La Dolce Vita
By Abby Cifarelli
The Italian culture is la dolce vita, the sweet life! Time seems to slow down, and the people savor every moment, flavor, or glass of wine. Most time is spent sitting around the table surrounded by good company and delicious food. Wine and food go hand in hand and whenever you’re enjoying Italian fare it’s best to grab an Italian wine. If you haven’t guessed it already, our two picks of the month are from Italy.
We start our journey in Northern Italy in a wine region that is often referred to as one of the best in the world. Piedmont is nestled at the bottom of the Alps and is known for red wines like Barolo and Barbaresco. In the shadows of the critically acclaimed red wines, a white wine from the region has become increasingly popular and will be your next summer go-to: Gavi di Gavi. The Gavi DOCG within Piedmont is one of the most famous and appreciated Italian white wine areas. Wines from Gavi are often crisp and refreshing and perfect for summertime sipping. This wine is cultivated from the Cortese grape varietal, a thin-skinned white grape that is reminiscent of Pinot Grigio but produces wines that have a little bit more body and zest.
Grab yourself a glass of the Picollo Gavi di Gavi 2019, the wine will show a light straw hue with hints of green. Give it a swirl, aromas of green apple, pear, lime, and lemon zest will jump out of the glass. As you take your first few sips, you will find similar notes from the nose with a zesty acidity that jumps around your mouth. The wine is bone-dry and lightly bodied with nice structure and minerality. Gavi di Gavi is perfect as an aperitif or with an antipasto. If you’re looking to match this wine up with a bigger meal – light fish dishes or pasta tossed in a homemade pesto sauce are delicious options.
As we move onto our red wine selection of the month, we don’t have to travel far. Right outside the floating city of Venice, the commune of Veneto is home to bubbling Prosecco, crisp Pinot Grigio, and refreshing Soave Classico. However, the red wine that keeps this region in the spotlight is Valpolicella. Valpolicella is unlike any other wine and has four key styles which vary from least to most intense: Valpolicella, Valpolicella Ripasso, Amarone della Valpolicella, and Recioto della Valpolicella. Out of the four levels, we focus on the Valpolicella Ripasso, a method of wine making that is done by putting Valpolicella Classico under a second fermentation and adding the excess skins from Amarone and Recioto productions. The result of this creates a wine with much more complexity and body.
Raise a glass of the Buglioni Il Bugiardo Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2016. In your glass you’ll notice a shade of deep purple. As you take your first sips, you can’t miss the dominant cherry flavors accompanied by tobacco and oak. The wine is dry with a rich body. The tannins create structure but leave you with a pleasant velvety finish. Valpolicella is a perfect summer red wine and is best enjoyed slightly chilled and served at a backyard gathering paired with grilled steaks, sausages, or pizza.
<If you are interested in hosting a wine tasting with sommnights this summer, visit www.sommnightswithabby.com for more details. Cheers!>