Stemware Now Online; International Grapes, Italian Style

Schott Zwiesel Stemware Now Available for Purchase Online

The type of wine glass you use can greatly affect your drinking experience — whether for the better or the worse. Few wines benefit from being poured into a Dixie cup. We love to pour ours into Schott Zwiesel glasses, favorites of discerning food and wine professionals everywhere.

At our online shop, you’ll find a variety of beautiful and durable stemware to suit your needs, whether you’re looking for something to complement the reds or whites in your collection, flutes to make the most of your sparkling wines or grappa glasses for your distilled libations.

Since 1872, the Schott Zwiesel glass works have been making some of Europe’s finest crystal and stemware. The Forte glass line (pictured above, click to see individual glasses) is made with a new type of crystal, Tritan, created especially by the company. This unique and revolutionary crystal is dishwasher safe but still offers the wine lover all the benefits of lightness and heat dispersion (essential in bringing out the character of wine and spirits).

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International Grapes, Italian Style

Come join us at Vino this Friday (5:30-7:30) and Saturday (4:30-6:30) for our FREE weekly tasting. This week we’re featuring international grape varieties, as interpreted by Italian winemakers.

Charles and the Vino staff will be pouring these wines:*

  • Chardonnay Rupis 2004 Ascevi, $23
    Ascevi’s Chardonnay is sourced from a single-vineyard called Rupis, meaning “rock” or “cliff” in Latin, a reference to the growing-site’s steep incline, which creates excellent exposure for this world-class Chardonnay.
  • Sauvignon Ronco dei Sassi 2005, $25
    This single-vineyard Sauvignon from Ascevi is made using grapes sourced from 25-year-old vines in one of the estate’s highest and most prized growing sites. It is a classic expression of the grape variety, with tom cat notes on the nose and richness in color and in the mouth.
  • Pietraforte 1999 Carobbio, $44
    This wine is everything a classic Super Tuscan should be: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, bold and big in the mouth, with the classic vanilla and toasty flavors and aromas of barrique.
  • Gaudio Merlot 2001 Le Velette, $32
    Gaudio is Latin for “gladness, joy, or delight.” This thoroughly modern wine by Tenuta Le Velette is a 100% Merlot intended, as the winemaker puts it, for pure pleasure. The ancient volcanic subsoil of Orvieto gives it a distinctive flavor with respect to Merlots made in other parts of the world.
  • Praepositus 2003 Novacella, $51
    The high-altitudes and pebbly soil of Alto Adige are ideal for the production of richly flavored and intensely colored wines. The friars of Novacella have made wine for more than eight centuries and the presence of Pinot Nero dates back to the mid-eighteenth century.

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Featured Class: Brunello, Chianti, and Super Tuscans (Feb. 14)
Wednesday, February 14, 6:30 p.m.

To register, please send an email to register@vinosite.com

In the late 1860s, the “Iron Baron” Bettino Ricasoli hailed Sangiovese as the grape that “married best” with the Tuscan soil and he wrote the first officialformula for Chianti, with Sangiovese as the primary grape for the blend. In the 1880s, Tancredi Biondi Santi produced the first Brunello di Montalcino by experimenting with growing sites and different clones of Sangiovese. The Brunello grape (also known as Sangiovese Grosso and Prugnolo Gentile), he discovered, was ideal for making long-lived, complex red wines. In the 1960s, the marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, owner of the legendary race horse, Ribot, released the first vintage of Sassicaia as a vino da tavola or “table wine,” the first Super Tuscan. Inspired by the wines of Bordeaux and its famous Graves terroir (named after the “gravelly” soil), he had planted Cabernet Sauvignon in the pebbly soil of Bolgheri (hence the name Sassicaia from the Italian sassi meaning “pebbles”). In the twenty-first century, the legacy of these historic wines continues to resonate across the globe. Some would even say that they should be credited with the current renaissance and overwhelming popularity of Italian wines today. Wine Director Charles Scicolone leads participants through a guided tasting of some of Toscana’s greatest wines.

Charles will pour 10 wines for the February 14 Brunello, Chianti and Super Tuscan class (to register for the class, please email register@vinosite.com), including the following:*

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Wine Opinion: You Can Take Italian Grapes Out of Italy, But…

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 five international grape varietals as interpreted by several talented Italian winemakers.

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

Charles Scicolone, Wine DirectorLast week, we spoke about how the Italians make wine to suit almost every taste and every occasion. They can make wines that are very traditional, make wines that are very international in style, and many wines that fall in between. If someone comes into Vino and says, “I want a wine that tastes like a Californian wine,” or “an Australian wine,” or a wine from almost anywhere in the world, we can almost always find a wine to make that person happy.

The Italians have been using international grapes for a very long time. In fact, in northeastern Italy, these grapes were introduced by Napoleon when he set up various members of his family as the rulers of different Italian principalities. So the tradition of international grapes goes back at least over 200 years and in some cases beyond.

You might ask, “why are these grapes called international grapes?” Grapes like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, grapes that originated in France. They are called “international” varieties because historically they have been grown all over the world with great success. Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, has been grown for many years in California and has produced many famous wines. When it comes to Italy, however, “international” grapes do very well there, even though Italian indigenous grapes don’t do well in other parts of the world. In other words, you grow almost anything in Italy but you can’t grow Italian – at least not with much success, historically – outside of Italy.

Chardonnay is grown all over Italy, in every style possible, from wines that are done in stainless-steel to those like the Chardonnay single-vineyard Rupis from Ascevi (Friuli), which we’ll be pouring this week, to the Planeta Chardonnay (Sicilia) which is done in more of an international style.

Another popular international grape in Italy is Sauvignon Blanc, one of my favorite wines because I feel it goes better with food than a lot of other whites. When in doubt of what to drink with a particular dish that calls for white wine, Sauvignon Blanc is usually a very good choice. Most Italian Sauvignon Blancs come from the northern part of Italy and are usually vinified in stainless steel. These wines are very herbaceous, grassy, and have very good acidity.

Even though the most famous wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot seem to come from Toscana, these grapes are grown all over Italy. The great enologist Riccardo Cottarella has said that Umbria, for example, is the best place in Italy to grow Merlot. All one has to do is taste the Castello delle Regine 100% Merlot and you understand what he’s talking about. And for those of you who know San Leonardo, a wine we also carry in the store, you know that even in Trentino-Alto Adige they make world-class, international Bordeaux blends from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot there.

So please join us this Friday and Saturday as we taste a number international grapes grown on Italian soil, some modern, some traditional, some in between these two styles.

And remember again, while you can take international grapes and grow them in Italy, you can take Italian grapes outside of Italy. As a very wise person once said, or should have said, you can take grapes out of Italy but you can’t take Italy out of the grapes.
–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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