Carema and Gutturno in New York magazine

Carema and Gutturnio Featured in New York Magazine

We have to admit: we were a little surprised when a writer from New York called to tell us that Nebbiolo and Croatina (a grape that we also know fondly as Bonarda) have significant quantities of melatonin, a hormone that, among offering many other possible health benefits, can help the mind unwind. Do we care all that much about melatonin? No. But we sure do like how these wines taste.

The following text is taken from this week’s issue of New York:

Seek Out the Nebbiolo
Red wine, good for the body and mind.
By Ira Boudway

The past year was a salubrious one for red-wine drinkers. Not only did researchers announce that resveratrol (found in vin rouge) could help you live longer – or at least help lab mice run farther on treadmills – but a study conducted by Iriti Marcello at the University of Milan discovered the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin in several varieties of red-wine grapes. While it’s hardly news that uncorking a bottle of red is a great way to unwind, it may be more than just the alcohol that mellows the mind. Melatonin made a big splash as a supplement in health-food stores a few years back when Newsweek called it “the all-natural nightcap” and research suggested it could do everything from slow the aging process to protect the immune system. But Dr. Alfred Lewy, an expert on sleep at Oregon Health and Science University, tempers the hype. The hormone, which is released by a tiny gland in the brain and triggered by darkness, definitely helps to set the “body clock” or “circadian rhythm,” he says, “but there is only anecdotal evidence that it may, as a side effect, help with relaxation.” If you want to conduct your own “study,” two varieties of grape – the noble Nebbiolo and the more common Croatina – prove to be especially loaded. Jeremy Parzen of Vino Italian Wine and Spirits offers recommendations for a moderately priced wine made from each grape:

NEBBIOLO
Carema le Tabbie 2001, Orsolani ($30).
While Barolos and Barbarescos need at least a few years to soften (i.e., lose some of their tannic taste), this wild-berry-flavored wine is “already drinking very well.”

CROATINA
Gutturnio 2004, La Stoppa ($18).
A blend of Barbera and Bonarda, Gutturnio comes both still and sparkling. It’s got an old-fashioned “barnyard” aroma and is great with pizza. “It smells like cow chips,” says Parzen, “and that’s a good thing.”

* * *

The class schedule is available online: click here to view the complete schedule.

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED CLASS:

Homemade Pasta with Dora Marzovilla
Saturday, February 10 ($85)

Come every November, as marathon runners from all over the globe pour into Manhattan to partake in the world-famous race, I Trulli is invariably inundated with Italians who know that Dora Marzovilla makes all of the restaurant’s pasta daily by hand. After all, who can blame them? Homemade pasta is the Italian runner’s ideal meal for training: pure, delicious carbs, good for the body and good for the soul. Dora Marzovilla has been making homemade pasta every day since I Trulli opened in 1994. Join her and Chef Patrick Nuti as they lead one of our most popular classes on how to make pasta at home. Of course, participants sample a number of pastas and sauces. Wine pairings included.

To register or for more information, please email register@vinosite.com.

* * *

Wines for the Barolo and Barbaresco Class

Charles will pour 10 wines for the February 7 Barolo and Barbaresco class (to register for the class, please email register@vinosite.com), including the following*:

*Subject to change with availability.

* * *

Please join us this Friday (5:30-7:30) and Saturday (4:30-6:30) for our FREE weekly tastings. This week Charles and the Vino staff will be pouring six unusual wines from northern Italy.

For more information on this and other events at Vino, please email events@vinosite.com.

* * *

Wine Opinion: Life Beyond Piemonte and Toscana

Charles Scicolone, Wine DirectorOften, people will ask the same question when they come into Vino: Why do you just carry Italian wines?

The answer is both simple and complex. In my opinion, Italians make wine to suit every palate and every pocket book. The mosaic of Italian wines is so vast that we could take out all the wines in the store now (and there are nearly 400 on any given day) and replace them all with entirely new wines. What’s more is that we could repeat this process every week for a month without running out of new wines to fill our shelves.

In fact, if we wanted to, we could just have wines from Toscana and Piemonte and it would be more than enough to fill all the slots on the shelves in the store.

When someone comes into the store and they want to buy a Super Tuscan or a Barolo or a Brunello or an Amarone, we’re always very happy to accommodate them. But we also have a wide range of wines which are unusual and unique. Part of our mission is to introduce these wines to our customers in the hope that they will find them of interest and will broaden their palates and their enologic horizons. For those of you who follow my wine opinion, you know that I love Barolo. But, as I often say to my friends and colleagues, you can’t drink Barolo every night. Therefore, you need something which is going to excite your palate and pique your interest so that you’ll be more likely to experiment with different types of wines and increase your enjoyment. I’m not the first to say this, but it certainly rings true: viva la differenza!

I’m not going to tell you about these wines or the other wines. I want you to come in and taste them for yourself. For the tasting this week, one of the wines we are going to have is called “Uvarara,” which in Italian means “rare grape.” We also have a dry Moscato, from the Val d’Aosta. A Cabernet Franc from Friuli. A Ribolla Gialla, also from Friuli. A Gewurztraminer from Trentino-Alto Adige. This, I feel, is a tasting that will not only please your palate but will show the range of Italian wines just from northern Italy (where all these wines are from).

So, I hope you’ll join me this Friday and Saturday in celebrating the wonderful diversity of Italian wines.
–Charles Scicolone, Wine Director, I Trulli and Vino

Charles would love to hear from you: please email him at charles@vinosite.com.

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