Italian Wine 101: spaces still available!

February 15, 2010

Vino’s Winter 2010 class schedule gets back on track this week with the return of the ever-popular Italian Wine 101!

Grapevines have been cultivated in Italy for thousands of years, but today the country’s wine industry is stronger than ever. In 2008 Italy produced six billion liters of vino, approximately one fifth of the world’s production. Much of this is exported, yet Italians still rank as the biggest consumers of wine in the world (59 liters per capita). With over 450 legally-designated winemaking appellations and some 350 government-authorized grape varieties (plus hundreds more documented), it’s no surprise Italian wine can be an overwhelming subject for the uninitiated.

Hosted by Vino’s William Lee, this introductory seminar will help unravel some of the complexities of the Italian wine system, and dispel much of the mystery surrounding what is for Italians simply part of everyday life. For this fun and lively class, participants will be treated to an exclusive tasting representing the impressive quality and incredible diversity of Italy’s wines. Italian Wine 101 is the best place to start making sense of Italy’s vast mosaic of appellations, myriad grape varieties, and countless winemaking styles.

ITALIAN WINE 101
with William Lee

Wednesday, February 17
6:30-8:30pm
$45

For more information and reservations please call 212-725-6516 or email register@vinosite.com.


Wines of Tuscany: with special guests, next Wednesday

January 27, 2010

Vino’s Winter wine classes continue next Wednesday with a very special edition of Wines of Tuscany, presented in association with Vino 2010, and featuring honored guest representatives from two of our favorite Tuscan wineries: Giovanni Busi of Travignoli and Fabrizio Benedetti of Casa Emma.

Perhaps no region evokes the magic of Italy more than Tuscany: its rolling hills, picturesque towns and stunning artistic heritage have attracted visitors for centuries. So familiar is the region, that many wine enthusiasts are often lulled into feeling they know all their is to know about Tuscany’s equally popular and world famous wines. But as this exclusive tasting class will demonstrate, there’s much more to Tuscan wine than a straw flask on a checkered tablecloth.

Now you have a rare opportunity to learn more about the finer details of Tuscan wine production, directly from those who know it best. The Travignoli estate in Chianti Rufina has been in the Busi family since the 17th century. Current owner Giovanni Busi (right), himself a former president of the Chianti Rufina consortium, will reveal some of the secrets which go into producing a world class wine.

One of the top producers of Chianti Classico, Casa Emma is also a leader in wine marketing and international relations. Fabrizio Benedetti (left) oversees the business aspect of the winery, and will explain the steps Casa Emma has taken to adapt to an ever-expanding market.

Taste wines from both producers and more in what promises to be a very special occasion at Vino!

WINES OF TUSCANY
Wednesday, February 3
6:30-8:30pm
$65

For more information and reservations please call 212-725-6516 or email register@vinosite.com.

Organized by the Italian Trade Commission, Vino 2010 Italian Wine Week is the biggest Italian wine convention ever held outside of Italy, featuring events, panels and tastings throughout the city from February 2-6.



Nebbiolo class — this Wednesday

November 9, 2009

nebbiolo blog

Famed the world over for its use in two of Italy’s most celebrated wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, young Nebbiolo is naturally high in tannins and thus at its best offers a remarkable potential for aging. Yet many forget that the variety actually goes far beyond these highly revered DOCGs, featuring in wines from some of Piedmont’s lesser-known winemaking zones, including Ghemme and Carema in the northern hills of the region. Though most closely associated with Piedmont, Nebbiolo is also cultivated in Lombardy where it’s known as Chiavennasca, and is the predominant variety in Valtellina.

A man who has worked the vines with his bare hands under Piedmont’s baking sun, few people know Nebbiolo like Jim Hutchinson, DWS (below: front row, far right). Join Jim tomorrow evening as as he guides you through this impressive exclusive tasting of some of his favorite expressions of this much-admired and unexpectedly diverse variety. Sign up now!

gruppo piccoloNEBBIOLO
with Jim Hutchinson, DWS

Wednesday, November 11
6:30-8:30pm
$65

For more information and reservations call 212-725-6516 or email register@vinosite.com.


Italian Wine 101, this Wednesday

November 2, 2009

italianwine101poster_blog

By far our most popular class, Italian Wine 101 is offered twice this term, giving Vino’s most curious customers an extra chance to enjoy an introduction to some of Italy’s greatest grape varieties and wines.

Vino’s own William “Lucky” Lee will review Italy’s magnificent yet sometimes intimidating mosaic of local varieties and wine appellations, the two aspects which continue more often than not to boggle the minds of Italian wine novices. William will also explain the fascinating process of wine-making from grape to bottle, give pointers on storing, serving and ordering wine, and discuss wine’s important role in Italian daily life.

Featuring a carefully compiled tasting representing the supreme quality and vast diversity of Italian wine, this lively and entertaining seminar is ideal for those new to Vino and for experience enthusiasts alike. Sign up today!Do I feel Lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

ITALIAN WINE 101
with William Lee

Wednesday, November 4
6:30-8:30pm
$45

For more information and reservations call 212-725-6516 or email register@vinosite.com.


Add this to your dairy — oops, diary

October 25, 2009

wine cheese blog

Much like the country’s wine, cheese is produced in every region of Italy, and for Italians invariably plays an integral part in their daily diet. While it is an essential ingredient in many regional dishes, it is also common in Italy to enjoy cheese by itself, or at the very most, paired with a glass of local wine.

Vino’s Jim Hutchinson has devoted the best part of his life to the study of Italian food and wine; join him on Wednesday for a tasting of six diverse formaggi from six of Italy’s greatest cheese-producing regions. Each cheese will be paired with a special wine selected by Jim’s expert hand.

jim_hutchinson smallWINE & CHEESE
with Jim Hutchinson, DWS

Wednesday, October 28
6:30-8:30pm
$65

For more information and reservations call 212-725-6516 or email register@vinosite.com.


Sangiovese class, this Wednesday

October 18, 2009

Taste Central Italy’s greatest grape with Robert Scibelli

Vino’s Italian wine classes continue this Wednesday as we honor Sangiovese. Known by the Etruscans as “sanguis Jovis” (“Blood of Jove”), literary reference to Sangiovese didn’t appear until 1722. Today Sangiovese exists as the primary grape variety in Central Italy, where for over a century it has been renowned as a staple of many of Tuscany’s most highly-regarded wines, such as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. For a generation, Sangiovese has also been a major component in the “Super-Tuscan” phenomenon, in which producers blended the grape with international varieties in order to skirt Italian winemaking laws.

Tuscany’s hot, dry climate means Sangiovese grapes are slow to ripen, which can result in quantity at the expense of quality. It therefore takes a truly skilled winemaker to produce a fine wine from Sangiovese. Join Sangiovese supremo Robert Scibelli as he presents a world-class tasting of some of his favorite expressions of this legendary grape.

SANGIOVESE
with Robert Scibelli, DWS

Wednesday, October 21
6:30-8:30pm
$65

For more information and reservations call 212-725-6516 or email register@vinosite.com.


OMG! DOCG!

October 7, 2009

Vino’s Italian wine classes continue, Wednesday, October 14

DOCG_blog

DOCG wines are identifiable by the distinctive pink label wrapped around the neck of the bottle, like on this Brunello di Montalcino.

What’s the difference between DOC and DOCG? Is a DOCG wine automatically superior? Why are some of my favorite wines classified IGT? If you’ve ever drunk Italian wine (and if you’re reading this, there’s a big chance you have) you’ve probably asked yourself these questions and others like them. As is the case with most things governmental in Italy, the system for classifying its wines can be apparently simple but deceptively complex, and can oftentimes cause a headache.

piedmont docg blog

As these maps clearly suggest, navigating Italy’s DOCs and DOCGs can be tricky. And that’s only Piedmont…

The DOC label assurance was launched in Italy in 1962, and was modeled on France’s AOC system. By 1980, the DOC list had become so crowded the DOCG was introduced to give greater importance to Italy’s top-drawer wines. Or as Italian wine expert Robert Scibelli himself once put it to me, it was the government’s way of saying “this time we really mean it.” Today there is some debate as to the number of wines which currently make up the DOCG list. With wine experts, bloggers, Wikipedia and even the Italian Ministry of Agriculture seemingly unable to settle on the same figure, estimates typically fluctuate anywhere between 32 and 45 appellations. Italian wine blog VinoWire (I like to think of it as the Reuters for Italian wine) has a pretty comprehensive and up-to-date take on the matter here.

On Wednesday, October 14 let Robert do the hard work for you as he attempts to deconstruct this ever-changing legal landscape which continues to leave Italian wine fans stumped. In what is an exciting new addition to Vino’s class schedule, Mr. Scibelli will also be presenting a world-class tasting of wines from some of Italy’s most famous DOCGs.

DOCG WINES
with Robert Scibelli, DWS
Wednesday, October 14
6:30-8:30pm
$65

For more information and reservations call 212-725-6516 or email register@vinosite.com.


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