Friday, November 28, 2014

Bollini Pinot Grigio from Trentino

Earlier this week I discussed an indigenous red grape, lagrein, from the northern part of the region, Alto Adige. Today I'm sharing with you a wine from the southern part of the region known as Trentino, centered around the city of Trento. This region is well known for producing sparkling wines under the Trento DOC designation in the classic method, but today I'm sharing a pinot grigio, Bollini, produced by the Empson brand of wines.

Trentino wine region
Trentino wine region

Trentino wine region
The Trentino wine region is very similar to it's northern sibling, Alto Adige, but the Trentino's landscape is slightly lower in elevation and not so quite dominated by the mountains as the Alto Adige. Both have very similar climates and the extreme temperatures in climate changes from day to night is what helps develop the strong aromatics and crispness of the wines here. Although, shockingly enough, with this region being so far north and enveloped in a mountainous area, Trento gets very warm and can break over 100 degrees fahrenheit in the height of the summer.

About Bollini in Trentino
The Bollini wines were created by the Empson family in 1979. The particular wines produced under the Bollini label are their own wines with grapes sourced from their wineries in both the Friuli and Trentino regions of northeastern Italy. The Bollini wines since 2010 had well-known Italian enologist, Franco Bernabei, join forces with Neil Empson in winemaking.

2013 Bollini pinot grigio

The overall largest DOC from Trentino is the Trentino DOC that is further separated into notable subzones. The pinot grigio I'm sharing today is from this Trentino DOC zone. The 2013 Bollini Pinot Grigio Trentino DOC was straw yellow in color. On the nose the wine was fresh with elements of white flowers, white peaches and a little citrus. On the palate it was light in body and was dry, crisp with good acidity a little saltiness. The bottle average retails for about $13.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving in the US and all others enjoyed the wonderful food and wine suggestions shared out there.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lagrein from Cantina Tramin in Alto Adige

We have discussed the Alto Adige before highlighting particular wines of the region and today we are going to cover the Cantina Tramin winery. For those of you not familiar with the Alto Adige it's part of the region in Northeastern Italy known as the Trentino – Alto Adige region. The southern part of the region is Trentino and the northern part is the Alto Adige, also known as the Sudtirol or South Tyrol. Doesn't sound very Italian you say? That's because this region has strong Germanic influences and is seen in many of the wines coming out of this region from grapes like Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Muller Thurgau, etc. The Alto Adige also used to part of Austria.
Cantine Tramin Alto Adige
Tramin Winery
I have yet to visit this region, but am strongly considering a trip up to Bolzano when I travel over the beginning of February. The Alto Adige is centered around the city of Bolzano and this region has higher vineyards with colder climates compared to Trentino in the southern part of the region, therefore, the wines coming out of this region are typically more aromatic with higher acidity.
Wine cellar at Cantine Tramin
Wine Cellar at Tramin 
The Cantina Tramin is a biodynamic and organic cooperative located in the Alto Adige wine region. They are located in the town of Termeno and is one of the oldest cooperatives of the region established in 1889. This region where they are located is sheltered by mountains with influences from the lakes with extreme variations in temperatures. 

The Tramin cooperative, consisting of about 300 growers, harvest from 37 acres (15 hectacres) of vineyards that are treated organically and in the future hope to expand that to all of their vineyards, which consist of about 570 acres (230 hectacres). The grapes are harvested from subzones including Termeno, Ora, Egna and Montagna. This particular wine that I'm sharing with today, 2012 Lagrein from Cantina Tramin, comes from the Alto Adige DOC and its subzones of Ora, Egna and Tramin.
Willi Sturz winemaker of Cantina Tramin
Winemaker Willi Sturz
Lagrein grapes
Lagrein grapes by Nathan

Even though this region is known for producing some fantastic white wines, according to NASA in my recent certification program, 2/3 of the region is dedicated to red grapes. Today I'm sharing one of those grapes, Lagrein. 

The 2012 Cantina Tramin Lagrein DOC was a wine ruby in color with a purple tinge around the rim. On the nose were intense aromas of plum, violet and blueberries with some spice. It was dry, but had nice structure producing a full bodied wine with good tannin and nice plum on the palate. It was aged partially for 7 months in cement tanks and oak barrels. This bottle retails for about $18.
2012 Cantine Tramin Lagrein Alto Adige DOC
This winery only exports about 25% of their wines so when you have an opportunity to try some in your home area and get a taste of the Alto Adige from where you live it's an opportunity not to be missed. They have also won a number of Tre Bicchieri awards.

*Most pictures are compliments of Cantina Tramin

Friday, November 21, 2014

The "Champagne" of Italy with Berlucchi & Franciacorta

I'm not a huge fan of sparkling wines myself, but I'll still always try them as I will give anything a chance. The reason I don't care for them more is because of the carbon dioxide. I tend to enjoy wines that have softer bubbles. If you are a lover of sparkling wines and in particular champagne than this article is for you. 

Guido Berlucchi winery Lombardy
Berlucchi headquarters
The Lombardy region of Italy located in the north central part of Italy, bordering Switzerland to the north, is known for it's sparkling wines. Two areas of Lombardy are known for their sparkling wines including the Oltrepo Pavese and the Franciacorta areas. Two out of 5 DOCG designations of this wine region in Lombardy are from these areas including the Franciacorta DOCG and the Oltrepo Pavese Metodo Classico “classic method”. 

According to Wikipedia, Franciacorta DOCG is the only DOCG allowed to not list DOCG on the label at the wineries discretion, so if you don't see it doesn't mean it's not a DOCG. This area is located along Lake Iseo where the soils are morainic, providing good drainage that helps add minerality to the wines of this area.

Berlucchi winery and Azelles vineyard
Azelles vineyard at Berlucchi winery
Today I'm sharing with you a '61 Franciacorta Brut from a producer you must know, Berlucchi. This winery and the parnership between Guido Berlucchi and winemaker, Franco Ziliani, is what drew the world to recognize Italy as becoming a competitor in the world of wines when it comes to sparkling wines. The Berlucchi winery first released what was then known as Pinot di Franciacorta in 1961. What's unique about the sparkling wines of Franciacorta is the method in which they are produced. They are produced using the famous Champagne method known as Methode Champenoise or in Italian as Metodo Classico
Franco Ziliani family
Ziliani family

The Berlucchi '61 Franciacorta Brut is made up of 90% chardonnay and 10% pinot noir. It's crystal clear and a golden yellow. On the nose it was florally with notes of honeysuckle along with some minerality and yeast. On the palate it was dry and medium bodied with a creamy effervescense with a golden apple finish. Perfect celebration wine! lists the average price as $19.
Guido Berlucchi Franciacorta Brut '61

Chardonnay for Franciacorta with Berlucchi Lombardy
Chardonnay grape clusters

Riddling the Franciacorta at Berlucchi winery
Riddling the Franciacorta, known as pupitres
Fun fact: According to Berlucchi's site, after 50 years of history the Berlucchi winery was granted an official Italian postage stamp displaying it's impact on the “Made in Italy” mentality.

The wines of Franciacorta are sure to rival those of France and Champagne so the next time you are considering a bottle of bubbly consider Lombardy and better yet, Franciacorta. 

Most pictures compliments of the Berlucchi winery.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nebbiolo from Gattinara in the Alto Piemonte with Mauro Franchino

Last week we covered Barolo from southern Piedmont, in particular a Barolo from Monforte d'Alba from the Langhe area. Today I'm going to share a wine from northern Piedmont, also known as the Alto Piemonte. This area has been producing wines for years, but has been overlooked  by the wine coming out of southern Piedmont. In northern Piedmont there are a variety of influences including the Alpine climate along with the glacial soil, known as morainic soil, that is full of minerals from the glacial lakes that were formed.

The difference of nebbiolo from the north & south of Piedmont
The nebbiolo wines of the Alto Piemonte differ from nebbiolo of the Langhe and southern Piedmont. They typically will have higher acidity, lower alcohol levels and more minerality due to the morainic soils, which create wines that are leaner. The area of Gattinara received it's DOCG designation in 1990. This area consists of steep slopes and shares similarities with the other nearby DOCG designation of Ghemme. There are some slight differences in the percentages of varietals, alcohol levels and aging. These are some of the best known appellations of northern Piedmont.

2008 Mauro Franchino Gattinara DOCGMauro Franchino has been producing wine in Gattinara in the Vercelli province since 1962 with about 7 acres of land. The 2008 Mauro Franchino Gattinara DOCG was garnet red with slight brick color. It had a very complex and intense nose. The wine had notes of earth, maraschino cherry, violet, roses, and some nutmeg spice. On the palate it was dry, full bodied with firm tannins. The wine was fermented partly in concrete for a couple weeks and then aged for 4 years in oak casks with an additional 6 months in the bottle. By law the Gattinara DOCG requires that these wines age for at least 36 months with at least 12 of those years in oak barrels. 

Which nebbiolo wines do you prefer, northern or southern Piedmont or perhaps another region like the one we are covering next week, Lombardy?

Friday, November 14, 2014

The minerality of Gavi with Coppo winery

The Coppo winery is located n the Piedmont region of Italy within the city of Canelli. The founder of Coppo, Piero Coppo, first started their wine production with sparkling Moscato. As time progressed and the need for drier wines was demanded by the market, Coppo started offering wines such as barbera. The winery has been passed down four generations operated by the 4 grandsons of Piero Coppo and continued on further by Edoardo and Massimiliano. 
Coppo Family
Coppo Family
The family has made many changes over the years through new wine cellars, renovations, investments in equipment and have tried to stay true to the traditions of the winery while also trying to appeal to the broader audience and the demands of the wine world. The winery's philosophy stated on their site is the following “a wine is produced because it is part patrimony of the history of the locals as well as part of the family’s tradition”. This is what I find beautiful about the wines of Italy. There is deep heritage and roots behind the scenes of each wine. It's more than just the wine. It's the story told from hundreds of years and how the wines came to be.
Coppo wine cellar
Coppo Wine Cellar
Coppo vineyards Piedmont
Coppo winery
The wines of Gavi are from the Monferrato area within the Alessandria province of Piedmont. This area is very close to the Liguria wine region known as the Italian Riviera. As you can see from the pictures the soil is made up of pieces of gypsum (a calcium sulfate mineral), calcareous marl and rocky soil, which produces wine with minerality. The soil consists of marine sedimentary, therefore, Gavi is a nice pairing with shellfish and seafood. It's also good with bagna cauda, a piedmont dish which is a sauce consisting of olive oil, anchovies and garlic along with vegetables. 

Soils of Coppo winery
Soils of Coppo winery

The producer that helped put Gavi on the map, La Scolca, introduced Gavi to the states which set off the popularity. That wine became known as Gavi dei Gavi. Gavi had been a white wine that rivaled being one of the leaders in Italy throughout the 1960's and 1970's until pinot grigio hit the scene and became the star grape.

Gavi became a DOCG in 1998. Gavi is made of the cortese grape native to Piedmont and is typically florally on the nose with white flowers, lemon, honeydew and green apples. On the palate its bone dry and fresh and crisp with citrus and minerality. 

cortese grape that makes up Gavi wines
Cortese grape that makes up Gavi

Coppo produces a variety of grape varietals including barbera, freisa, chardonnay and moscato that are produced around the comune of Canelli except their nebbiolo and gavi wines produced not far outside this area. The “La Rocca” estate is located in Monterotondo where their Gavi has been produced for over twenty years. 

La Rocca vineyard of Coppo winery

2013 Coppo La Rocca Gavi
The 2013 Coppo La Rocca Gavi was straw yellow with a pleasant florally nose the smelled refreshing like peaches, golden apple and sweet almond.  It was dry on the palate and medium in body.  It was moderately crisp and sapid with nice apple on the finish.

Most pictures compliments of the Coppo winery.  Grazie mille!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Ginestra cru of Monforte d'Alba with Conterno Fantino Barolo

As I'm studying region by region for my Italian wine certification program through NASA I'm sharing some wines I've recently had within that region that I enjoyed. This week I'm continuing the focus on Piedmont with a Barolo, Gattinara and Gavi starting with a Barolo from Conterno Fantino.

The "King of Italy"
If you love Tuscany and have never been to Piedmont I strongly recommend a visit. Great wines, great good, great people and a beautiful landscape. Barolo is not only the name of a wine that is considered the “king wine of Italy”, but it's also the name of the town. This area can be known as the “Burgundy of Italy” because the way that the land is structured. Each specific parcel of land is considered a “cru” and because of each parcel of land providing a different style of Barolo due to it's exposure to the sun, slope, soil, climate, etc. the "cru" becomes the focus in selecting a wine rather than just the brand name of the winery.

The comunes and cru of Barolo
The wine I'm sharing today is from one of the top comunes of the 11 in the Barolo area, Monforte d'Alba. Monforte d'Alba is part of the Langhe region in southern Piedmont where the majority of the wines of the region are produced. Due to the cru system each particular comune has it's own characteristics for the styles of Barolo that are produced off the land. As with all Barolo DOCG wines they are made with 100% of the nebbiolo grape. Barolo's that are from the Monforte d'Alba area typically have the most concentration with an intense nose. Monforte d'Alba is the specific comune, but within Monforte are specific crus and within Monforte d'Alba there are Ginestra, Bussia and Santo Stefano di Perno. The wine today originates from the Ginestra cru. 
Monforte d'Alba Piedmont
Monforte d'Alba
About Conterno Fantino
The winery, Conterno Fantino, was established in 1982 by two friends Guido Fantino and Claudio Conterno. They grew up in families that were also involved in the wine world and now continue the tradition teaching and involving their own children. Conterno Fantino can be considered more “modernists” when it comes to Barolo production. 

The Barolo Wars
This week I was just reading about the so called “Barolo Wars” comparing the “traditionalists” and the “modernists” of Barolo production. The reason Conterno Fantino is considered more as a “modernists” is because they use a shorter maceration of the grapes at about 7-10 days, where the traditional ways are up to 3 weeks. Conterno Fantino also ages their wines for 2 years in French oak barrels where the traditional ways are to use large wooden casks. It produces a different style of wine and it's all personal preference.
wine touring through piedmont, italy
2003 Conterno Fantino Barolo Sori Ginestra
Today I share with you the 2003 Barolo Conterno Fantino Sori Ginestra DOCG from Monforte d'Alba. It was garnet with some slight brick color around the rim. The wine had a broad complexity on the nose of maraschino cherry, raspberry jam, cinnamon and licorice. Dry on the palate and tannic, it was a full bodied wine with very intense fruit of earthy flavors and spice. The wine had a persistent finish and was a harmonious wine. A beautiful wine indeed!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Walnurt Tart with Sparkling Brachetto d'Acqui

We're in one of my favorite times of year. I love the holidays! Lots of things to celebrate including my own birthday and anniversary. I love a good reason to celebrate with family and more better reasons to open special bottles of wine and preparing traditional family dishes.  We're in our 6th month of our Wine Pairing Weekend event and this month's focus is the Creative Thanksgiving food and wine event. 
2013 Giorgio Carnevale Brachetto d'Acqui
I'm putting an Italian spin on the Thanksgiving meal in the US. Even though the Italians don't celebrate Thanksgiving doesn't mean you can't prepare some dishes that are outside the box of the yearly Thanksgiving pumpkin pie and apple pie (although they are so good). A blogger, Elisa Cerruti from Milk Honey & Rum, shared with me some dishes of the region where she lives in Piedmont and I based my selection off of what went well with our theme. I chose a walnut tart, “crostata di noci”, since we just recently were passing National Nut Day on October 23rd when we first were planning for this event. A perfect pairing with this dish and the walnuts in particular is Brachetto d'Acqui.

Brachetto d'Acqui is a sparkling red wine that originates out of the Piedmont region. The production of Brachetto d'Acqui is limited to mostly the Alessandria area and some parts of the Asti area in Piedmont. It became a DOC in 1969 and later a DOCG classification in 1996. Brachetto is the actual grape of this wine. This wine can be either sparkling or sweet, but many folks are most familiar with it producing the sparkling frizzante version that I'm sharing with you.  The map below includes the 26 comunes where the grape Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG is produced.
Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG
Map compliments of Consorzio Tutela Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG
I'm fortunate enough that my part time job selling wine just imported a bunch of new wines from Italy last week with a big presence in Piedmont and one of the bottles was a brachetto d'acqui. The Brachetto I'm sharing with you today is a 2013 Giorgio Carnevale Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG. It had a perfumed bouquet nose of rose, raspberries some peach and candied orange. On the palate it was lively with ripe raspberries and strawberries along with frothy bubbles.  

Recipe for Piedmont walnuts tart 
(crostata piemontese di noci)
Dough for crostata

crostata doughcrostata dough
Preparing a walnut tart
Heating the butter, walnuts & honey

Crostata Piemontese di Noci
Crostata di Noci

Crostata piemontese di noci
You can also try pairing brachetto d'acqui with a more simpler dessert like chocolate covered strawberries. It's a beautiful pairing with chocolate and the strawberry notes in the wine make for a perfect pairing. Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone and I hope your inspired with some of the recipes you read today!

Creative Thanksgiving-Inspired Dishes and Wine Pairings

Turkey, Tempranillo and Sweet Potatoes by Cooking Chat Thanksgiving from the Veneto: Turkey, Pomegranate Sauce & Valpolicella by foodwineclick 
Norwegian Meatballs by Confessions of a Culinary Diva Shepherds Pie Casserole with Barnard Griffin Syrah Port by Wild 4 Washington Wine 
Butternut Squash and Cheddar Bread Pudding and Donkey & Goat Stone Crusher by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog  

Purple Sweet Potato Soup with Roasted Lobster + Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare by Culinary Adventures with Camilla Arugula Pear Salad paired with Torrontes from Argentina by A Day in the Life on the Farm 
Sweet Potato and Cranberry Bake with Cranberry Blush by Curious Cuisiniere

Can we skip to dessert? by Pull That Cork  

Don't Forget Leftovers! 
Day After Turkey and Seafood Gumbo by It's Ok To Eat The Cupcake 
Turkey Pot Pie and Boedecker Cellars Chardonnay by Tasting Pour 

Don't forget to our Twitter chat today, November 8th at 11 a.m. Eastern Time! We'll be talking about our tips and tricks for the best Thanksgiving wine pairings. We'd love to have you join us! And, be sure to mark your calendars for December's Wine Pairing Weekend, hosted by Jeff of foodwineclick. Just in time for Holiday parties, we'll be sharing sparkling wine and hors d'oeuvre pairings. Join in the #WinePW 7 conversation on Saturday Dec. 13!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The respect of Dolcetto d' Alba and Bruno Giacosa

I hope you joined us for our 1st Italian Wine, Food & Travel (#ItalianFWT) event last week featuring the Veneto.  Some great stories were shared including my "sensational soave" blog.  This week I'm going to share with you some wine from the Piedmont region as this will be our next feature next month on December 6th.  If you are interested in joining us please reach out to me.  As I study my way through Italy I'm also focusing on this region myself right now and boy is this a huge region to learn when it comes to wine, but SO many great ones to share.  This week I'm sharing with you a Dolcetto d'Alba from the well known Bruno Giacosa
Vineyards of Piedmont
Vineyards of Piedmont
Who is Bruno Giacosa?
Bruno Giacosa is a very well-respected name when it comes to wines from Piedmont.  With 3 generations of winemaking and a long history of passion for the land in which he was born from and the fruits of the land all have earned him his status in the wine world when it comes to Piedmont, Piemontese, wines.  Growing up in the wine world and throughout his life he has built strong relationships with many folks of the region.  This combined with his knowledge of the terroirs has allowed him to purchase grapes from some of the best parcels of lands.  Later, once those folks began producing their own wine, Bruno Giacosa began to purchase his own vineyards in Rabaja and Asili within Barbaresco and Falletto within Barolo.  These specific areas within Barolo and Barbaresco are some of the most highly regarded areas for wine production.  

The wines of Bruno Giacosa
Today, Bruno Giacosa's wines are vinified and cellared in the town of Nieve.  There are a couple labelings to look for when reviewing wines from Bruno Giacosa.  There are those bottles labeled "Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa", which are actually the wines that Giacosa produces after buying grapes that he selects from vineyards he respects for producing great grapes.  Then there is the "Azienda Agricola Falletto" wines of Bruno Giacosa and these are estate grown grapes. The wine I'm sharing with you today is a 2012 Bruno Giacosa Casa Vinicola Dolcetto d'Alba DOC.  

This Casa Vinicola Dolcetto D'Alba is from the town and area of Alba, which I stayed in back in 2009.  Great town and if you go in autumn and catch the truffle festival as we did you are in for a treat!  
truffle market in Alba
White Truffle Market in Alba
The Dolcetto from Alba (hence dolcetto d'alba) is a DOC designation (Denominazione di origina controllata), which was granted to this area in 1974.  Dolcetto is a grape that is meant to be enjoyed young and is one of the more quaffable and easy drinking wines of the region, but there are some producers out there making great dolcetto as this one was so being able to never generalize is important in the wine world or you can really miss out.  
2012 Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d'Alba
The 2012 Bruno Giacosa Casa Vinicola Dolcetto d'Alba
This wine was ruby in color with some hues of purple on the rim showing some of its youth.  It was one of the nicer dolcettos I have had and it's no surprise because of it's producer.  It showed fruits of red cassis, cherry, cranberries, violets along with some warm baking spices like allspice and some slight nuances of vanilla bean.  This wine is ready to drink now and could even be slightly held on to, but dolcetto is typically meant to be drunk young.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Wine and Food Pairing of Soave with Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein

Welcome to our 1st Italian food, wine & travel monthly bloggers group. We all share a love and passion for many things Italian and our group of bloggers are going to be taking you through the world of Italy region by region.  We'll be sharing with you our recipes typical of the regions, wines recommended and our experiences traveling throughout each region. This month we're starting with the Veneto region and I'm sharing with you the popular white wine of the region known as soave.

Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein
Evan Goldstein Master Sommelier and myself
I was fortunate enough to be invited to a "Sensational Soave" master class at Ribelle in Brookline, Massachusetts, which was taught by Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein and Giovanni Ponchia from the Soave Consorzio/Consortium. The event included a blind tasting of 10 different soave and the variety of styles in these 10 wines were very interesting coming from the same region, but due to the way they are produced they demonstrated different profiles. The tasting and discussion on soave taught by Evan and Giovanni were followed by 3 courses paired with soave. Soave is a very versatile wine for food pairing. Below are the delicious pairings from the event to make your mouth water.
Evan Goldstein and Giovanni Ponchia
Evan Goldstein & Giovanni Ponchia

First course

Yellow fin tuna crudo with tomato conserva, green tomato and furikake

2013 Cantina di Monteforte Soave DOC “Terre di Monteforte

2013 Fattori Soave DOC “Danieli”

Yellow fin tuna crudo

Second course

Orecchiette with littlenecks, black garlic, bok choy

2013 Fornaro Soave Classico DOC

2013 Suavia Soave Classico DOC
orecchiette with littlenecks
Third course

Chicken with buttermilk chawanmushi, endive and poppy seed

2012 Marcato Soave Classico Monte Tenda DOC

2011 Roccolo Grassi Soave La Broia DOC

chicken with buttermilk chawanmushi
It was hard to pick favorites from the blind tasting as some were aged in oak, some from different DOC's, some older vintages, different soils and a dessert wine so I'm listing my top favorites:

2012 Cantina del Castello Soave Classico DOC “Castello”

2013 Coffele Soave Classico Castelcerino DOC “Ca' Visco”

2001 Gini Soave Classico La Frosca DOC

2005 Monte Tondo Soave Classico Foscarino DOC “Casette Foscarin” (aged in oak)

2009 El Vegro Recioto di Soave DOCG (dessert)

Where is Soave?
Located a short distance from Verona you will come across this beautiful fortified walled town perched up on the hill with a castle that was built 10 centuries ago. There are over 3,000 growers of Soave with 90 wineries and 4 cooperatives producing it. Many of the crus of this region are found in the Soave Classico DOC region or the Colli Scaglieri DOC located on the hillsides. 

What is Soave?
Soave is a white wine producing region that consists of 2 DOCG's stated in the tasting, Recito di Soave DOCG, a sweet white wine made using the passito process, and Soave Superiore DOCG. Soave was actually the first geographic delineated wine, along with Chianti, in Italy in1931.  The primary grape of this region is garganega, which makes up the majority of the Soave wines by a minimum of 70% by law, but most producers do produce quality Soave with 100% garganega. It can also be blended with trebbiano di soave and chardonnay.

It's well worth seeking out some soave, plus it's a beautiful region not only for wine, but some beautiful areas are within reach including Lake Garda, Padua, Verona and Venice.  I look forward to traveling back to this region in January for the release of the 2011 Amarone thanks to the Consorzio di Valpolicella.

Thanks for joining again our 1st Italian Food, Wine & Travel event on the Veneto, but it doesn't stop here.  Follow along with some other great blogs featuring different aspects of living in the Veneto and what it has to offer.  

Here are our featured articles this month:

Cooking Chat - A Valpolicella for Grilled Swordfish and Eggplant Pasta
Food Wine Click - Veneto Food & Wine from Half a World Away
Curious Appetite - Traditional Artisan Cheeses  
Just Elizabeth - Venetian Shadows
Italian Journeys - Asolo and Basana del Grappa
Monica Cesarato - Veneto Off the Beaten Path

Make sure to join our bloggers conversations on Twitter throughout the day at #ItalianFWT .  We also post on #ItalianFWT throughout the month so feel free to join us all the time and share your Italian experiences!  Make sure to check back on December 6th for our 2nd Italian Food, Wine & Travel event.  Next month's feature will be one of my favorites, Piedmont!