Showing posts with label Brunello. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brunello. Show all posts

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Maccheroni Pasta Peppers Recipe

 




Rosina making homemade Maccheroni Pasta

In Calabria




MACCHERONI con PEPERONI


alla ROSINA




RECIPES from My SICILIAN NONNA










Monday, January 27, 2014

Brunello Tasting Today New York



BRUNELLO Di MONTALCINO


BRUNELLO TASTING NEW YORK Today
January 27, 2014
NEW YORK, NY
Benvenuto Brunello

Sunday, November 10, 2013

DOWN With ROBERT PARKER

. .
Robert Parker
 
 
 
 
Most Wine Drinkers may not know this, but they'd be well advised not to ever listen to Robert Parker and his ill-advised wine news-letter The Wine Advocate. Not if they want the best wine drinking experience possible and they want to choose a good wine to go with their meal, they will not follow the terrible advice and reviews that Robert Parker gives on wine. The kind of wines Parker loves the most are overly oaked, Overly-Rich, heavily concentrated wine that are crafted to be Heavy Thick Full Bodied Oaky Fruit-Bomb Wines. Wines that clash with food instead of complimenting it. If it was up to Robert Parker he'd have all the wines in the World tasting like over-manipulated, big, fat powerful wines like California Cabernets and Meritage Blends instead of wonderful food complementary wines like; Chianti, Barolo, Brunello, Beaujlais, some Bordeaux wines and the like. Wines  that go well with food instead of clashing with it as many of the so-called Parkerized Wines do. The man has ruined the publics perception to what good wine is and should be. The public thinks because he is a famous wine writer, that he knows best and what he's talking about. Maybe he does, but the style of wine he likes, well?     If the general public wants the best wine drinking experience possible, they'd be wise to steer clear of The Wine Advocate and any wine advice dished out by Parker.
      Robert Parker's advice on wine is advice that steers and influences peoples perceptions of what great wine is, into a quite a bad, almost one-dimensional place of homogenized overly thick un-natural wines. People should stop taking advice of Robert Parker, the World of Wine would be a much better place, a place of real wine that is  It SUCKS! Robert Parker's advice reviews, and Ratings of Wine that is.
     If you want to is true to the local terroir of whereever any particular wine might come from. In other words, Chianti should taste like Chianti, Barolo like Barolo, and Bordeaux like Bordeaux and not like a "Big Fat" California or Autralian Cabernet or Meritage Blended Wine and such.  People should drink Wonderful Wines that go great with food and are "Real Natural Wines" the kind of Wines that were made for 100 of years and still are except for those wines made by owners who have fallen into to whole Robert Parker "Spin Doctor" realm and make "Overly-Concentrated Wine" that taste fake and un-natural, they are manipulated and are the kind of wines that Parker likes and gives High 90 Plus Ratings to.
   Drink real Chianti (not any that contain Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot), drink Barolos that have been aged in large gentile Slovenian Oak Cask instead of small 225 liter Barrique Barrels that make many wines taste more of Wood (the way Parker likes them) than beautiful unadulterated with natural fruit (Grapes). Wines like; Brunello, Cote du Rhones, and just about anything other than overly-concentrated, overly Oaked, minipulated overly-oaked wines from Australia and over-powering Californian and Australian monsters and you'll be doing OK.
   "Just DON'T Listen to anything ROBERT PARKER and his highly popular but we say awful newsletter "The Wine Advocate" has to say or Write about Wine." The man almost single handily Destroyed what Good Wine "is" and should be.
Be "Anti-Parker" you'll be glad you did. "Do." Daniel Bellino Zwicke
 
 
 
NO BARRIQUE
NO BERLUSCONI
NO ROBERT PARKER
 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

KEVIN ZRALY TALKS BRUNELLO


KEVIN ZRALY
"I WANT TAHT JACKET KEVIN" !!!


The Great Kevin Zraly held a Brunello Seminar at The New York Brunello Tasting 2013 ...And for the few lucky enough to attend, it was quite a great event. Great, yes great, and Mr. Keven Zraly in my book is quite great when it comes to knowledge of wine, his Love and approach to it, drinking, tasting for his own pleasure and knowledge as well as the Drinking, Tasting, and Education Kevin imparts on those in his classes, readers and owners of his famed Windows On The World Wine Course (Book), and anyone as I've Just said "Lucky Enough to Attend One of Mr. Zraly's Wine Seminars," in this case for one of Italy's and The World's most esteemed wines and one of Kevin's 3 Favorite Wines (Kevin's words) Brunello di Montalcino.

   "Don't Touch It! Don't touch it !!!" shouts Kevin Zraly, near the beginning of his seminar. He know there are always people on every level of experience at any one of the many wine seminars he has conducted over the years, including the most experienced and at least one or maybe several people who have never ever been to a Seminar Wine Tasting like this in their lives. This maybe their first one, "Don't Touch Don't touch!!!" It's quite funny and a bit shocking the way Kevin does these as he sets the tone for his style of wine seminar, which is "No Muss No Fuss No BS," and as Mr. Zraly says no English Poetry, in an effort to say there will be none of that overdone pontification, just straight normal talk, and talk even a beginner could grasp about wine, and with Kevin his approach will make you love the object and the subject of "Wine" even more. That's what a great wine educator does. There are not many better than Kevin Zraly, "if any?"
   Yes, the seminar was quite wonderful. If being at the most important Brunello Tasting of the year wasn't enough, and being the first in the World to taste the 2008 Vintage and 07 Riservas, in a beautiful setting like Gotham Hall, in The Greatest City in The World, and as the Head of The Brunello Consorzio stated this glorious day, "New York Is The Greatest and Most Important Market in The World For The Producers of Brunello di Montalcino." Yes Sir "It Is." Yes those at The New York Brunello Tasting were among-st the first in the World to taste these fine wines, and Mr.s Zraly made that point, as well as stating how wonderful the Wines were, that we were very fortunate to be drinking them, and that Brunello was along with Bordeaux, one of his 3 Favorite wines in the World to drink. Myself and Michael Colameco (Who is The fine host of "Real Food" one of TV's Best Cooking Shows on PBS) sitting next to me at the seminar, we both surmised the third  of Kevin's 3 Favorite Wines of The World had to be Burgundy. This we need to find out.
    "Smell it 3 times. Cover the glass with your hand. Sniff! Toast the person sitting next to you and drink. Think about it for 1 minute at 15 second intervals. Do you still taste it? What do you taste?" Well, we tasted 8 very fine offerings of this fabulous wine, Brunello di Montalcino. The wines were all wonderful, and being at Benvenuto Brunello in such a gorgeous setting as Gotham Hall and being led in a Tasting of Great Brunello by one of the World's Greatest Authorities on Wine, this was a combination that was unbeatable. Being in the Italian Wine and Restaurant Business for more than 25 and writing for another 8, I can tell your that I've been to many a incredible wine event, like: a Vertical Wine tasting and Luncheon with the Marchese Piero Antinori, Dinner at Spark's Steak-House with Jacopo Biondi Santi and his wines, as well as lunches and dinners on many great wine estates in Italy. The kind of events people would kill to be able to attend, I've been to many, and this Brunello Seminar tasting with kevin Zraly shall be filed in my head with some of those other great wine moments. It was most enjoyable, and I'm so glad I made it (almost din't go).
   So Bravo Brunello! And Bravo Kevin for your passion, love of the wine, and the way you lead others, in your very Zraly Direction.



Daniel Bellino Zwicke


BRUNELLO SEMINAR with KEVEN ZRALY .. January 31, 2013 .... Afternoon Seminar

WINES: BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO

1.   Palazzo - 2008
2.   Fanti -2008
3.   Tenute Sivio Nardi - 2008
4.   Donatella Cinelli Colombini - 2008
5.   Uccelliera - 2008
6.   Palazzo - Riserva 2004
7.   Col D'Orcia 2001
8.   IL Poggione Riserva 1999


An overall assessment and thoughts on the 8 Brunello's we tasted. First off, they were all very good to wonderful to remarkable. A great line-up including some excellent producers and very fine vintages of recent years. It seemed an overall consensus that pretty much everyone (Writers, Restaurant People, Wine Professionals,and Hobbyists) in the room liked each and every wine we drank, all wonderful wines, and with Kevin "Cheer-Leading" us with his love of wine and Brunello, I believe everyone enjoyed these wines even more than if they had tasted all 8 in another manner than this great tasting-seminar.
   As all wines were wonderful, I must admit that there were 3 wines that we all got a bit more excited and super-charged over. These wines were; the Brunello Uccelliera 2008, the Brunello Col D'Orcia 2001, and the Brunello IL Poggione 1999 ... Without going into any, as Kevin Zraly would say "English Poetry" these 3 wines were just wonderful. The kind of wines you light up over and just saying "Wow," is enough to say that they had everything you want in a great Brunello or any great wine, great aroma, Wonderful Taste combined with "Perfect Balance," and simply greatness.
   Again, a great tasting, overall Benvenuto Brunello, lots of great wines, wonderful people, and a fine Seminar-Tasting of Brunello conducted by Mr. Kevin Zraly. Again, Bravo!






It's BRUNELLO TIME in NEW YORK



Brunello Time in New York! Hey I think i just coined a new phrase for our great city New York.   Yes I know it can never catch on like the poetic "Autumn in New York" ... Autumn in New York, the phrase started as a song in 1937, a song that became quite famous and sung by many musical greats like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitgerald to name just two. The phrase has been made into a movie, and tough it has been a hugely successful song, it's greatest popularity and famed comes as a "Saying" and Slogan of The Great City of New York, "Autumn in New York." Brunello Time in New York. No it will never be as famed as the Autumn of New York, but if you're as big as an Italian Wine Geek and Lover like me, this phrase Brunello Time in New York will sound quite wonderful to you.
    Yes, yesterday, January 31, 2013 was Brunello Time in New York with for all us Italian Wine Guys (Girls too), one of our biggest and most cherished days of the year, The New York Italian Wine Year anyway. It is the Brunello Tasting, as we New York Wine Guys call it. The official named used by The Consorzio Del Vino Brunello Di Montalcino, the governing body of the famed Italian Wine Brunello, these are the people who organize this great show and tasting of the release of the latest vintage of Brunello, the tasting officially known as Benvenuto Brunello.
  As I said, this tasting (event) is one of the most dear of the year to me. That is along with the 
Tri Bicchieri Tasting, the biggest of the year. The Brunello Tasting is quite dear to me, as Sangiovese is my favorite of all grapes, as are the great wines made of it, especially Chianti and Brunello, my favorites, along with Morellino de Scansano, Vino Nobile, and some Super Tuscans that are based on this noble grape Sangiovese. And speaking of Sngiovese and Brunello, the wine Brunello is made of 100% Sangiovese, and of Snagiovese Grosso, also known as Brunello. And Brunello can only be made in Montalcino, and no-where else in the World, and it must be made to the exacting standards of The Consorzio del Brunello Di Montalcino, of whose President was on hand for the event.
    The event "The Brunello Tasting" consist of 52 of the more than 200 producers of Brunello. The main reason for this Brunello Tasting is the "Release of The Newest Vintage of Brunello di Montalcino," in this case The 2013 Brunello Tasting is for the Release of The 2008 Brunello's and The 2007 Brunello Riservas. These are the two main wines of the tasting, but other wines are shown and offered, along with Moscadello the famed Dessert Wine of Montalcino based on Moscato. All producers will have on hand their Rosso di Montalcino made with the same grapes (100% Sangiovese Grosso "Brunello") as the Brunello. The Rosso's are not aged as long, and the grape yeild is slighly higher. The 2010 Rosso di Montalcino where on hand, and one of the nice things about drinking these Rossos is that you can get an advanced glimpse of what the 2010 Brunello's will be like when they are released in 2016.

     Well, some Big Guns of Italian Wine were out at the Brunello Tasting. Big Guns from Italy along with some Big New York Italian Wine Guys like; Renzo Raspiacolli (Wine Director Barolo), Phillipo Debarladino, and Charles Scicolone, one of America's Greatest Authorities of Italian Wine "If Not Thee # 1 Top Guy." And speaking of Big Guns, as far as Italian Wine goes, The Biggest Gun of Them All, "The Marchese Piero Antinori" was on hand at this, one, along with The Count Cinzano of Col d'Orcia and other Italian Wine luminaries.


Daniel Bellino-Zwicke





"ME And THE MARCHESE"
MARCHESE PIERO ANTINORI
BRUNELLO TASTING 
NEW YORK 2013




MARCHESE FERDINANDO FRESCOBALDI
With ITALIAN FOOD & WINE WRITER
DANIEL BELLINO ZWICKE









Friday, October 25, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

NEW YORK'S MOST IMPORTANT ITALIAN WINE EVENT of The YEAR

TRE BICCHIERI 2013
Most Important Italian Wine Tasting of The Year






Yes, the most important Italian Wine Event of the Year is upon us, The 2013 Tre Bicchieri Tasting of Gambero Rosso is tomorrow (Domani) at The Metropolitan Pavillion. All the Big Guns of Italian Wine will be in attendance, including New York's Top Italian Wine People and many of Italy's top-producers (Italian Wine Estate Owners and Winemakers) will be on hand.
  This tasting, the Tre Bicchieri is of Italy's Top Wines as voted by Gambero Rosso, The Wine Spectator of Italy. Will be tasting many great Italian Wines, like; Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello, Super Tuscans, Taurasi, and the top White, Dessert, and Sparkling Wines. Oh happy day. Along with tasting all the great Italian Wine, really my favorite aspect of this tasting is a chance to see some of my good friends (Wine Producer), taste their wines and chat a little bit. Always quite a lot of fun.

Stay tuned for tomorrows Report of my favorite wines of the day and who I ran into. Caio for now, Daniel.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

TIME To TASTE WINE "Italian Wine" Brunello Chianti And ?




MY FAVORITE BRUNELLO of ALL
Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva


  Time to taste Wine? Italian Wine in particular. It's always time to taste wine. Well there are times in the year when you drink and taste wine (Italian Wine) more than others. Times that is. If you happen to be in the wine or restaurant business, you know these times. September is big, with most large importers and distributors of wining having there Grand Portfolio Tastings in this month, the month of September, Summer is over, it's not only back to School it's back to business fro many, and for the people in the wine or restaurant businesses, September to the end of December is the busiest time of the year. In this month I will go to the large Portfolio Tasting of Martin Scott Wines, Winebow, Vias, and others. October and November will find a couple big Tastings of The Italian Trade Commission.
    As far as wine tastings go, things slow down for the month of December (all Business) and January. January, well that's all till the last day of January this year, as one of mine and other Italian Wine Lovers favorite tasting of the year will be, "The Brunello Tasting" and of one of my own personal favorites along with Chianti, is Brunello. They are both Sangiovese based wines. Brunello produced only in the famed wine town of Montalcino, "The Home of Brunello," the only place of Brunello for those who might not know. The also make Rosso di Montalcino in Montalcino. Both wines are made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso, also known as "Brunello," that's the name of the grape. They also produce one of the World's great dessert wines in Montalcino, of which is Moscadello. And of fourth not as far as Montalcino wine production is concerned, some properties make proprietary wines that you will know as Super Tuscans, which are made throughout all of Tuscany. 
    So The Brunello Tasting. Along with the Tri Bicchierri Tasting of the Best Wines from the whole of Italy. Anyway the BrunelloTasting. I just love it. And it will be back to just tasting the latest vintages of Brunello the 2008 Brunello's and the 2007 Brunello Riservas. Wow! There will be Brunello to taste of course, along with Rosso di Montalcino from each producer as well, and maybe a Moscadello and or some sort of Super Tuscan. Not every Brunello producer makes the later two wines.
    Now, how bout my favorites. Well, on the top of the list is the are the Brunello's from my friends the Colombini family, the normale and the Riserva of Fattporia Barbi are always amazing. The wines are always in perfect balance and true to what real Brunello should be. Other favorite Brunello's would be the Castel Giacondo Brunello from my good friends the Frescobaldi's who make superb Brunello as well as fine Chianti Rufina and some Italy's top Super Tuscan Wines.
    One big not on the Brunello Tasting of New York is that it started out as just that Brunello. For the past three years or so, The Brunello Tasting include Prosecco, Chianti, and Vino Nobile as well. This year The Brunello Tasting is back to just Brunello and other wines produced on Brunello properties. I'm glad for that. I love those other wine, especially Chianti, but myself and many others prefer the pure Brunello Tasting. And I love when they have a pure Chianti Tasting as well, which they don't do every year, but when they do, it's one of my faves.
    So yes, a big time for Italian Wines and their tastings. On February 15th 2013, the biggest and most important Italian Wine Tasting of the year will take place, it is The Tri Bicchierri Tasting of Italy's Top Wines from around the country, as rated by Gambero Rosso "The Wine Spectator" of Italy. Many great wines, but my favorite aspect of the Tasting is seeing and socializing with my many Italian Wine Friends, the Proprietors and Winemakers of Italy's greatest wines. People like the affable and talented winemaker for the famed Sassicaia Mr. Sebastiano Rosa, as well as his cousin Piero Incisa Rochetta of Tenuto San Guido, the estate where the grapes for Sassicaia are grown and Sassicaia is made into  Italy's Most Renowned and Prestigious Wine. Well there are many, including Marchese Ferdinando Frescobaldi, Emanuella Stucchi of Badia Coltibuono, the beautiful Sicilian lady Francesca Planeta of Planeta, Giovvani Folnari of Nozzole, Gianpauolo Venica who makes along with his father and uncle some Italys finest white wines at Venica. And yes, many more wonderful Italian Wine people, too many to name. Yes it's great fun at the Tri Bicchierri Tasting to see my Italian friend and taste there great wines. 
  And so ladies and gentlemen, the Hieght of The Italian Wine tasting Season is upon us with The Brunello tasting on January 31 followed by The Tri Bicchierri Tasting February 15th, the day after Valentines Day, and Love will be in the Air. The Love of Love and Italian Wine, "Mangia Beve Amore"



Article:  Daniel Bellino Zwicke






ME & THE MARCHESE
THE ESTEEMED
MARCHESE FERDINANDO FRESCOBALDI





Sebastiano Rosa of Sassicaia
Author Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Giovanni Folanari of Nozzole


10 FAVORITE BRUNELLO'S
of Recent Tastings


Fattori dei Barbi  2007
Angelo Sassetti 2007
Fattoria dei Barbi Reserva  2006
Casanova Neri  2007
Frescobaldi Castel Giacondo  2007
Lisini "Ugolaia" 2006
Conti Costanti  2007
Val d' Cava 2006
Livio Sassetti "Pertamali" 2006
Castello Banfi "La Morra" 2006
Castel di Argian0 2007



My 10 Favorite Brunello's of All-Time
That I Drank

1. Angelo Sassetti 1990 (at Del Posto, NY)
2. Fattoria dei Barbi Riserva 1995 (at Barbi Estate)
3. Biondi Santi Riserva 1988 (at a friends House in New York)
4. Fattoria dei Barbi 1997 (at The Barbi Estate)
5. Biondi Santi Riserva 1997 (with Jacopo Biondi Santi, Dinner at Spark's, New York)
6. Cal d' "Madonna"Cava 1990  (at Babbo, NY)
7. Casanova Neri "Tenuta Nuova" 1993 (at Barbetta, New York)
8. Castel Giacondo, Frescobaldi 1993 (at Barbetta, New York)
9. Conti Costanti 2001 (at Macari Vineyards, North Fork, LI, NY)
10. Lisini "Ugolaia" 1995 (at Estate in Montalcino)






Wednesday, January 23, 2013

CHIANTI Setting The Record Straight

WHAT IS REAL CHIANTI







If I could make Chianti, what would I do? How would I make it? What style, thick and concentrated, thin and light, or somewhere in-between? Would I include non-traditional secondary grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot? “Certainly not! That would be most sacrilegious.” Well, for sure, I would make a true, authentic Chianti as Chianti is intended to be as set forth more than 130 years ago when Bettino Ricasolo created Chianti and set forth the formula of Chianti being a wine of the a blend of “Native Chianti Classico Grapes.” In this wine “Chianti” the blend was to include as a must a majority of the most famous and cherished of all Tuscan grapes, “Sangiovese.” With Chianti made of primarily Sangiovese as well as complementary native grapes in small percentages which included; Canaiolo, Cielegiolo, Colorino, Mammolo, Malvasia Nero, Malvasia Bianco, and or Trebbiano. Yes this is what true and Real Chianti should be, a wine based on the original and traditional recipe for Chianti, created by the Baron Ricasoli and made just as the creator stated for some 100 years. In the past 40 years two things happened that has gotten Chianti off track to what it was originally and should always be. The first thing, was that back in the 1960 and 1970 many in this most famous of all Italian Wine zones were making Chianti purely for profit without any regard for the traditions and quality of the wine. Many of the producers of Chianti grew high yields of inferior grapes simply to gain a higher gross amount of fruit and juice to make the wine. The governmental powers that be went along with these detrimental practices traded off for higher profits. The Chianti Consorzio allowed for large numbers of White Grape Varietals into the Chianti blend which while making the wine more profitable in sales, had the negative affect of making thinned out inferior wine, if any particular producer (Maker of Chianti) chose to go the “High Profit low Quality” route. Some did, but thank God not all. Many had pride and would not produce a inferior but Superior Chianti.

Finally in 1984, the laws governing what Chianti (The Formula) could and could not be were changed in order to set Higher Standards, making Chianti a Great Quality Wine and eliminating the facts that allowed producers to make Poor Quality wine if they so chose to. They could not any more. The rules for making Chianti which allowed for the possibility to produce inferior Chianti were eliminated. White grape varietals such as Trebbiano and Malvasia Bianco in large quantities were no longer permitted into any wine labeled Chianti. Bravo! If the laws governing the production of Chianti had stayed like this, it would have been a great thing, and all Chianti would be of a high quality and of Long Standing Native Traditions and practices. Chianti was and would be a excellent quality wine that was and tasted as it should, like “Chianti.”

Unfortunately the governing bodies of the Italian Government and Chianti Consorzio did something atrocious in the year 1996. Once again they changed the laws on making Chianti. They made a “Terrible Blunder,” in the name of what they said was to be a better Chianti, they allowed for the use of International grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syhrah. And they allowed for up to 20% of these other grape varietals with the primary grape of Sangiovese being a minimum of 80% to 100% at the producers discretion and desire as to how each individual Estate wanted to make their Chianti. These laws made for a wide range in latitude of Chianti as a whole. Allowing for Chianti that if it had 10% or more of Cabernet Sauvignon or merlot, it would completely change the character of Chianti for those estates that chose to use amounts of even 5% or more of Merlot or Cabernet.

Thank God there was in this large range of latitude in the laws of what was aloud in Chianti and in what percentages, so what we end up is a wide range of different Chianti styles. Not Good! So the laws did allow for Chianti to be made in the traditional and proper manner of Sangiovese as the primary grape with small amounts of other native grapes, to end up with Chianti That taste Like Chianti. Thank God.

Now this all being said the laws for making Chianti also included latitudes for making what can be labeled Chianti and wines that are labeled as Chianti, allowed for wines that do not taste like Chianti. They do not taste like Chianti as they have Merlot and or Cabernet Sauvignon in them. This merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and overpower the more delicate Sangiovese grape, resulting in a wine that does not taste like Chianti, but some kind of Super Tuscan wine or so-called baby Super Tuscan. If you put Merlot or Cabernet into what is supposed to be Chianti, that wine will not have the character of Chianti, which should be a light to medium body wine that has nice easy drink fruit flavors with some earthiness and maybe a tad of spice.

What a Chianti should not be, is a Big Full Bodied Fruit Bomb wine, nor anything approaching it, as some Reserve Chiantis are these days.

As stated, a Chianti should be light to medium bodied. This does not mean that it should be thin or lack substance. It should definitely have flavor, but in a more subtle and restrained manor which makes the wine go well with the food you are eating and not overpower it as many wines tend to do these days.

If I could set these laws as the new DOCG laws of Chianti Classico the laws would never have to be changed again. The laws, the way they are set today are a little too broad. One thing that is good in the way the laws stand now is that they do allow for a proper Chianti to be made, and most Chianti’s are made in this manner, but at the same time they allow for non-native varieties and the allowance of 100% Sangiovese. These last two regulations must be changed for all Chianti’s to be “True Chianti”. It is as simple as that! So, let us hope that one day in the near future, these laws will be laid down and every single bottle labeled Chianti is actually real, true Chianti that lives up to this great wines history and origins.

Chianti Classico. What is it? First off, the area came first, the wine Chainti Classico is name after the area it comes from, which is Chianti. The Chianti Classico is the most famous. It stretches from just a few miles south of Florence at its most northern tip and runs down almost 30 miles to Castelnuovo Beradenga at its most southern point. As Chianti grew in popularity and fame, a number of other regions where Chianti can be made developed. Some of these areas are Cooli Fiorentini, Colli Senesi, Colli Arentini, and Rufina. None of these sub areas have ever gained anywhere near the fame as thee original Chianti Classico Zone. The Chianti Zone of Rufina, just outside Florence is the most prestigious zone apart from Chianti. These Chianti’s are of the highest quality. Three very well know producers in this area are Frescobaldi, Selvapiana, and Rufino and although the zone of Rufina is not as well known as the Chianti Classico zone, the zone of Rufina does have thee most famous Chianti of all, Rufino’s Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale (Gold Label).

So in closing, let us say that we hope the laws that govern the making of Chianti Classico will be changed some day. I think it is sure to happen. It would be best if it happens sooner than later, that in the making of Chianti, there shall be no Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syhrah or any other non-native or non-traditional grape varieties of Chianti Classico. Also the laws should be changed to eliminate 100% Sangiovese Chianti’s, Chianti should always be a blend, even if just 2% of another native grape such as Colorino, Canaiolo, or Cielegiolo were added. Chianti must always be a blende wine, dominated by mostly Sangiovese (at least 85%) with a smaller percentage of native grapes. The region of Chianti Classico is one of the World’s most beautiful. It is enchanting, filled with castles, all forms of wine estates from small and simply to big and majestic. The beautiful rolling hills of Chianti are filled with Cypress trees that dot the crest of many a hill, along with rugged stone farm houses and the wondrous rows Sangiovese vines lining the gently sloping hills.

Chianti is relatively untouched or spoiled by any type of ugly modern structures. The Chiantigiana road is still the ancient one built by the Romans and its pavement blends in perfectly with its untouched surroundings. Chianti is filled with lovely little towns like Castellina, Gaile, Greve, and Radda where you will find the famous Dante quoting butcher Dario Cecchini. You can visit and stay in beautiful wine estates like Fattoria Valle, Castello Verazzano in Greve where the explorer Giovani Verazzano is from. You can stay at the beautiful estate of Vignamaggio where Gioconda lived and was painted my Michael Angelo. She is “Mona Lisa.”

Chianti, it’s not just a wine. “It’s a Place, a very beautiful place!”



by DANIEL BELLINO ZWICKE











Below is a Small LIST of TRUE CHIANTI’S made primarily with Sangiovese with small amounts of native sub-varities such as Canaiolo, Malvasia Nero, Colorino, and Celegiolo and not containing any Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syhrah, or any International Varieties “What-so-Ever.”.




Monsanto “Il Poggio” Chianti Classico Riserva

Castello Verazzano Chianti Classico

Castello Brolio Chainti Classico Reserva

Castellow Querceto Chianti Classico

Vignamaggio Chinati Classico Riserva “Mona Lisa”

Rufino Chianti Classico Riserva “Ducale” (Gold Label)

Selvapiana Chianti Rufina

Badia Coltobuono



by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke




Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tre Bicchieri 2013





Yes Boys and Girls, all you Italian Wine Lovers out there, the most Important Italian Wine tasting of the year is almost upon us. The 2013 Tre Bicchieri Tasting of Italy's Top Wines "Tre Bicchieri" will take place on February 15, 2013 .. I can hardly wait as I look forward to this tasting every year, as I get to see many friends from Italy. The friends are the Wine Producers (Wine Estate Owners and Winemakers) of many of Italy's top estates. Friends such as; Gianpaolo Motta of 
"La Massa" in the beautiful town of Panzano in Chianti Classico, good buddy Antonio Rallo (fellow Sicilian) of Donnafugata in Marsala, Francesca Planeta of Planet also in Sicily, Miralisa Allegrini of Allegini and their famed Amarone near Lago de Garda and the Veneto, Sebastiano Rosa famed winemaker of Sassicaia and cousin Piero Incisa Rocheeto of Tenuta San Guido the estate of Sassicaia and many more, like the affable Alessandor Landini of Vitticio in Greve and the Columbini's of Brunello producer Fattoria Barbi.
 Yes we will be tasting Brunello, Barolo, Barbaresco, and my favorite, Chianti. I can't wait and I bet you can't as well, Tre Bicchieri New York 2013, I will report back on my favorites after the tasting. For now it's Caio !


Thursday, May 10, 2012

BELLISIMO BRUNELLO .... TASTING of 2007 BRUNELLO and 2006 BRUNELLO RISERVA




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MONTALCINO


The Summit





M. LISINI of LISINI with His Fine Offerings of LISINI BRUNELLO 2007

and LISINI Brunello Uggolaia riserva 2006


TWO GREAT BRUNELLOS



 

GIACOMMO CASANOVA
of CASANOVA NERI

with CASANOVA NERI BRUNELLO TENUTA NUOVA



 


VINCENZO ABRUZZESSE (Right)

with His GREAT BRUNELLO VALDCAVA 2007




   Well I was wondering what to expect when my cousin Joe asked me if I wanted to go to Brunello tasting at City Winery with him. He said it was with James Suckling (a Top guy at Wine Spectator and # 1 with Italian Wines for WSp) and David Suckiling.. Joe didn't give me details so I figured it was a Wine Spectator Event which is usually more about a lot of BSing making Money for the Wine Spectator and Markin Shanken as well as sucking up than anything else. Well me being in the wine and restaurant industry for more than 20 years, I go to a multitude of industry Wine Tastings, Wine Luncheons and Wine Dinners along with other events of the highest caliber. this tasting was geared toward retail buyers and novice wine enthusiast, a pay to go to event. Not the kind I usually go to, mine are more of the insider type. Well my cousin Joe wanted to go, so I went along for the ride. The day of the event I went on line to see what it was all about. It was not a Wine Spectator Event but one held and organized by James Suckling and David Sokolin. Ok. I wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary. My cousin drove in from Long island and met me at my house (apartment in Greenwich Village). We walked over to City Winery. I saw my friend Marco poring a wine and went over to his table. It was the Brunello Normale 2007 from Fabio Tassi. Wow! It was great and a precursor of things to come. The Tassi Brunello 2007 was outstanding. i couldn't beleive my eyes. My tastebuds. This wine was a perfect textbook Brunello, perfectly balance, correct in weight, not too heavy not too light but full of wonderful and perfect Sangiovese Grosss taste. The tasi Brunello Franci Riserva 2006 was equally good. Excuse me great! oh and by the way, this tasting was one special one as the wines being tasted, the Brunello di Montalcino 2007 and Brunello Riservas 2006 where two back to back vintages where of the highest caliber of ratings of mid-90s fro each vintage as a vintage overall. Outstanding, the pair of 2007 Normale and 2006 Riserva Brunellos. It's hard for me to remember back when I tasted so many great wines at one tasting. I was shocked. when after wine, Brunello after marvelous Brunello were oustanding. I couldn't believe it. they were almost all good. "Excuse me, Great!" All except for those offerings of Capanna and Uccelliera fo which neither of these producers thrilled me with their offerings as almost all others did.    As I stated, pretty much all the the Brunello on hand were outstanding, well balanced, tasty and indicative of what great Brunello should taste like.  Here is a list of the standouts: Valdcava Brunello Di Montalcino 2007 Valdcava Brunello Di Montalcino Del Piano Riserva 2006 Carpzao Brunello Di Montalcino 2007 Carparzo Brunello Di Montalcino 2006 Riserva Poderina Brunello Di Montalcino 2007  Poderina Brunello Di Montalcino 2006 Riserva Lisini Brunello Di Montalcino 2007 Livio Sassetti Brunello Di Montalcino "Pertamali" 2007 Tassi Brunello Di Montalcino 2007 Brunello Di Montalcino Castello Banfi 2007 Silvio Nardi Brunello Di Montalcino 2007 Silvio Nardi Brunello Di Montalcino Vigneto Manachiara 2006       ...








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SUNDAY SAUCE

Daniel Bellino Zwicke





BRUNELLO 

Valdicava



VINCENZO ABRUZZESE

on His BRUNELLO VALDICAVA 2010



,

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Friday, March 11, 2011

REAL CHIANTI?

CHIANTI ???



If I could make Chianti, what would I do? How would I make it? What style, thick and concentrated, thin and light, or somewhere in-between? Would I include non-traditional secondary grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot? “Certainly not! That would be most sacrilegious.” Well, for sure, I would make a true, authentic Chianti as Chianti is intended to be as set forth more than 130 years ago when Bettino Ricasolo created Chianti and set forth the formula of Chianti being a wine of the a blend of “Native Chianti Classico Grapes.” In this wine “Chianti” the blend was to include as a must a majority of the most famous and cherished of all Tuscan grapes, “Sangiovese.” With Chianti made of primarily Sangiovese as well as complementary native grapes in small percentages which included; Canaiolo, Cielegiolo, Colorino, Mammolo, Malvasia Nero, Malvasia Bianco, and or Trebbiano. Yes this is what true and Real Chianti should be, a wine based on the original and traditional recipe for Chianti, created by the Baron Ricasoli and made just as the creator stated for some 100 years. In the past 40 years two things happened that has gotten Chianti off track to what it was originally and should always be. The first thing, was that back in the 1960 and 1970 many in this most famous of all Italian Wine zones were making Chianti purely for profit without any regard for the traditions and quality of the wine. Many of the producers of Chianti grew high yields of inferior grapes simply to gain a higher gross amount of fruit and juice to make the wine. The governmental powers that be went along with these detrimental practices traded off for higher profits. The Chianti Consorzio allowed for large numbers of White Grape Varietals into the Chianti blend which while making the wine more profitable in sales, had the negative affect of making thinned out inferior wine, if any particular producer (Maker of Chianti) chose to go the “High Profit low Quality” route. Some did, but thank God not all. Many had pride and would not produce a inferior but Superior Chianti.

Finally in 1984, the laws governing what Chianti (The Formula) could and could not be were changed in order to set Higher Standards, making Chianti a Great Quality Wine and eliminating the facts that allowed producers to make Poor Quality wine if they so chose to. They could not any more. The rules for making Chianti which allowed for the possibility to produce inferior Chianti were eliminated. White grape varietals such as Trebbiano and Malvasia Bianco in large quantities were no longer permitted into any wine labeled Chianti. Bravo! If the laws governing the production of Chianti had stayed like this, it would have been a great thing, and all Chianti would be of a high quality and of Long Standing Native Traditions and practices. Chianti was and would be a excellent quality wine that was and tasted as it should, like “Chianti.”

Unfortunately the governing bodies of the Italian Government and Chianti Consorzio did something atrocious in the year 1996. Once again they changed the laws on making Chianti. They made a “Terrible Blunder,” in the name of what they said was to be a better Chianti, they allowed for the use of International grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syhrah. And they allowed for up to 20% of these other grape varietals with the primary grape of Sangiovese being a minimum of 80% to 100% at the producers discretion and desire as to how each individual Estate wanted to make their Chianti. These laws made for a wide range in latitude of Chianti as a whole. Allowing for Chianti that if it had 10% or more of Cabernet Sauvignon or merlot, it would completely change the character of Chianti for those estates that chose to use amounts of even 5% or more of Merlot or Cabernet.

Thank God there was in this large range of latitude in the laws of what was aloud in Chianti and in what percentages, so what we end up is a wide range of different Chianti styles. Not Good! So the laws did allow for Chianti to be made in the traditional and proper manner of Sangiovese as the primary grape with small amounts of other native grapes, to end up with Chianti That taste Like Chianti. Thank God.

Now this all being said the laws for making Chianti also included latitudes for making what can be labeled Chianti and wines that are labeled as Chianti, allowed for wines that do not taste like Chianti. They do not taste like Chianti as they have Merlot and or Cabernet Sauvignon in them. This merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and overpower the more delicate Sangiovese grape, resulting in a wine that does not taste like Chianti, but some kind of Super Tuscan wine or so-called baby Super Tuscan. If you put Merlot or Cabernet into what is supposed to be Chianti, that wine will not have the character of Chianti, which should be a light to medium body wine that has nice easy drink fruit flavors with some earthiness and maybe a tad of spice.

What a Chianti should not be, is a Big Full Bodied Fruit Bomb wine, nor anything approaching it, as some Reserve Chiantis are these days.

As stated, a Chianti should be light to medium bodied. This does not mean that it should be thin or lack substance. It should definitely have flavor, but in a more subtle and restrained manor which makes the wine go well with the food you are eating and not overpower it as many wines tend to do these days.

If I could set these laws as the new DOCG laws of Chianti Classico the laws would never have to be changed again. The laws, the way they are set today are a little too broad. One thing that is good in the way the laws stand now is that they do allow for a proper Chianti to be made, and most Chianti’s are made in this manner, but at the same time they allow for non-native varieties and the allowance of 100% Sangiovese. These last two regulations must be changed for all Chianti’s to be “True Chianti”. It is as simple as that! So, let us hope that one day in the near future, these laws will be laid down and every single bottle labeled Chianti is actually real, true Chianti that lives up to this great wines history and origins.

Chianti Classico. What is it? First off, the area came first, the wine Chainti Classico is name after the area it comes from, which is Chianti. The Chianti Classico is the most famous. It stretches from just a few miles south of Florence at its most northern tip and runs down almost 30 miles to Castelnuovo Beradenga at its most southern point. As Chianti grew in popularity and fame, a number of other regions where Chianti can be made developed. Some of these areas are Cooli Fiorentini, Colli Senesi, Colli Arentini, and Rufina. None of these sub areas have ever gained anywhere near the fame as thee original Chianti Classico Zone. The Chianti Zone of Rufina, just outside Florence is the most prestigious zone apart from Chianti. These Chianti’s are of the highest quality. Three very well know producers in this area are Frescobaldi, Selvapiana, and Rufino and although the zone of Rufina is not as well known as the Chianti Classico zone, the zone of Rufina does have thee most famous Chianti of all, Rufino’s Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale (Gold Label).

So in closing, let us say that we hope the laws that govern the making of Chianti Classico will be changed some day. I think it is sure to happen. It would be best if it happens sooner than later, that in the making of Chianti, there shall be no Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syhrah or any other non-native or non-traditional grape varieties of Chianti Classico. Also the laws should be changed to eliminate 100% Sangiovese Chianti’s, Chianti should always be a blend, even if just 2% of another native grape such as Colorino, Canaiolo, or Cielegiolo were added. Chianti must always be a blende wine, dominated by mostly Sangiovese (at least 85%) with a smaller percentage of native grapes. The region of Chianti Classico is one of the World’s most beautiful. It is enchanting, filled with castles, all forms of wine estates from small and simply to big and majestic. The beautiful rolling hills of Chianti are filled with Cypress trees that dot the crest of many a hill, along with rugged stone farm houses and the wondrous rows Sangiovese vines lining the gently sloping hills.

Chianti is relatively untouched or spoiled by any type of ugly modern structures. The Chiantigiana road is still the ancient one built by the Romans and its pavement blends in perfectly with its untouched surroundings. Chianti is filled with lovely little towns like Castellina, Gaile, Greve, and Radda where you will find the famous Dante quoting butcher Dario Cecchini. You can visit and stay in beautiful wine estates like Fattoria Valle, Castello Verazzano in Greve where the explorer Giovani Verazzano is from. You can stay at the beautiful estate of Vignamaggio where Gioconda lived and was painted my Michael Angelo. She is “Mona Lisa.”

Chianti, it’s not just a wine. “It’s a Place, a very beautiful place!”



by DANIEL BELLINO ZWICKE


Below is a Small LIST of TRUE CHIANTI’S made primarily with Sangiovese with small amounts of native sub-varities such as Canaiolo, Malvasia Nero, Colorino, and Celegiolo and not containing any Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syhrah, or any International Varieties “What-so-Ever.”.




Monsanto “Il Poggio” Chianti Classico Riserva

Castello Verazzano Chianti Classico

Castello Brolio Chainti Classico Reserva

Castellow Querceto Chianti Classico

Vignamaggio Chinati Classico Riserva “Mona Lisa”

Rufino Chianti Classico Riserva “Ducale” (Gold Label)

Selvapiana Chianti Rufina

Badia Coltobuono

Daniel Bellino Zwicke

Monday, February 7, 2011

TREBICCHERIERI 2010 Tasting in NEW YORK



As most Americans will not know that the magazine
"Gamero Rosso" is the Italian equivalent of the Wine Spectator when it comes to Italian Wine, rating and writing about them.

Instead of a 100 Point ratings system used by the Wine Spectator and others, Gamber Rosso gives their top rated wines Trebicchieri or "Three Glasses" and Two Glasses is very good, the equivalent of a 88 or 89 on the 100 Point Scale.
Here is a List of Some of Gamberro Rosso's "Trebicchieri" Wines for 2011. The Grand Trebicchieri Tasting to be held in New York on February 18, 2011


 

SASSICAIA Winemaker Sebastiano Rossa (L to R)

Author Daniel Bellino "Z" and Giovanni Folnari of Nozzole



A. A. Gewurztraminer Kastelaz ’09 Elena Walch
Albana di Romagna Passito AR ’08 Fattoria Zerbina

A. A. Valle Isarco Sylvaner R ’09 Kofererhof 


 Amarone della Valpolicella Vajo Armarone ’05 Serego Alighieri 

 Barolo La Rocche del Falletto Ris. ’04 B. Giacosa 

Barolo Monfortino Ris. ’02 G. Conterno 

Barolo ’06B. Mascarello Bolgheri 

Sassicaia ’07 San Guido

"I'll Never forget this Vintage of SASSICAIA. 

The Greatest Sassaica Veintage ever!" Author Daniel Bellino Z 

Brunello di Montalcino Ris. ’04 Biondi Santi 

Camartina ’07 Querciabella Cervaro della Sala ’08 

Castello della Sala Umbria 

Chianti Classico Rancia Ris. ’07 Felsina 

Cof Sauvignon Zuc di Volpe ’09 Volpe 

Pasini Cupo ’08 

Pietracupa Franciacorta Brut Secolo Novo ’05 

Le Marchesine Gattinara Osso San Grato ’06 Antoniolo 

I Sodi di San Nicolò ’06 Castellare 

Le Pergole Torte ’07 Montevertine 

Langhe Costa Russi ’07 Gaja 

 Marsala Vergine Ris. ’81 Pellegrino 

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ’08 

Villa Medoro Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ’06 Valentini 

 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo San Calisto ’07 

Valle Reale Montiano ’08 

Falesco Primitivo di Manduria Es ’08 

Fino Rosso Gravner ’04 Gravner 

 Rosso Piceno Sup. Roggio del Filare ’07 

Velenosi Sangiovese di Romagna Sup. Avi ’06 

San Patrignano 

 Taurasi Radici Ris. ’04 Mastroberardino 

 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Castello di Semivicoli ’08 Masciarelli 

 Trento Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore Brut ’01 

Ferrari Veneroso ’07 Tenuta di Ghizzano






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SUNDAY SAUCE

Photo by Daniel Bellino Zwicke