Basilicata Blowout

September 30, 2008

I Trulli owner Nicola Marzovilla described Basilicata through maps and photos.

A big thank you to everyone who attended last night’s A Taste of Basilicata dinner at I Trulli. Chef Patti Jackson‘s exquisite menu was matched only by some superb wines by Donato D’Angelo and the entertaining repartee of our exuberant host, Nicola Marzovilla. Nicola was delighted to discover several people in attendance with direct connections to Basilicata. Not one but five guests could trace roots back to the region, more specifically to the towns of Ruoti, Avigliano, Melfi, Muro Lucano and Montemuro, all of which are located within the province of Potenza. Special thanks to Ron Marino for sharing his personal photographs of Ruoto.

Upon arrival, guests were poured Villa dei Pini by D'Angelo, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Incrocio Manzoni.

The first course consisted of spiedini di coniglio alla brace — grilled skewers of rabbit.

This was followed by orecchiette alla potentina, paired with D'Angelo's Aglianico-Merlot blend, Serra della Querce.

Forgive me, but in my Aglianico-induced stupor, I neglected to photograph the agnello: braised lamb shoulder and polenta cake paired with D’Angelo’s 100% Aglianico Valle del Noce. Dessert was granita di fico d’India, or prickly pear parfait, served over perfect panna cotta. By the time I remembered to document either, both were long gone. I guess you risk being driven to distraction when you sit at Nicola’s table…

Ever the engaging host, Nicola continued discussing wine, food and whatever else came up with his guests long after dinner was over.

To those who were at I Trulli last night, we hope the combination of regional specialties and some of Basilicata’s best wines made for a memorable evening, and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

And don’t forget — if you missed out on this event, more regionally-themed dinners are to come this fall. A Taste of Piemonte at Centovini on October 6 is now less than a week away. There is still time to book but places are going fast, so if you’re a fan of white truffles and Barolo make sure you sign up today!


Taste Aglianico and Barolo for free!

September 29, 2008

This week’s Friday tasting focuses on two great winemaking regions


Aglianico del Vulture vines enjoy some southern sunshine on the D'Angelo estate.

Though they may find themselves at opposite ends of the Italian peninsula, Basilicata and Piedmont offer wines of extraordinary quality and international renown. In Basilicata, Donato D’Angelo’s commitment to Aglianico del Vulture has produced some excellent wines and raised the variety’s profile in the world. Aglianico is sometimes compared to the more noble wines of Piedmont, and is certainly one of the few Southern varieties which can stand up to Barbera or the more noble Nebbiolo, a grape held in the highest regard the world over for its much-loved Barolo and Barbaresco.

This Friday, October 3, you’ll have the chance to try examples of these varieties together. Vino will be pouring the following wines from 5:30pm.

Villa dei Pini 2007 D’Angelo
Villa dei Pini is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Incrocio Manzoni, made by one of Italy’s leading winemakers, Donato D’Angelo. It marries the ancient volcanic subsoil of Southern Italy with international grape varieties for a truly unique wine. At an elevation of over 2000 feet, D’Angelo’s location on Mount Vulture is well suited for these varieties, which he brought back with him from northern Italy after completing enology school in Conegliano.

Valle del Noce 2003 D’Angelo
Donato D’Angelo’s Valle del Noce (or “Walnut Valley”) cru is vinified in traditional, large old oak botti for up to 24 months before bottling, and then is aged in bottle until Donato feels is it ready to be released. “This wine can age for upwards of 20 and 30 years,” Donato told us recently. Look for licorice and balsamic notes in this complex and structured wine, with hints of volcanic minerality imparted by the cru’s distinctive terroir.

Barbera Rulejà 2003 Montegrosso
The Rulejà vineyard is located 9 kilometres east in the tiny town of Montaldo Scarampi. These two hectares are cultivated with old grapevines originally planted 60 years ago, and the combination of calcareous soil with sandy strata and high altitude is an ideal habitat for the Barbera grapes to thrive. A winery steeped in medieval history, Montegrosso’s Rulejà is aged in oak barrels located within the cellar of the Castello di Montegrosso, built to order by the Marquis Bonifacio del Vasto, an imposing structure which now dominates the hills around Asti.

Barolo Massara 2001 Castello di Verduno
Castello di Verduno‘s Barolo Massara is sourced from one of the great “crus” or vineyards of Barolo, “Massara”. Locals call the site a sorì d’la matin, meaning an ideal site that benefits from sunlight in the morning. As a result of the eastern exposure, the grapes sourced from this historic vineyard cool off during the afternoon and can ripen properly even in overly hot summers.

Aglianico-Barolo Tasting
Friday, October 3

121 East 27th Street
New York, NY 10016

For more information call (212) 725-6516 or visit our website,

Wine and dine in NYC!

September 28, 2008

Join us at I Trulli and Centovini for a unique New York City dining event!

The first annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival will be taking place the weekend of October 9-12, bringing together both legendary culinary icons from around the globe and America’s most beloved television chefs.

In conjunction with this event, American Express® presents Wine & Dine NYC, a unique three-week culinary feast featuring some of the city’s top restaurants and chefs. Starting September 29, New York’s food-and-wine-lovers will be able to enjoy innovative three-course menus paired with a trio of extraordinary wines.

I Trulli

I Trulli's Basilicata-themed menu features fresh handmade orecchiette.

Naturally, both I Trulli and Centovini are taking part in this extraordinary occasion. I Trulli’s A Taste of Basilicata menu features some of the region’s specialties as prepared by chef Patti Jackson as well as wines by renowned Aglianico producer Donato D’Angelo. At Centovini, A Taste of Piemonte is a menu devoted entirely to the food and wine of Piedmont, which promises a delightfully autumnal blend of white truffles and Barolo.

For more information and reservations:

I Trulli
122 East 27th Street
New York, NY 10016

25 West Houston Street
New York, NY 10012

Join Patti Jackson “At The Table”

September 26, 2008

Women Chefs & Restaurateurs host special culinary & fundraising event

At The Table will showcase the extraordinary culinary talents of some of the region's top women chefs, including Patti Jackson.

This October 14, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR) is hosting the third annual At The Table New York. This unique event will showcase the extraordinary talents of some of the country’s top women chefs and restaurateurs, including Patti Jackson of I Trulli and Centovini renown.

Taking place at New York’s Prince George Ballroom, the evening will include a fundraising reception and interactive culinary experience, in which guests will have the chance to meet some of the best women chefs, winemakers and sommeliers.

The recently reopened Prince George Ballroom was designed at the beginning of the 19th century by architect Howard Greenley.

In support of the education and advancement of women in culinary fields, At the Table New York is part of a national series of events to benefit the WCR scholarship and internship programs.

At The Table New York
Tuesday, October 14
$125 per ticket or reserve a table of 10 for your party for $1,250.

Prince George Ballroom
15 East 27th Street
New York, NY 10016

Tickets may be purchased via the WCR website or by calling WCR toll-free at 1-877-927-7787 x242.

Tickets are limited so call today!

Italian Effervescence

September 24, 2008

Vino’s Fall wine schedule continues to sparkle on October 1

No, these aren't Prosecco bubbles, but a water fountain in the Victoria Quarter, a shopping arcade in Leeds, England.

Vino’s Fall Italian wine classes continue to sparkle next week with Italian Effervescence. Though often enjoyed as a before-dinner aperitivo or as a less-expensive alternative to Champagne, Italian sparkling wines are in fact as varied in style, taste and production as their still counterparts. No surprise then, that Italians are just as likely to drink such wines before, during or after a meal.

All Italians enjoy popping open a bottle of bubbly, and MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi is no different.

All Italians enjoy popping open a bottle of bubbly, and MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi is no different.

Prosecco, Franciacorta and Lambrusco are just the most recognized varieties within Italy’s lengthy list of delightful bubblies. Jim Hutchinson, DWS, will guide you through a tasting of ten diverse sparkling wines from various Italian regions and suggest appropriate food pairings. Italian Effervescence is an ideal introduction to a slightly misunderstood class of wines.

Jim Hutchinson, DWS

Italian Effervescence
with Jim Hutchinson, DWS
Wednesday, October 1

Check out Vino’s full Fall Class Schedule.

121 East 27th Street
New York, NY 10016

For further information call (212) 725-6516 or email

Very Veneto

September 22, 2008

Taste two classic white wines from Northern Italy this Friday at Vino

Italians usually need little excuse to pop open a bottle of something bubbly -- Prosecco makes for a cool and elegant aperitivo.

Today is officially the first day of fall, but at Vino we’re not quite ready to say goodbye to summer just yet. There’s still enough warm sunshine to suggest we have a handful of balmy evenings left – perfect for enjoying a cool glass of a chilled northern white before dinner.

This Friday Vino will be pouring two of its favorite white wines for this time of year, each from the Veneto region in Northern Italy yet highly different in style and taste: Prosecco Brut by Col de’ Salici and Soave Classico from Flavio Pra’s I Campi. These two must-have wines come from two classic Veneto appellations – we can’t live without them, and neither should you!

Col de’ Salici
The Veneto town of Valdobbiadene, and its neighbor Conegliano, are home to Prosecco, one of Italy’s most popular grape varieties and a local source of pride in the area. Valdobbiadene is listed as one of Italy’s “Città del Vino” (“Wine Cities”) and for over forty years has hosted a sparkling wine fair, today known as Forum Spumanti d’Italia. For over a century meanwhile, Conegliano has housed the renowned Scuola di Viticultura e Enologia (School of Viticulture and Enology) which was founded in 1876 and today continues to ensure quality of production is maintained in the region.

Prosecco Brut 2007
Lately Col de’ Salici has taken important decisions regarding its Prosecco. Recognizing that their location in the hilly subzone of Valdobbiadene would produce a superior crop, the company has chosen to focus solely on producing a line of high-quality sparkling proseccos. The firm believes that the Spumante Prosecco is the finest expression of the DOC variety, and having tasted this wine it’s hard to disagree. Prosecco Brut di Valdobbiadene is a dry and structured spumante, typically aromatic and fruity, possessing an unmistakable elegance.

I Campi di Flavio Prà
Fourth-generation producer and brother of winemaker Graziano Prà, young Flavio Prà has already established himself as a renowned figure in Veneto, forging a reputation as one of the region’s best producers of Soave and Valpolicella. A keen student of enology, following graduation Flavio worked for 15 years as a consultant to some of the area’s top wineries who sought to produce wines of the highest quality. This experience, while broadening his knowledge of the winemaking industry also allowed him to hone his craft and conceive of his very own brand. Flavio states that terroir and terrain are essential factors in producing a superior wine, a philosophy which led him on a search for the zone’s most optimum “campi” (literally “fields”), from which the company takes its name.

Soave Classico Campo Vulcano 2007
The Soave Classico denomination specifies Soave hailing from the neighboring towns of Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone, each located roughly 20-25 kilometers east of Verona. These sites are considered the oldest in the Soave DOC, and are often referred to as the “zona storica“. Flavio Prà’s Soave Classico is a blend of Garganega (85%) and Trebbiano di Soave (15%), grapes which are grown on 100% volcanic earth, resulting in the name “Campo Vulcano“. Intense both in its straw yellow color and on the nose and palate, the wine remains fine and fresh, releasing aromas typical of the two primary Soave DOC varieties.

Classic Veneto Whites Tasting
Friday, September 26

121 East 27th Street
New York, NY 10016

For more information call (212) 725-6516 or visit our website,

Chef Patti Jackson at Macy’s

September 19, 2008

Since 1902, Macy's has claimed to be "The World's Largest Store."

Patti Jackson will be making her latest public appearance at Macy’s on Thursday, October 2! The I Trulli and Centovini chef will be helming the stove from 1pm at Macy’s Herald Square flagship store in New York City. Don’t miss this great chance to see one of the country’s finest culinary talents in action!

Macy’s Herald Square
151 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001