Trick or treat?

October 30, 2009

1518This Halloween weekend treat yourself to Aglianico Naif at 20% off!

World class Aglianico at under $11? It may seem like an unreal deal, but it’s no trick. This Halloween weekend why not treat yourself to Aglianico Naif 2006 by Campania winery La Molara? Since La Molara’s wines arrived at Vino, the Naif Aglianico has stood out as a customer favorite. Offering tremendous drinkability at a remarkable price, the wine is a classic expression of the Aglianico grape, arguably Southern Italy’s greatest variety, and one which continues to gain attention in the United States.

Vino recently hosted La Molara’s Riccardo Morelli, who revealed to us that the Naif is in part inspired by Pilar Sala, an Argentine artist specializing in a form of faux-naive folk art called “arte naif”. When La Molara expressed interest in her work, Sala was more than happy to allow the winery to feature her painting “Bordando la luna” (“Embroidering the moon”) on Naif‘s distinctive label.

Aglianico Naif 2006 La Molara
was $13, now $10.40


For more information call 212-725-6516 or email

Bordando la luna blog


Lambrusco & pork dumplings and more Italian-Chinese pairings in today’s New York Times

October 28, 2009

Alex Witchel combines four favorites from Vino with the flavors of the Far East


Italy and China have long since shared a common passion for eating well; today many young Chinese are excited about aspects of modern Italian culture, including fashion, football, and of course food and wine.

New Yorkers don’t have to travel half-way around the world to taste great Chinese food, yet are easily flummoxed when it comes to choosing a wine to pair with their pork dumplings or Peking duck. Though I drank only Tsingtao or Yanjing beer (or failing that, Coca-Cola) with food on a trip to Beijing earlier this year, I’ve often considered the sharp bubbles of Lini’s Lambrusco a perfect partner for all manner of classic dishes from the Far-East. Indeed, the cuisine of China and Emilia-Romagna are not so far apart: both are reliant on fresh vegetables, rich, meaty flavors, and of course, noodles.

beijing pork

Delicious meat, fish and vegetable dishes are more often paired with beer in Beijing, like at this restaurant in Bei Hai park. But what about Lambrusco?

In “What Marco Polo Knew” (published in today’s New York Times), acclaimed writer and critic Alex Witchel takes the idea one step further, and discovers — at the suggestion of Beijing Times reader and Gary Price — that the pairing of Italian wine and Chinese cuisine is not so unlikely. In her Feed Me column, Witchel admits to having “neither the patience nor the back for schlepping” to Flushing, but she did make it down to East 27th Street where she picked up four of our favorite wines from Vino, which were then taken home and paired with dishes from Shun Lee West, Wu Liang Ye and Szechuan Gourmet, three of Manhattan’s top Chinese restaurants. So how did these Italian bottles rate with Chinese take-out?

baotze and jaotze

Typical Beijing dumplings known as “jaozi” and “baozi” served at a popular student eatery near the university.

Here are some of Alex’s tasting comments:

Lambrusco Scuro NV Lini and fried pork dumplings: “A fizzy purple… a light, bright match but not quite special enough to repeat.”

Rosso di Montalcino 2005 Cerbaia and filet mignon with black peppercorn sauce: “Lovely… [but] looking for love in all the wrong places.”

Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2005 Le Ragose and Peking duck: “Transcendent… we all swore never to have one without the other again.”

Inzolia 2008 ERA and tofu with chili-minced pork: “Stood up to it like David to Goliath, unexpectedly heroic.”

Read the full article here.

scorpion on sticks

Italian ragazzi have their cornetto and macchiato, but for young people in Beijing, a scorpion on a stick makes for a tasty mid-morning snack.

All photography by James Taylor, Beijing, April 2009.

Noble Nebbiolo

October 27, 2009

Taste wine by Conti Sertoli Salis and save 20%!

valtellina blog

Vino’s free tastings continue this Friday as we pour some of our favorite wines by Conti Sertoli Salis. The sub-alpine valley known as Valtellina has long drawn interest from wine drinkers; Leonardo da Vinci even spoke of its winemaking potential in his Codice Atlantico. Today, the Valtellina Superiore DOCG produces some of Lombardy’s most prestigious wines.

Located in the town of Tirano in the province of Sondrio, not far from the Swiss border, Conti Sertoli Salis is a noble family which has been bottling wine since 1869. Much of their wine is still vinified and aged in cellars beneath the Palazzo Salis, the family’s 17th century palace and one of Tirano’s most popular tourist attractions. Conti Sertoli Salis’ Nebbiolo-based wines are some of the best representations of Valtellina we’ve had the pleasure to taste.

conti sertoli salis blog

Try them for yourself on Friday afternoon and save an incredible 20% on all of Conti Sertoli Salis’ wines!

Friday, October 30

For more information call 212-725-6516 or email

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

For more information and reservations call 212-725-6516 or email

Party like it’s 1999…

October 23, 2009

0115Super Tuscan sale of the century

Vino is rolling back the clock this weekend to bring you a some hard rock. No, you have not just stumbled upon FM radio — just check out the deal on Pietraforte, Carobbio’s truly super Tuscan. Made from 100% Cabernet, the wine represents awesome value.

The small, family-owned Carobbio estate is located in the town of Panzano, the highest point in the Chianti Classico appellation. This considerable altitude means cooler evening temperatures, essential in creating wines with longer aging potential. Pietraforte (meaning “hard rock”) is arguably Carobbio’s most collectible wine and will continue to age gracefully in bottle for another few years. Take home a wine for the ages at a twentieth-century price.

Pietraforte 1999 Carobbio
was $44, now $35


For more information call 212-725-6516 or email

Super Marche

October 21, 2009

Taste six wines by Enzo Mecella this Friday and save 20%!

enzo blog

For more information call 212-727-6516, email, or visit the tastings page on our website.

Alicia Lini (and Lambrusco) sparkles at I Trulli

October 20, 2009

LINI 910 producer presents an evening devoted to the classic flavors of Emilia-Romagna — and to her wines!

Lambrusco lovers converged on I Trulli on Monday night to spend an evening in the presence of Lambrusco producer Alicia Lini (above, with I Trulli owner Nicola Marzovilla). The international face of the popular brand Lini 910, Alicia was in town to further promote her wines to the local market. I Trulli could not resist hosting a dinner in her honor, for which Chef Patti Jackson created some of Emilia-Romagna‘s classic dishes. Naturally, each dish was paired with one of Lini’s delicious and elegant sparkling wines.

blog dining room

Lambrusco has enjoyed an rapid reversal of its image in the United States in recent years, in large part thanks to Lini. Alicia spoke eloquently of Lambrusco’s importance in Emilia-Romagna and its relationship to the region’s foods, as well as the wine’s impact in the United States. As a fourth-generation producer of the 100-year old Lini winery, who better to champion this often misunderstood wine than Alicia? Even I Trulli owner Nicola Marzovilla recalled the moment he realised the diversity of the wine, and its important relation to the local cuisine. At a dinner in Emilia his dining companion had insisted on opening a bottle of Amarone; a great wine perhaps, but wholly inappropriate for the region’s rich flavors. As Alicia put it: “The food in Emilia is very… not fatty, but rich,” she explained. “So that’s why we need a wine like this.”

blog menu

The evening began with a selection of spuntini emiliani, including erbazzone, grilled mortadella and chestnuts, plus a glass of Labrusca Bianco — the ideal aperitivo.

blog anguilla

The fine bubbles of Lini’s Emilian version of Champagne, a white Pinot Nero made in the metodo classico, were the perfect accompaniment for Patti’s saba-glazed eel and risotto.

blog cappellacci

Appropriately for the season, these cappellacci — called such because of their resemblance to papal hats — were filled with pumpkin, and washed down with Lini’s Lambrusco Rosé In Correggio.

blog condiments

This dazzling array of condiments were brought to the table next with the purpose of enlivening the classic bollito misto. Our table made several failed attempts to correctly identify each dish before our server Sheena helpfully revealed all.

blog bollito

Bollito Misto is a classic meat dish in Emilia, and usually comprises of several boiled meats, in this case (clockwise from top-left): veal tongue, capon, cotechino, pork and beef. For this hearty dish we required Lini’s most austere Lambrusco, Scuro In Correggio.

blog gelato

To finish, we indulged in a unique gelato mousse made from the region’s best-known cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, which was served with roasted figs and Lini’s very own aceto balsamico. The night ended with arguably Lini’s most gorgeous wine (and this Lambrusco fan’s personal favorite), the devastatingly opulent Metodo Classico Rosso.

It was a particularly special evening for two Lambrusco lovers: Barbara and Steve were married at I Trulli exactly twelve months ago, and chose to return on the occasion of their one-year anniversary. Here’s to many more years of sparkling marriage and a lifetime filled with Lambrusco!

All of Lini’s wines are available for purchase at Vino. For more information on the foods and wines of Emilia-Romagna, click here.