Once again I sat in traffic, this time to and from the Melrose area from Santa Clarita, for the sake of wine education and tasting. Why do I do this? I usually enjoy it and want to share information with you lovely readers. (Starting to re-think all of these events due to the driving. Asking now: would you prefer I just wax poetic with commentary and wine reviews? Email me with your opinion: Eve@EveWine101.com)
Now, to get back to the current task at hand, the Simply Italian event had no less than five classes offered every hour starting at 10 am. I missed the first and last, missed the walk around tasting completely but attended three educational seminars that included tastings: the sparkling wines from Friuli, wines from Franciacorta and then one on Asti, Asti Secco and Moscato d’Asti wines.
Sparkling Wines from Friuli
The Friuli Grave DOC is in the northeastern area of Italy, founded in 1972, with approximately 5,000 acres of pebbly stone soil terroir. It is the largest DOC in the region, 90% of the vineyards are on plains, 70% of the vines are white grape varietals and they have low yields. We tasted: La Delizia Spumante Cuvee Brut, “Jader”, Tenuta Bosco Albano Spumante Ribolla Gialla Brut Nature, Piera 1899 Spumante Ribolla Gialla Brut “Onedis”, Antonutti Spumante Rose Extra Dry, Albino Armani Pinot Grigio 2018 DOC Friuli Grave, I Magredi Pinot Grigio 2018 DOC Friuli Grave, Vistorta – Conte Brandolini Pinot Grigio 2018 DOC Friuli Grave, Tenute Tomasella Friulano 2013 “Le Bastie” DOC Friuli Grave and Fossa Mata Sauvignon 2018 DOC Friuli Grave. All had lovely fresh fruit to bruised fruit aromas, apple to apple cider, some spice, cream, minerality and/or balance. My favorites that I would definitely purchase if I found on a wine list or in a shop would be the Spumante Rose Extra Dry from Antonutti, Pinot Grigio 2018 DOC Friuli Grave from Albino Armani and the Friulano 2013 DOC Friuli Grave from Tenute Tomasella.
Wines of Franciacorta
Managing Director/Sales Director Riccardo Ricci Curbastro lectured on the Federdoc – which is the National Confederation of Voluntary Consortia for the Protection of the Designations of the Italian Wines that was established in 1979. We saw the former and new pyramid of Italian wines, labels, numbers and Designation of Origin (DOC) areas. If this information is of interest to you read more here. Of the wines, I was very pleased to enjoy them all and look forward to having them again: NV DOCG Brut, NV DOCG Rose Brut, 2013 Curtefranca DOC Rosso Vigna Santella del Grom (a blend of Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Barbera), 2011 Sebino IGT Pinot Nero (100% Pinot Noir – the grapes arrived in 1967 – that had intense black fruit and spice with an earthy long finish) and 2016 Rontana – Sangiovese Colli di Faenza DOC.
Asti, Moscato D’Asti and Moscato
Never been a sweet wine fan other than the honey-ed sauternes from Bordeaux, and, betting like other winos, turned up my nose to Moscato. After this lesson and tasting, I’ve had second thoughts. We learned about the Enjoy European Quality (EEQ) which was founded in 1932 and their project to promote Italian wines, salami and cheese. Their catchy motto is Pour it, Slice it, Cut it. (If you want to learn more check out their website.) Now if they had brought the cheese and salami to my table somehow I would’ve loved it, suffice it to say, I enjoyed the Pour It on this day. We were told that the wines all had a lower alcohol content – which is great for food pairing – with floral, lime and rarer sage notes. We tasted through: 2017 “Bric Prima Bella” Asti DOCG Extra Dry, 2014 Asti DOCG Dolce Millesimato, 2018 Valamasca Moscato D’Asti DOCG, 2018 Moscato D’Asti DOCG and 2018 Abbazia Moscato D’Asti DOCG.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.