ITALIAN

Wineries of the Month

La Cappuccina

La Cappuccina
Founded over a century ago, the Tessari family’s La Cappuccina estate is located in Costalunga di Monteforte d’Alpone, the heart of the Soave, in the province of Verona. The name of the estate comes from a small private 15th century chapel where the Capucin monks once celebrated religious services. The 62 acres of vineyards near the stone family farmhouse have been cultivated for generations with the same unswerving dedication. At the present time, Sisto, Pietro and Elena Tessari along with their father Lorenzo, run the estate, each playing a different role in the management of the winery. Their objective is to develop and reinforce the quality and image of the products for the various regional and international markets.

Venturini, Massimino
Azienda Agricola Venturini is located in San Floriano in the district of San Pietro in Cariano. It was established in 1963 continuing on the experience and love for the land that goes back for least three generations. The estate, located on the hilly area of the Valpolicella Classico, extends for 22 acres all planted to vineyards at an elevation of 800 feet above sea level. The vineyards enjoy a southwestern exposure and are planted on terraces held up by stonewalls called “marogne”. The vine training system is typical of the area: “simple” and “double” pergolas. The winery is run by the Venturini family: father Massimino with sons Daniele, Mirco and daughter Giuseppina. Using only estate grown grapes: 70% Corvina Veronese, 20% Rondinella, 10% Molinara, the Venturini’s make high quality Valpolicella wines

Accordini Stefano
This estate winery has deep country roots: their founders were share-croppers, then landowners and finally wine-makers. Led by Stefano, helped by his wife Giuseppina and his two sons, Tiziano and Daniele, this company has a long tradition of wine making. Today Tiziano directs the marketing and manages the winery, while Daniele is concerned with oenology. The family estate extends over 4 hectares situated in Negrar, the heart of Valpolicella, in a place called Bessole. These vineyards are a precious source of great satisfaction thanks to their southern-east exposure and their soil, which is well balanced in its components.

A good choice of three different varieties of grapes, Corvine, Rondinelle and Corvinone, grafted by Stefano and taken from grapes of high quality, guarantees every year the production of ripe grapes well suited to be withered.

 


CALIFORNIAN

Winery of the Month

Azari Vineyards

Azari Vineyards
It was 1988 when the Azari family first chanced upon what has become Azari Vineyards. The Iranian- born couple, Kamal and Parichehr, were taking a small drive north from their home in Marin County to show their two children Sonoma County and its fabled greenery. With one look, the couple heard the land whisper to them; although it was only a humble lot of untilled land, the small parcel sang of infinite possibilities.

Twenty-five years later, the two children have been joined by a third, the small parcel has been transformed to a magnificent vineyard, and the Azaris have long called this estate their home; yet Kamal and Parichehr still hear the same song they did the day they first gazed upon the rolling, fogswept hills. Together with their daughter Pari and American-born sons Kaveh and Cyrus, the Azaris have created a cross-cultural oasis on their lush, secluded vineyard estate.

Foyt Family Wines
Winemaker TOM MEADOWCROFT, carefully selects all the vineyard sources for wine grapes used in any Foyt Wines offerings. Tom’s passion for wines comes from his experiences growing up, working and traveling in Europe and the United States. Early in life, he started the journey of winemaking by working the harvest of 1979 in Bordeaux. Later in life, Tom worked at wineries in Washington and Napa, attended UC Davis and Napa College, and then became a vineyard manager focused on sustainable farming and environmental advocacy.

Winemaker Petar Kirilov joined Foyt Family Wines in 2008 as a winemaker to oversee the production of Foyt’s high-quality wines. Kirilov grew up in Bulgaria, graduating from the prestigious University of Food Technologies in 2002 with a Master’s degree in Beverage Technology. He began his professional career at a Bulgarian factory specializing in high alcohol beverages.

 


ITALIAN Wines of the Month

VenetoARTISAN SERIES

2016 La Cappuccina Basaltik Veneto
100% Sauvignon
Alcohol: 13%
Straw yellow, luminous. On the nose, intense traditional of Sauvignon, reminiscent of peaches. Scent of grapefruit and herbs. Flavor is dry, well structured and full, with an intense and unmistakable presence of peach, grapefruit, mint, sage, and herbs. Great balance on the palate. Serve with fish and crustaceans, ideal with vegetarian

WINEMAKER SERIES

2016 La Cappuccina Fontego Soave
90% Garganega 10% Trebbiano Di Soave
Alcohol: 13%
Deep, bright yellow color. Nose reveals a whole raft of Mediterranean flowers in the bouquet (jasmine, chamomile). The flavor is fresh, clean, rounded, and elegant, with good lenth and pronounced mineral note. Enjoy it with a temperature of 10 – 12 ° C (50°-54°F.). Serve it as an aperitif, with starters, fish, white meats, gnocchi or pasta with light sauces.

Accordini Valpolicella Classico Superiore “Acinatica”
Corvina Veronese (60%), Corvinone (15%), Rondinella (20%), Molinara (5%)
Alcohol: 14%
This wine has an intense, ruby red color. The bouquet is intense, delicate, and ethereal on the nose with the scent of spices and vanilla. The taste is warm, full-bodied with scent of fruit reminiscing of Amarone. Pair with any kind of meat, even white meat, stews. Serve at 17°- 18° C. Uncork at least 1 hour before drinking

2013 Venturini Massimino Rosso Verona
Corvina and Corvinone 75%, Rondinella 25%
Alcohol: 15%
“Medium ruby with pronounced aroma. Red berries, cherries, bramble with white pepper, cocoa, liquorice and nutmeg. Medium plus acidity, medium tannins and high alcohol deliver medium plus body and long finish.” Pair with hearty pasta dishes, beef, and lamb.

COLLECTOR SERIES

2012 Venturini Amarone delle Valpolicella
75% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, and 5% Molinara
Alcohol: 16%
“Medium ruby-red. Musky aromas of red cherry, blackcurrant, earth and tobacco. Bright and juicy, boasting a seamless quality and noteworthy intensity to the sweet but very fresh red and black fruit and coffee flavors. Finishes with ripe tannins, bright and juicy, with a persistent note of cigar tobacco. Pair with beef, lamb, and aged cheeses.

2013 La Cappuccina Campo Buri
90% Carmenère and 10% Oseleta from the estate’s own vineyards.
Alcohol: 14.5%
Color is an intense and concentrated ruby red. The nose displays herbaceous notes that blend with suggestions of berry fruits (blackcurrants and blueberries) and spicy hints (pepper, cloves, and vanilla. Flavor offers a well-balanced fruit on the palate, with ripe tannins and a very long finish. Serve with roasted red meats, game, and mature cheeses.

ITALIAN Region of the Month

Veneto

Venezia, a city built into the sea, is haunted by the princes and poets of its past and by centuries of tourists. The cities of Padova, Vicenza, and Verona, originally frontier posts on the Roman trade route between Venezia and Genova, grew into Renaissance splendor. Nature exhibits its own marvels, the Dolomite Mountains in the north, the Euganean hills in the south, vast Lake Garda in the east, and to the west, the Adriatic with its beaches and ports. Today, Veneto is a thriving agricultural center, ranking first with classified DOC wines. There are three areas of premium production: the western province of Verona, the central hills, and the eastern plains. Verona is the leader in classified DOC wines, especially Soave, Bardolino, and Valpolicella, a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. When young, Valpolicella is a fruity red, but when the grapes are partly dried, they become Amarone, one of Italy’s most noble wines. Bardolino is made from the same grapes as Valpolicella but is a lighter version. The central hills produce Soave, Tocai, the Pinots, Merlot, Cabernet, and sparkling Prosecco. The eastern plains have been dominated by Merlot and Cabernet Franc for decades.


 

CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month

SonomaARTISAN SERIES

Azari 2017 Corkscrew Chardonnay
100% Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13.9%
On the nose, Jasmine, lemon, banana, orange zest, wet stone, orange blossom, vanilla buttercream. On the palate, green apples, tangerines, lemon drops, kumquats, peaches, and honeydew. Pairs with Brie and crackers with roasted red peppers.

Azari 2013 Corkscrew Luma Rouge
Syrah, Petite Syrah, Viognier
Alcohol: 13.7%
On the nose, rosewater, red currants, Dad’s pipe tobacco. Palate, blackberry compote, bright fruit, soft tannins. Pair with Sopressata, smoked mozzarella raspberry chocolate torte.

WINEMAKER SERIES

2014 Foyt Meritage, No. 72, Sonoma
82% Cabernet sauvignon, 12% Cabernet
Franc, 6% Merlot
Alcohol 14.2%
Dark blackberry and spicy plum flavors dominate the palate coupled with black cherry and blackberry aromatics with a hint of cassis and Asian spice. The wine has a very smooth finish with an introduction of just a touch of chocolate. Pair with a hearty pasta dish, lamb, or beef.

2013 Azari Corkscrew Pinot Noir
100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 13.2%
On the nose, dark cherries, eucalyptus oil, mint, strawberries, forest floor. Palate is strawberries, quince jam, pomegranate, vanilla, Bing cherries. Pair with chicken with pomegranate-walnut sauce.

2017 Azari Corkscrew Rose Grenache
100% Grenache
Alcohol: 13.9%
Nose reveals a ruby red grapefruit, white cherries, wet stone. The palate is peaches, guava, pink starburst, strawberries. Pair with BBQ shrimp, chips and salsa.

COLLECTOR SERIES

2014 Azari Pinot Noir
100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 14.9%
Nose is loamy soil, white raspberry, black currants, ground black pepper, blueberry tart, vanilla, jasmine, violets. The palate reveals mocha, cinnamon, blackberries, strawberries, toasted oak, black tea. Pair with crostini with arugula and herbed goat cheese.

2012 Azari Shiraz
100% Shiraz
Alcohol: 14.5%
Nose is blueberries, forest floor, earth. Palate reveals raspberry compote, mushrooms baked in flaky pastry. Pair with Cornish game hen with roasted butternut squash.

CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month

Sonoma

Russians planted the first vineyards after establishing a colony at Fort Ross on the Pacific in 1812. In 1824 while he built the Mission in the Town of Sonoma, Father José Altimira planted grapevines to provide sacramental wine for religious services and for the table. Sonoma County is large and boasts a huge diversity of vines and wine styles because micro climates, soils, and topography are infinite. Some of these micro climates are hospitable to grapes that require warmer temperatures, like Cabernet Sauvignon and associated Bordeaux varieties or Zinfandel and other Mediterranean grapes. The County also offers cooler areas where Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and additional white varieties thrive. Marine fog, breezes, and cool nights prolong ripening to produce complex flavors. Sonoma County so far includes 16 distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) recognized by the Federal government. AVAs include Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley, Carneros, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, Fort Ross-Seaview, Green Valley, Knights Valley, Moon Mountain District, Northern Sonoma, Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak, Rockpile, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, and Sonoma Valley.


 

DINNER WITH DEBRA

By Debra Williams

Hearty Vegetable Stew
From Tasty.com

2 Tb Olive Oil
10 oz baby Bella Mushroom quartered
1 yellow onion diced
3 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
½ tsp rosemary, thyme, and pepper
3 tablespoon tomato paste
2 Tb low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup flour
¾ cup dry red wine
4 cups diced potatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves

In large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, pepper, tomato paste and soy sauce. Cook 2-3 more minutes. Add the flour and stir until full incorporated. Add wine and stir until absorbed. Add potatoes, broth, and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove Bay Leaves and enjoy.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
So simple, but so yummy with a Pinot or Cabernet

150 g milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate
750 g large strawberries

Line cookie sheet with wax paper. Place chocolate in heat proof bowl, doing each chocolate separately. You will be making three separate batches. Fill saucepan 1/3 with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and place bowl over saucepan. Do not let bowl touch water. Stir continuously until smooth.