Take a trip around Italy in just one bottle with the Piccini Memoro Vino Bianco, a non-vintage white blend that brings together different grapes and regions for a fun, easy to drink wine.
The history of Piccini dates back to 1882, when Angiolo Piccini started the winemaking estate in Chianti with 7 hectares. Today the fourth generation of the Piccini family runs the operations, which have expanded to four separate estates.
The compass rose on the Memoro label signifies the four varietals, each a typical expression of a distinct Italian region. The Viognier (40% of the final blend) comes from Sicily; the Chardonnay (30%) is from Trentino in the north; the Vermentino (20%) is from Maremma in Tuscany; and the Pecorino (10%) is from the Marche on the eastern coast of central Italy.
The Memoro, a product of thorough research and experimenting, offers balanced fruit and acidity. There’s pear, apricot and golden apple from the Pecorino and cool climate Chardonnay, soft honey and white flowers from the Viognier, and additional delicate floral notes from the Vermentino. The wine is silky in the mouth, with a lingering finish that has a hint of bread and dried herbs.
Pair the wine with creamy sauces, poultry and seafood.
Earlier this month Kobrand Wine & Spirits brought its Tour d’Italia to the St. Regis Hotel in Buckhead. Winery owners and winemakers shared their latest releases with members of the wine trade and media.
Among the many delicious wines there were a number of standouts. Take a look at the AG’s picks in the snapshots below (click to enlarge), and look for them at wine shops and restaurants in the Atlanta area.
Piedmont (Northwest Italy) — Michele Chiarlo Veneto (Northeast Italy) — Masi Agricola Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Northeast Italy, east of Veneto) — Fernando Pighin & Figli Tuscany (Central Italy, on western side) — Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari Tenute, Tenute Silvio Nardi
Vino Venue was the location of a friendly food fight last Thursday for the Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Cook-Off for a Cause. Three top local chefs competed to see whose dish paired best with the Italian red wine for the chance to win a donation to their selected local charity.
Allegrini is an estate and winery located in Fumane di Valpolicella, just north of Verona in northeastern Italy. Now in its third year, their Cook-Off for a Cause has traveled through eight U.S. cities and donated more than $35,000 to charity.
The competing chefs for the Atlanta cook-off were Ford Fry, Kevin Gillespie and John Metz. They were chosen because they all source locally and add importance to the community.
Chef Gillespie of Gunshow was competing for the FitWit Foundation, which improves the lives of Atlanta children and teens through fitness, tutoring and personal development programs. Since 2008 more than 500 kids have participated in the program.
As the chefs prepared their dishes, Marilisa Allegrini gave an overview of the estate and wine. Marilisa is the sixth generation of her family to work in the wine business and manages the winery with her two brothers.
The Palazzo della Torre is a blend of 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella and 5% Sangiovese made in the ripasso style. After the harvest, 70% of the grapes were vinified immediately and 30% were left to dry until the end of December. The wine made at harvest was blended with the fermenting juice of the dried grapes, initiating a second fermentation. This winemaking style helps to create a more complex and concentrated wine. The wine spent 15 months in one year-old French oak barriques.
The Allegrini Palazzo della Torre is dark ruby red in color, with an intense dark berry aroma and flavors of blackberries, ripe and dried cherries, mocha and dates.
The chefs had a couple of weeks to get to know the wine and come up with their dishes. Guests were asked to judge each dish based on three criteria: the dish on its own, the uniqueness of the dish and how well it paired with the wine.
Up first was Chef Fry, who paired the Palazzo della Torre with Pekin duck risotto. Duck stock added a rich flavor to the Arborio rice, which had duck cracklings, foraged mushrooms and herbs folded in. Rich without being heavy, the risotto matched the elegance of the wine.
For the second round Chef Gillespie served a smoked cabbage dumpling with country sausage, caramelized turnips and potato puree. The smoky and savory flavors in the dumpling paired nicely with the cherry notes and tannins in the wine.
The final round was a rustic country rigatoni from Chef Metz. The pasta was served with oregano roasted chicken, sausage meatball, oven roasted tomato, baby escarole, oyster mushroom, canellini beans and parmesan cheese. Hearty and with layers of flavor, the pasta complemented the layered and complex wine.
After dining, discussing and casting votes it was time to announce the results. The winner: Chef John Metz, who thanked the audience and spoke passionately about his cause. The Atlanta Community Food Bank will receive $3,000 from Allegrini.
Chef Kevin Gillespie came in second, and Chef Ford Fry came in third. Their causes will receive $2,000 and $1,000 respectively.
Classic cocktails naturally come to mind when looking for something to drink while watching Mad Men. But what if wine is more your style?
Fans of the AMC series can get into the ‘60s mood by sipping Soave, a white wine from northern Italy.
Soave was a popular wine in the 1960s, featured in Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” and loved by Frank Sinatra. Apparently the singer only went to restaurants that had his preferred brand of Soave on the list.
Soave takes its name from the Soave region, a DOC (Denominazione d’Orgine Controlata) in the Veneto in northeast Italy. It is made mainly from Garganega grapes, along with Trebbiano di Soave.
Soave is an easy to enjoy and affordable alternative to Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh and food-friendly, Soave can have citrus, melon, floral and nutty flavors, with mineral notes and vibrant acidity.
In addition to Mad Men, Soave pairs well with a range of foods including seafood, poultry and pasta.
Here are a few bottles of Soave to try:
Bolla Soave Classico
Frank Sinatra’s favorite Soave has flavors of white flowers, pear and lemon, with a hint of almond on the finish and a price tag of less than $10.
Suavia Soave Classico
Fresh aromas introduce delicate flavors of peach, green apple, spring flowers and a touch of anise.
Montresor Soave Capitel Alto
Rich with intense aromas and flavors, this wine has notes of pear, apple and white peach.