To purchase, please click here. If you don’t see the value that you want, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-965-VINO (8466).The Vino Gift Card is a pre-loaded Vino charge card and can be used for any of our more-than 500 wines, books, accessories, and stemware.
Please note that the purchaser pays no tax on the gift card.
Includes personalized greeting card.
Charles is back!!!
Vino Wine Director Charles Scicolone has returned from Puglia and Roma where he found some new wines and dined at some fantastic restaurants (some old, some new). This week, he discusses Nebbiolo from the 1996 vintage in his wine opinion (see below).
Fri. & Sat., December 8-9
Natural Whites/Negroni Gift Pack Tasting
Fri., 5:30-7:30 – Sat. 4:30-6:30 @ Vino
Back by popular demand, we will be pouring the Negroni at this week’s tastings. For more on the Negroni and our Negroni gift pack, please see the Wine Opinion below.
Charles and the staff will also be pouring wines from our Natural Whites Gift Pack.
The Natural Whites gift pack includes three wines from three of our favorite producers: Paolo Bea, the father of the “natural wine” movement; Radikon, who creates natural wines “without compromise”; and La Stoppa, who makes elegant white wine “the way wines were made long ago.”
* * *
Wine Opinion: Negroni Memories and 10-Year-Old Nebbiolo
Last week, upon my return from Puglia, I walked into the store — unexpectedly, because they thought I was not coming in until Monday. I was greeted with a Negroni, which is made with 1 part Campari, 1 part gin, and 1 part sweet red vermouth. This is a classic Italian cocktail, which has a long history in Italy (for more on the history of the Negroni, see the Featured Gift pack below). It was interesting to have something other than wine to begin the tasting and I enjoyed sipping the cocktail. With the younger set, cocktails have become the latest thing in Italy. Some restaurants in cities like Roma and Firenze actually serve cocktails and have a “cocktail hour.” This is usually after the restaurant closes.
Many years ago, I remember drinking a Negroni in Roma with my good family friend Dr. Frank Maniscalco. He and I traveled with our families together to visit our relatives in Siacca and Nora (small towns in Sicilia). Dr. Maniscalco liked wine but he loved his Negroni. Every time we went out, most of us would order a Campari and soda or a Prosecco, but the good doctor would always order a Negroni. Dr. Maniscalco was a good twenty years older than me and he remembered drinking it from his days when he studied in Italy. Dr. Maniscalco was a good friend and quite a character. He had one glass eye and if people stared at him, he would say: “What’s the matter? You went to high school with me?” When we went to Sicilia together, no one understood Maniscalco’s Italian until we got to Sciacca, where his family came from. It was the same thing with my father. Nobody understood him until we got to Naro, where our family came from.
The Negroni was a fashionable drink in Italy during the 1910s and 20s. And of course, it was popular during the years that followed the war (when Dr. Maniscalco was a student there). When you drink a Negroni, you feel as glamorous as Marcello Mastroianni on the Via Veneto in a scene from La Dolce Vita. At least, that’s how I felt when we drank Negronis on that trip.
I picked a great day to come back to the store because not only were they pouring the Negroni, but the Vino staff was also pouring the wines from the 1996 Nebbiolo gift pack at the tasting. As you know by now, the 1996 harvest was to me a classic vintage in Barolo and Barbaresco. This was due to the fact that the weather was perfect throughout the growing and harvest season. By this, I mean, it was not too hot, nor too sunny, and there was just enough rain, which came at the right time, without any hail storms or other weather problems. This allowed the grapes to ripen very slowly and therefore perfectly. These wines have all of the Nebbiolo characteristics: leather, tar, faded roses, coffee, and, in a few cases, hints of white truffles.
The Ghemme by Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo was showing very well, very characteristic of the appellation. It was a wine that will last for many years. However, it seemed quite approachable now. Of the three wines, it was the wine most reading for drinking today.
The Barbaresco Ovello from Produttori del Barbaresco has always been one of my favorite wines. This wine needs time to develop. Another five years before I look at the wine and we’ll decide what to do. If you want to drink this wine now, open it early in the day and decant. By dinnertime, it will start to show wonderfully.
The last wine was a Barolo Massara by Castello di Verduno. This wine was showing very well, also. This is another one that should be decanted early in the day before serving. It is one of the best wines made by Castello di Verduno.
For someone who is interested Nebbiolo, this is a great three pack. It is a great introduction to Piemonte and classic Nebbiolo from a truly classic vintage.
–Charles Scicolone, Wine Director, I Trulli and Vino
* * *
Featured Gift: The Negroni
Legend holds that the Negroni was invented by Florentine Count Camillo Negroni, who was so tired of having his Americano (Campari and Vermouth) lost in the crowd of similar cocktails that he asked a bartender to add some gin, thus making it lighter in color and easy to distinguish.
The Negroni would become the cocktail-of-choice for the Italian Futurists, the avant-garde literary and artistic movement led by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti that reshaped modernism in Europe during the 1910s and 20s.
The Negroni is made by mixing 1 part Campari, 1 part gin, and 1 part sweet vermouth. Our Negroni Gift Pack includes 1 bottle Campari, 1 bottle Plymouth Gin, and 1 bottle Punt e Mes, red vermouth.
As with all Campari drinks, tradition dictates that you garnish with a slice of orange (not lemon, which only makes the Campari more bitter).
inlcudes gift box, cocktail recipe, and a note on the drink’s origins