I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season for family, friends and loved ones. the season to indulge in food and wine along with trying new dishes prepared by friends and family. Appetizers are in abundance while you're sipping on a glass of wine. Cheese is always one of everybody's favorites and there is nothing like a gourmet cheese. That combined with the right wine pairing can send the palate into heaven. Today our Italian Food, Wine & Travel group (#ItalianFWT) is exploring a variety of Italian cheese and wine pairings to share with you today.
With our recent family vacation, my little guy’s birthday and Thanksgiving life has been busy. I took a simpler route today of pairing a classic caprese salad with recent vintages of Prosecco from whom I featured one other time here. The family founded the winery in 1960 by the current and owner and winemaker’s grandparents. Since 2009 Giovanni , 3rd generation, continues to have a heightened focus on sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint.
The winery occupies 380 acres in the Veneto region in northeastern Italy in the village of near Treviso. This area has a unique affected by the cool Dolomite Mountains along with the warmth and sun of the Adriatic Sea. Their style is “fresh and bright” and this rang true in the wines I enjoyed that I’m sharing today.
When the 2nd generation of the family took over they expanded the acreage and were some of the early adopters of sustainable approaches to winemaking along with integrated pest management in the 70’s. In the 80’s they banned synthetic herbicides. A year after Giovanni took he began the process of becoming organically certified, which can take up to 7 years. Half way through that timeframe he lost half his production due to the vines and grapes not being used to withdrawing from the pesticides and herbicides. Today the vines have adapted and have become stronger because of it producing abundant yields with better fruit quality. Giovanni states that the “skins are thicker, and this helps wines develop better aromas”. These skins also help protect it from the rains and developing parasites.
In addition to being organic these wines are also vegan. Animal products used in the production of the wines were replaced by using bentonite clay for fining. You’ll notice on these bottles that on the front label they don’t show certified in the US due to particular regulations and are labeled as “made with organic and vegan grapes”. Although, throughout Europe, these are certified both within the winemaking facilities and the vineyards. Since 2020 the winery is also looking into becoming biodynamic.
Mozzarella originates from the southern part of Italy in the region of Campania since the 1400s. It comes from the word, , which means to cut or top off. This refers the hand production in which this cheese is produced. I once made my own fresh mozzarella and the end product was an amazing indulgence. You must try it if you’ve never attempted it on your own. In Italy mozzarella is produced from water buffalo’s milk, but in the US is produced primarily from cow’s milk.
The wines I sampled for this pairing were released from the 2020 vintage. occupies the largest acreage in Italy for certified organic Glera and Pinot Grigio grapes. The grapes are both grown and the family partners with trusted growers as well that have been educated on organic farming practices, sustainability and the quality that continues to focus on.
I sampled two Prosecco from both valued well at $13 a bottle. The 2020 Rose Prosecco DOC Extra Dry consists of and Pinot Nero grapes. The grapes are softly cold crushed and pressed and spend 60 days in secondary fermentation using the Charmat method. Lightly salmon colored with bright bubbles to liven up the palate. Fresh strawberry aromas from the glass with refreshing wild strawberry notes that dance on the tongue. ABV 11.5%
The 2020 Prosecco DOC Treviso Extra Dry was a lightly straw colored with tinge of green. 85% of the grapes are Glera with the other 15% DOC admitted grapes. Same process as the prior wine with 60 days in secondary fermentation. Aromas of lemon citrus and peach. Lively bubbles (I typically like them softer since bubbles bother me in my beverages) with a crisp palate and notes of citrus and green apple. ABV 11.5%
Either of these wines really worked with the caprese salad although if I had to pick I’d probably go with the Rose Prosecco as I enjoyed the strawberry notes with the dish that I feel played well with the balsamic drizzle.What’s your favorite Italian wine and cheese pairing?
Join my fellow Italian cheese and wine lovers as they share some suggested pairings for you to try. We will not be chatting live on Twitter this monh, but would love to connect with you if you have any questions so don't hesitate to reach out. We love to hear from our readers!
Camilla is preparing "A Cheese Board Anchored on a Trio of Italian Cheeses + A Pinot Nero from Alto Adige" at Culinary Cam
Robin is tasting "Piave, Grana Padano and the wines of Lombardia" at Crushed Grape Chronicles
Deanna is drinking "Abbondanza Montelpuciano d'Abruzzo: A Way of Life" at Wineivore
Gwendolyn is trying an "Intriguing Italian Alpine Wine and Cheese: Foradori Bio Teroldego Paired with Their Tyrolean Grey Cow Cheese and Taleggio Mushroom Risotto" at Wine Predator
Wendy is having "A Perfect Start to a Perfect Evening" at A Day in the Life on the Farm
Nicole is traveling to "A Dairy in Veneto: Cheese (& Wine) Tasting at Latteria Perenzin" at Somm's Table