On April 22nd, we gathered at the United Palace for an evening of Italian wine, delicious food, and conversation. Columbia Wine Co. manager and CEO of Wine for the 99, Christian Galliani, took attendees on an oenological tour of his ancestral homeland that included six wine selections with paired bites.
History of Italian Wine
The history of winemaking in Italy is storied with 4,000 years of tradition, 20 wine regions, 96 provinces, 1,0000-plus grape varieties, and over two million wine producers. In ancient times, the Italian peninsula was commonly referred to as enotria or “land on wine” because of its rich diversity of grape varieties and many acres dedicated to cultivated wines. In fact, the country is the world’s largest wine producer by volume, with France coming in second. Grapes are grown in almost every region in the country and there are more than one million vineyards under cultivation.
The boot-shaped country varies widely when it come to climate and terrain. Most of the northern regions have very hot summers and extremely cold winters. The high altitude vineyards near the Alps in the north are known for wines with lots of acidity and freshness because of the huge shift in temperatures from day to night. As you move down the peninsula, the Mediterranean Sea is the largest influence on the growing regions. In the south, the winters are more moderate and the summers are hot and dry. All the sunshine comes through in the ripe, lush wines.
In Italy, the old saying is true: “If it grows together, it goes together.” Wine is intended to be a part of meals – to elevate food like any side dish. As such, they are usually paired with foods of the same region.
Selections of the Evening (all of which can be found in the store):
1. Petito Prosecco NV Veneto – $11.99
This has a soft and easy finish, with no acidity on the back. This pairs well with shellfish or smoked salmon.
2. St. Michael Eppan Pinot Grigio Alto Adige – $19.99
Planted and vinified organically, the wine has notes of elderflower, leechee nuts, citrus, and lemon peel. This balances well with an oily fish.
3. Greggiano Chianti – $14.99
A best-seller, this is a soft, easy-drinking red with light, ripe cherry tasting notes. This wine pairs beautifully with Tuscan cheese or a burger.
4. Fratelli Levis Barbera Di Piemonte – $12.99
The signature red wine of the North, this is dry and full-bodied. It pairs well with veal or a steak.
5. Tratturi Primitivo, Salento – $11.99
Big, bold, and juicy, this wine pairs well with spicy dishes – think spicy jambalaya and buffalo wings.
6. La Serra Moscato, Asti – $19.99
With notes of pears, yellow apples, and elderflowers, this selection goes well with a fruit tart. It is the essence of refreshment with a subtle tropical fruit taste.
Want to be a part of the Columbia Wine Co. wine class experience? Attend the next wine class on May 11 – A Master Class with Quevedo Wines.