ITALIAN

Wineries of the Month

Farina Family Vineyards

Farina Family Vineyards
We were born in a family in which winemaking was a sort of inevitable legacy. Before making this choice we wanted to experience other professional paths, sure that making wine is more than a job and to do it, it is necessary to be convinced to the very end. And we chose to dedicate ourselves to this amazing world, we did it with absolute conviction, passion, and love. Yes, love, because with strong feelings you can’t go a long way in the wine industry. Love in winemaking, but also love in creating the right, true relationships within the market. Love, that for us translates into transparency. Transparency in telling exactly what we do in the vineyard and in the winery, but also transparency in always being ourselves, convinced that the most important thing is to be trustworthy and honest. Claudio, Elena, and Alessandro Farina.

Zenato Estate
It all began in 1960 when Sergio Zenato, filled with energy and ambition and driven by his deep bond with the territory, tried out new techniques of wine making and invested in native vines in order to obtain wine of the highest quality. Today, his wife Carla, along with children Alberto and Nadia, continues to pursue Sergio’s great enterprise with the same enthusiasm, tenacity and infinite dedication, making the excellence of Zenato’s wines known in more than 60 countries of the world. In this way, the soul of Lugana and the heart of Valpolicella continue to expand their borders.

 


CALIFORNIAN

Wineries of the Month

Frogs Tooth Vineyard

Frogs Tooth Vineyard
As a sales and marketing executive in the electronics production arena, Larry was drawn to wine early in a career that allowed travel from the east Coast to Silicon Valley. As a result of these frequent business trips to great wine regions and a marriage to a wine connoisseur (his wife Pamela), jumping head-first into the wine industry only made sense. In 20013 after long weekends wine tasting in the Sierra Foothills, Larry and Pamela decided to purchase a second home in Calaveras County. This purchase would lead to a vineyard partnership that would ultimately be called Frog’s Tooth. His drive and vision have allowed Frog’s Tooth to grow into the vibrant business it is now.

Bracey Vineyard
ARDUIS SAEPE METU NUNQUAM
The Bracey Vineyards family motto translates, “Often in difficulty, never in fear.” Our 300 year agricultural tradition in America, our 1,000 year ancestral roots in Normandy, and our kinship in Burgundy provide a cultural and historical substratum upon which our wines grow and evolve. Our heritage reflects a courageous commitment to harnessing the dynamic forces of weather, soil, and oak in order to produce artisan wines of vigor, purity, and endurance. Our limited production wines invoke the traditions of art and myth to poetically express the terroir of premiere vineyards we select with patience and love. Be bold and do not fear. Brace yourself for the battle of life with a bottle of Bracey Vineyards wine.

 


ITALIAN Wines of the Month

PiemonteARTISAN SERIES

2015 Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella Superiore DOC
85% Corvina, 10% Rondinella, and 5% Oseleta
Alcohol: 14%
Deep ruby-red in color, this wine shows intense aromas of blackberries and black currants underscored by aromas of spice pepper, and a hint of leather. On the palate, it is smooth and viscous with well-balanced acidity and alcohol. Pair this wine with risotto, Lyonnaise sauces, beef negimaki, and rabbit ragu.

2016 Remo Farina Soave Classico DOC
85% Garganega & 15% Trebbiano di Soave
Alcohol: 12%
It presents itself with a straw-yellow color and a characteristic bouquet of delicate nuances of sambuca, peach flowers, sage and white pepper. Its taste is of fruity apples and pineapple with a mineral undertone. It accompanies hors d’oeuvres, first courses, fish, shellfish and white meats very well; excellent also as an aperitif.

WINEMAKER SERIES

2013 Zenato Alanera
55% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 10% Corvinone, 5% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 13.5%
Brilliant ruby in color, Alanera delights the senses with a variety of aromas and flavors that include fresh and dried cherries and prunes, sweet spice, and hints of coffee and tobacco. On the palate, Alanera is full-bodied with elegant and velvety tannins. Vibrant acidity brings balance and freshness, and supports a long and harmonious finish. Pair with medium-aged cheeses, cured meats, meaty fish such as sea bass fillet with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or with braised meats and stews.

2016 Remo Farina Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore DOC
50% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella, 5% Molinara, and 10% Oseleta
Alcohol: 13.5%
A dark ruby-red color, with the fragrance of pepper, fruit marmalade (cherries, prunes) and spices, licorice and ginger. Excellent with roasted meats and cheeses.

2017 Lugana San Benedetto DOC
100% Trebbiano di Lugana
Alcohol: 13.0%
Aromas of peach, citrus, banana, and herbs. Palate has a crisp minerality and supple body. Pair with vegetable casseroles, sea scallops, and shrimp risotto.

COLLECTOR SERIES

2015 Remo Farina Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC
70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella and 10% Molinara
Alcohol: 14.5%
This wine presents itself in a red-garnet color with orange edges, and with an ethereal and spicy fragrance. In the mouth, it is warm, robust, fullbodied, velvety, pleasantly bitter and harmonious. An excellent wine for game dishes and seasoned cheeses.

2014 Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG
80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella, 5% Croatina, 5% Oseleta
Alcohol: 16.5%
Ruby red in color, intoxicating aromas of dried black cherries, cassis, truffles, and chocolate fudge leap out of the glass. The resulting wine is silky, luscious, and complex, with a lingering finish. Pair this wine with osso bucco, Bordelaise sauces, wild boar ravioli, or grilled cowboy ribeyes.

ITALIAN Region of the Month

Piemonte

Half of Piemonte, which means “foot of the mountain,” lies in the great arc of the Alps and the Apennines, from which the Po River flows east through its broad valley to the Adriatic. Bordering Switzerland and France, Piemonte was part of the Frenchspeaking principality of Savoy between the 11th and 18th Centuries. The ancient Liguri tribes first cultivated the wild vines of the Apennines and later learned wine making from the Greeks about 600 BC. In the 19th Century, the wines of Piemonte gained distinction when the Savoy and others began to use French methods. Piemonte has 58 DOC and DOCG zones, more than any other region. In the Langhe hills above the town of Alba are the vineyards of Barolo, one of Italy’s most prestigious wines, “the king of wines and the wine of kings,” although Barbaresco may be its equal, both wines made from the noble Nebbiolo vine. Barbera and Dolcetto are popular reds. Whites are equally prominent. Asti Spumante from Moscato d’Asti is the nation’s second DOCG in volume after Chianti. Among still whites, Gavi from the Cortese grape is highly regarded along with Arneis.


 

CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month

San JoaquinARTISAN SERIES

2016 Frog’s Tooth Serendipity
70% Barbera, 30% (Grenache, Malbec,Viognier)
Alcohol: 15%
Dancing black, blue, and red berries. Deep smoky lingering mid palate. Pair with Charucuterie, Lasagna, Minestrone soup, feta cheese, or mushroom based dishes.

2017 Frog’s Tooth Pinot Grigio
100% Pinot Grigio
Alcohol: 14%
This is a well-balanced wine with notes of lemon, green apple and blossom. On the tongue, it is light crisp and dry. Goes well with mild cheeses, root vegetables, squashes, and fish.

WINEMAKER SERIES

2017 Frog’s Tooth Chardonnay
100% Chardonnay
Alcohol 14.7%
Hints of green apple, pear and light peach, touch of oak, almond, and cream. Nice acidity with a velvety mouth feel. Pairs nicely with vegetables and legumes, fruits, sea food like a scallop chowder, crab cake, or tuna.

2016 Frog’s Tooth Malbec
100% Malbec
Alcohol: 14.6%
Rare herbal and floral marinade with a unique Eucalyptus bouquet. Pairs with all types of red meats such as barbecued beef, grilled steak. Also goes nicely with Grilled Tuna or Salmon.

2016 Frog’s Tooth Barbera
100% Barbera
Alcohol 15%
Dark black cherry, jammy plum, and blackberry. Hints of leather and smokiness. Juicy tannins and mouthfeel. A perfect food pairing wine! This wine says Italian food. Pair with a spicy pizza, pasta in rich, red sauces. Risotto, lasagna, and minestrone soup are also great matches.

COLLECTOR SERIES

2008 Bracey Vineyards Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
100% Cabernet
Alcohol: 14.5%
Dry, full-bodied, rich with the flavors of cherries, tobacco, blackberries and oak. Firm tannins with a long finish. Pair with foods that have substantial spice and a savory body. Sirloin, filet mignon, brisket, or a spicy pizza all go great with this wine.

2009 Bracey Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 15.37%
Intense, supple and graceful, with a potent beam of mineral-laced dried berry, currant, cedar, and tobacco flavors, fulfilling its focus and promising a long life ahead. Complex flavors of black licorice and loamy earth expand on the finish. The tannins are firm, yet approachable. Pair with lamb, a hearty lentil stew, spicy barbeque, or grilled salmon.

CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month

San Joaquin

The San Joaquin Valley has been called “the food basket of the world.” At 61,00 vineyard hectares (151,000 acres), this is by far the largest wine region in the state. Stretching from Modesto in the north to the Tehachapi Mountains in the south, this region has been producing grapes for over 100 years. Winegrowing in the San Joaquin Valley goes back to the years immediately after statehood in parts of the Valley with readily accessible water. Indeed, by the time irrigation and canals began sprouting up across the Valley in the 1880’s and 90’s viticulture began to spread to the far reaches of the Valley. Long before the common misconception connecting Valley grapes to low quality wines, noted viticulturalist Frederick T. Bioletti of the University of California noted that, “It is my firm belief that there is no region in the world where the winemaker can be so sure of making every year a good, sound, dry wine of uniform quality as in the great central plain of California.


 

DINNER WITH DEBRA

By Debra Williams

Spicy Corned Beef Tacos
This is an easy to make recipe that would pair well with one of our Cabernets. Both recipes are from Taste of Home

Ingredients
2 cups coleslaw mix
4 green onions, sliced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup Thousand Island salad dressing
1-2 Tbsp. Sriracha chili sauce
2 Tbsp. canola oil
3 cups chopped cooked corned beef
2 cups refrigerated diced potatoes with onion
12 flour tortillas (6in.), warmed

Directions
Combine coleslaw mix, green onions and jalapenos. In small bowl, whisk salad dressing and chili sauce until combined. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add corned beef and potatoes; cook and stir until heated through. Serve in tortillas with coleslaw mixture and dressing mixture.

Strawberry-Avocado Tossed Salad
What a great spring recipe. Try it with one our white wines. Yummy!

Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
8 tsp sugar
8 tsp. honey
2 Tbssp. Cider vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
4 cups torn romaine
2 medium ripe avacados, peeled, thinly sliced
20 fresh strawberries, sliced
¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions
In small bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, honey, vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Divide romaine among 4 salad plates. Top each with avocado and strawberries. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with pecans.