravioli al tartufo molto ben abbinato con il Cabernet, ed è probabile che esso sarebbe anche accoppiato bene con gli altri vini.

Anche se ogni vino era gustoso, la nostra preferenza era il Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese e quindi il Merlot. Forse il nostro ordine di preferenza è stata influenzata dal nostro abbinamenti-forse non.  In entrambi i casi, è stato un piacere e un onore da gustare vini di Alma.  Anima di Alma è esattamente quello che si ottiene quando si assaggiare vini di Alma. Non c'è dubbio che i fondatori e i viticoltori messo loro cuore e anima in loro vini.  Abbiamo intenzione di degustare i vini più da Alma, come usano questo metodo rivoluzionario négociant per produrre molte diverse varietà in tutta Italia.  

Guarda il video della nostra Alma Wine Tasting:



Leggi ulteriori informazioni su Alma Vini e il loro processo di vinificazione.

* Barrique-è un metodo di invecchiamento che si svolge in barriques di rovere, o piccole botti di rovere barili, utilizzati in genere per età Bordeaux.  Botti devono avere una dimensione specifica e la forma per poter essere classificato come barrique, e di solito è uno che tiene 59,44 galloni (225 litri).

* * Grazie a Alessandro Berselli e vini di Alma per la condivisione vostri vini e la vostra passione.

Per leggere in Inglese, vedere Alma Wines: A Tasting for the Soul, From the Soul

Riguardo The Wining Hour
The Wining Hour scrive di vino, l'Italia e globale dei viaggi. The Wining Hour si rivolge gli amanti del vino nel mondo offrendo vini tutti gli elementi correlati. The Wining Hour mercati regali unici di arredamento e mobili, accessori, articoli in vetro, bicchieri, portabottiglie, deposito e opzioni di raffreddamento, vini e altro ancora.  The Wining Hour ospita anche #wininghourchat (@wininghourchat) in Twitter il Martedi 9pm EST.

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Alma Wines: A Tasting for the Soul, From the Soul #Winetasting

Wine Tasting with Alma Wines

Photo credit: Alma Wines
Alma Wines is a producer of Italian wine based on a revolutionary négociant model.  You may ask, What is the négociant model? I was not familiar with this term either, and so my interest was peaked when I came across Alma online and visited their site. It was fascinating to learn about this French term and how it was being used in Italy.  Alma holds this special designation, as négociant-eleveur, which is derived from the French word, elevage, meaning to bring up or raise in English. Elevage, then, refers to the progression of wine between fermentation and bottling.  Alma, as a négociant-eleveur, refines or brings wines to their full potential or maturity by blending, filtering, ageing and bottling.

Alma's Founder, Alessandro Berselli has more than 25 years of experience in the wine industry, as he has worked in every capacity.  Along with his co-founder, Marco Olivieri, expert enologist Roberto Gerbino and renowned winemaker, Jean-François Coquard, Alma Wines, which was founded in 2003, have produced diverse, fine Italian wines that cover 12 wine-producing regions throughout Italy.  Alma has won numerous awards for their wines, as well as being included in Wine Spectator's TOP 100, THE MOST EXCITING WINES OF 2015 list.
Alessandro Berselli, Jean-Francios Coquard, Marco Olivieri
Photo credit: Alma Wines

The Wining Hour’s Tasting: Alma Wines
We were delighted to receive three wines to taste: Supreno, Berselli & Olivieri Signature Merlot and Berselli & Olivieri Signature Cabernet Sauvignon.

Supreno is from Alma’s Masseria Supreno Estate in Puglia, where they produce both reds and whites. This particular wine, Supreno Sangiovese, was made from 80% Sangiovese grapes, Italy’s most widely planted grape along with 20% Merlot.  This wine underwent maceration and fermentation for at least 15-20 days and *barrique aging for 12+ months and 30% new oak.  The Supreno Sangiovese was a deep ruby to the eye.  To the nose, it smelled of dark berries, licorice and chocolate.  On the palate were notes of cherry, strawberry and even ripe plums.  It had soft to medium tannins, a lingering finish and was medium bodied.  This wine would pair well with typical Tuscan fare.  We paired it with cured meats, cheeses and olives.  This versatile wine would go well with lighter foods, as well as most meat-based dishes, such as spaghetti Bolognese or lasagna, as an apperitivo or by itself.  It was 13.8 % ABV.  As a big fan of Chianti (made mostly from Sangiovese grapes), this wine was both familiar and enjoyable.

Next, we tasted Alma’s Berselli & Olivieri Signature Collection Merlot.  Alma Wines’ Signature Collection is named after its Founders, Alessandro Berselli and Marco Olivieri.  This line includes the designation Vino Varietale, which allows the blending of specific grapes harvested throughout Italy.  Regarding their Signature Collection, Alma says, “Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah reach their pinnacle of quality, both varietally and enologically in these exquisitely crafted wines.”  Indeed.

The Merlot varietal is produced from 100% Merlot grapes in Alma’s vineyards in Piemonte, Lombardia and Puglia, with prolonged maceration and aged 12 months in the barrel. The prolonged maceration is behind the Merlot’s vivid, ruby, purplish appearance.  It had a nose of spice and ripe, dark berry fruit.  The taste was bold and complex, as the flavors unraveled in layers, yet it smooth with a persistent finish.  This Merlot pairs well with roasted meats and heavy meat/game sauces.   13.5% alcohol by volume. This Merlot pairs would pair nicely with roasted meats, such as roast pork, and heavy game meat sauces, like wild boar. So, even though we sampled this Merlot with the antipasto, it could have handled much much more.

Our tertiary wine was Berselli & Olivieri Signature Collection Cabernet Sauvignon.  This Vino Varietale was 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Alma’s Lombardia, Sicilia and Toscana Vineyards. The Cabernet boasted a 14% ABV and was a dark, ruby red color.  It had a interesting, earthy smell, along with dark chocolate and fruit.  The palate was also of dark fruit, such as raspberries and chocolate.  It was rich, intense and medium to full bodied, with a smooth finish. We continued enjoying this wine with our next course, Truffle Ravioli, prepared by our Chef-in Training, Evan. The Truffle Ravioli paired very nicely with the Cabernet, and it is likely that it would have also paired well with the other wines.

Although each wine was tasty, our preference was the Cabernet Sauvignon, the Sangiovese and then the Merlot. Maybe our order of preference was affected by our pairings-maybe not.  Either way, it was a pleasure and an honor to taste Alma Wines.  The soul of Alma is exactly what you get when you taste Alma's Wines. There is no question that the founders and winemakers put their heart and soul into their wines.  We intend to taste more wines from Alma, as they use this revolutionary négociant method to produce many different varietals throughout Italy.

Check out the video of our Alma Wine Tasting:



Read more about Alma Wines and their wine-making process.

Per leggere in Italiano, vedere Una Degustazione per l'Anima dall'Anima

*Barrique-is an aging method that takes place in barrique oak barrels, or small oak cask barrels, typically used to age Bordeaux.  Barrels must have a specific size and shape in order to be classified as barrique, and it is usually one that holds 59.44 gallons (225 liters).

**Thanks to Alessandro Berselli and Alma Wines for sharing your wines and your passion.

About The Wining Hour
The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel. The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST. (For more, see links at the top of this page).

For more information, please visit www.thewininghour.com.­­­

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

More from the Barrels of Basilicata: Terre dei Portali Greco-Fiano #Wine

Greco-Fiano, Another Lucanian Gem


Basilicata, originally known as Lucania, is a beautiful region in southern Italy.  It is located in between Pulia and Campania, right above Calabria.  The region is characterized by mountains, parks and coastlines to the east and west. Basilicata's geography also includes the volcanic Monte Vulture, as well as the faults in Melfi, Potenza and Monte Pollino areas.  These physical features are responsible for the variable Mediterranean and continental climates in Basilicata.

The food and wine of Basilicata are also impacted by it's geography.  Typical foods include pork, lamb, fish, olive oil, peppers and vegetables all nourished and grown in their volcanic soil.

Naturally, the wine grapes are also grown in their volcanic and clay soils, giving them a distinctive taste. Basilicata has 4 DOC designations.  The most notorious is none other than the Aglianico del Vulture made from the Aglianico grape. In fact, Aglianico del Vulture Superiore was recently promoted to DOCG status in 2011. The other DOC wines are Matera, Terre dell’Alta Val d’Agri and Grottino di Roccanova.  Basilicata does not just produce quality red wines, but also some DOC whites using Malvasia, Moscato and Trebbiano grapes. Additionally, there are many other tasty wines produced as Vino da Tavola (table wine) or wine using the IGT classification in Basilicata. The whites include Greco, Bianco and Spumante. We poured one of them recently.



The Wining Hour's Wine Selection:

As we have had Basilicata on the brain, in accordance with the #ItalianFWT group selection earlier this month, we decided to open another wine from this region.This time, we tasted a 2014 Basilium Terre dei Portali Greco-Fiano. When we posted about the Basilicata region initially, I actually bypassed this wine, which was already in my possession, for the red Aglianico del Vulture.  While that was tasty, I clearly underestimated this wine.  What a mistake! However, here we are now.  This wine was beyond expectations, and is a delicious white wine that I would serve at any dinner party.  It is a wine that any white wine lover would appreciate.  In fact, it is a wine that any wine lover would enjoy.

When we opened it, I did not realize that it was from a winemaker or winery whose wine's I have been enjoying for quite some time.  Villa Farnia di Farnese, based in Abruzzo, is also the winery that produces the boutique Basilium Terre dei Portali.  I have enjoyed their Montelpuciano d' Abruzzo, Pecorino and Trebbiano wines.  This wine was consistent with their good taste and quality in production.

Basilium Terre dei Portali Greco-Fiano was a mix of the two southern Italian grapes, 60% Greco and 40% Fiano.  Greco grapes can be white (greco bianco) or black (greco nero).  This wine used the greco bianco grapes, as it was a white wine.  Greco bianco is known to be very aromatic and herbal.The Fiano grape is another white wine grape that is strong and aromatic.  These grapes tend to ripen early and yield crisp, well-balanced wines.  The color was a golden yellow.  On the nose was a bouquet of fresh, tropical fruits.  To the palate, there were crisp notes of peach, melons, honey and herbs.  It was light and gave off a certain minerality that I have yet to taste in another wine. Perhaps, this can be attributed to the volcanic and clay soils that come with the territory in the Basilicata region.  This Basilicatan wine was well-balanced with just the right amount of acidity.  It was excellent!

Basilium Terre dei Portali Greco-Fiano consisted of 12% ABV and is a versatile wine that can be sipped as an aperitif or paired with typical Italian appetizers, meats and cheeses, as well as pork and roasted chicken.  We paired it with the latter--roasted chicken thighs, rice and a mixed salad with pecorino cheese.

Have you tried any wines from Basilicata?

Read our other post about the beauty, food and wine of Basilicata and Aglianico del Vuture Wine and Veal Osso Bucco.

also,

Read about our other wine tastings of Villa Farnia di Farnese wines.

About The Wining Hour
The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel. The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST. (For more, see links at the top of this page).

For more information, please visit www.thewininghour.com.­­­

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Friday, January 1, 2016

Basilicata Aglianico and Veal Osso Buco #Wine #Travel

The Beauty, Food and Wine of Basilicata



Basilicata's Landscape


San Fele, Potenza by Studio EG
Beautiful Basilicata, Italy
Basilicata by Studio EG
Basilicata is a hidden beauty located on the instep of the Italian boot-shaped peninsula. Originally given the name Lucania, from the Lucani people who once populated the area, Basilicata is the mountainous region in southern Italy that rests in between Pulia and Campania.  Mountains make up 47% of Basilicata, with Mount Vulture, an inactive volcano, being one of its key geographic features. The region has several parks, like Pollino National Park, that separates Basilicata from Calabria in the south. Potenza and Matera are its two provinces.  This southern region also has two coastlines; the Ionian Coast in the east and the Tyrrhenian Coast in the west. Needless to say, the region is known for its beautiful beaches such as Metaponto, Policoro and the Port of Maratea.

Maratea Beach
Maratea by Studio EG
Basilicatan Gastronomy
Peperone di Senise
Basilicatan cuisine, better known as Lucanian gastronomy, is steeped in rich tradition, as it is influenced by several cultures including those of northern Europe, Greece, France and Arabia. Lucanian cuisine is characterized by olive oil, peperoncino, pork, lamb, fish, cured meats and cheeses and their ability to make use of simple ingredients from herbs, vegetables and fruits grown in their volcanic soil to make tasty meals.

Some of Basilicata's regional specialties include fresh pasta (orcchiette, tapparelle and Lucane Chiappute), peperone di Senise, or the senise pepper (IGP) from the village of Senise, which gives the pepper its name and pane di matera or Matera bread, from the city of Matera and known for its delicious aroma. Other regional specialties are their salsiccia finocchiona or Lucanica sausages (pork sausages made with peperoncino and fennel seeds) and the many regional cheeses, such as Pecorino di Filiano PDO and Lucanian Cacioricotta. Mostacciolo is a popular dessert made with wine or vincotto, honey, almonds and flour, along with cuccia (a wheat pastry).

Aglianico by Studio EG
Regarding vino in Basilicata, the most notable wines of the region are Aglianico and Aleatico.  While Aleatico is sweet and makes a dessert wine, Aglianico is its bold and powerful red wine.   Aglianico is a dark red wine grape native to this southern Italian region known for producing full-bodied red wines with firm tannins and good aging potential. Aglianico's structure and richness also make it a grape used for blending in southern Italy. Aglianico del Vulture was originally classified under a DOC title, but as of 2011, this tasty wine was awarded DOCG status and rightfully classified as such.  This particular wine, along with it's sister wine, Taurasi, in Campagnia, are southern Italy's greatest wines and have been referred to as the ‘Barolo of the South.’

For this month's #ItalianFWT tour, we decided to make Veal OssoBuco (sometimes referred to as Veal Osso Bucco), which translates to vitello or veal 'bone with a hole in it'. Although typically a northern Italian dish, it is eaten in various parts of Italy and is a hearty dish to accompany an Aglianico.  Here's how we made it:


Veal Osso Buco (cooked in a pressure cooker)


Ingredients:

4 pieces veal shank with bone
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 sprig of rosemary
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 cup red wine (dry white wine can also be used)
2 cups chicken stock (or enough to cover the shanks in the pan)
1 can of chopped tomatoes (14 oz)

Procedure:
Sear the seasoned veal shanks with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on each side on medium heat until browned. Set aside the veal shanks. Add remaining oil and the chopped onion, carrots, garlic, and parsley and cook until softened (6-8 minutes).  Add wine, raise the heat, and put the shanks back in the pot.  Pour in the chicken stock and the canned chopped or stewed tomatoes. Make sure that the entire shank is covered in liquid. Pressure cook for about 45 minutes-1 hour, depending on your pressure cooker. The meat should be soft and tender when done.  When appropriate, release the pressure and continue to cook uncovered to reduce some of the broth until the desired amount remains.

*It should be noted, that ours ended up a little too soft, as all of the meat came off of the (osso) bone! Less time is better in the pressure cooker, you can always add another 15 minutes.

We enjoyed the veal osso buco with a creamy polenta and the wine selection below.

The Wining Hour's Basilicatan Wine Selection:


We sipped on a 2011 San Martino SIIR Aglianico Del Vulture.  It was made from 100% Aglianico grapes in the heart of the Vulture, which is small area in a volcanic zone of Basilicata. The unique volcanic and clay soil is important to the development of the wine it produces, and makes it difficult to reproduce this wine elsewhere.  The volcanic soil produces wine that is rich, dark colored and smooth.  The wine we tasted, SIIR, which means father in the Basilicatan dialect, is organically produced and estate bottled at the vineyards of San Martino in Forenza (Vulture), Italy by winemaker Lorenzo Piccin.

San Martino Siir Aglianico Del Vulture was very fresh, loaded with fruit and 13.5% alcohol by volumn.  70% of this wine was aged in large Slavonian oak barrels for 12 months, while the rest remained in stainless steel. To the eye, it was ruby red and smelled of spicy, dark fruits and espresso.  On the palate were dark chocolate and dark berries with firm tannins. It was rich, smooth and balanced with a long finish.  This Aglianico proved to be a versatile wine that paired nicely with the osso buco, but it would also pair beautifully with other robust and/or savory dishes, roasts or grilled meats. Our suggestions include beef or lamb stews, wild boar ragu, spicy sausages and hard, sharp cheeses.  As Aglianico ages and the tannins soften, this wine can be paired with lighter fare.  This 2011 Vintage rated 90 points from the Wine Advocate and we concur. This was our first experience with wine made from grapes grown in volcanic soil, and it was it was certainly a good one!

Here's our tasting and review of Greco Fiano from Basilicata.

There is so much more to be said about the beauty, food and wine of Basilicata.  Read on for more...

Follow my fellow blogger friends on their feature of the Basilicata and don't forget to join our live chat on Twitter Saturday January 2nd at 11am EST at #ItalianFWT.  See you then!


Vino Travels -Aglianico, What Makes the Basilicata Pop!
Culinary Adventures with Camilla - Calzone di Verdure 
Food Wine Click – Basilicata Aglianico Eruption
Cooking Chat - Pasta with Pecorino and Bacon Plus Wine Pairing
The Wining Hour - Basilicata Aglianico and Veal Osso Bucco
Rockin Red Blog - In Step in Italy: Exploring Basilicata Wine

*Special thanks to Emanuele Giannini of Studio EG for sharing your Basilicata and beautiful work! Visit Studio EG for more stunning photos and videos.

About The Wining Hour
The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel. The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST. (For more, see links at the top of this page).

For more information, please visit www.thewininghour.com.­­­

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