copyright 2009, Maria Liberati
A special thank you to everyone that braved the rain on Sunday and came to my appearance at the Great Grapes Event in Annapolis Maryland on Sunday, May 3rd. The pasta dishes I made were especially for the Spring Season and as promised here are some suggestions for great whie wines to go with them us for a wine pairing dinner on Wednesday, May 6th
Wednesday, May 6th, 7 PM– if you are in the Philadelphia area join me at Country Creek Winery in Telford, Pa. I will be making a 4 course authentic Italian sampler dinner and pairing it with 4 of their wines. Starting with crostini and Tuscan style bruschetta to risotto to chicken and a dessert course., all paired with reds and whites made there. A few places still left call 215-723-6516 to reserve your spot now
The Italians owe thanks to the Greeks, because if it weren’t for them, Italy probably wouldn’t have the luscious and ever-popular wines that it boasts today. When the Greeks settled in Italy centuries ago, they came bearing gifts of vines, hence the saying “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”. Today Italy is one of the top-producing wine countries and we should especially make note of the fabulous white wines that grow from the Italian soil. In addition to thanking the Greeks, much credit is due to the conducive climate and geography of Italy. The Appenine Mountains run through Italy and the beautiful hot Mediterannean conditions at the bottom as well as the colder climate towards the Alps foster the production of the various grapes. There are 17 different white grape varieties in Italy which equate to dozens of different wines to enjoy.
Perhaps the most commonly used white wine variety in Italy is a blank wine known as Trebbiano. Trebbiano is one of the most-planted grapes in the world perhaps because of the fact that the grapes can be grown so close together, in turn producing many of them. In other words, more wine for your buck! Some of the well-known varieties to Americans are Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. Pinot Grigio has had much success commercially since the 1970s even though it has been around for centuries in North-Eastern Italy. The Chardonnay in Italy is a bit leaner and crisper than the Chardonnay most of us are accustomed to, and has also been more popular in recent years.
Some lesser-known wines in Italy are often those specific to particular locations. On the Adriatic Coast, they are known for their Verdicchio. This lovely green-yellow tinted white wine holds delicate lemon and sea air aromas reminiscent of coastal Italy. Vernaccia, typically found in Tuscany and Sardinia, has a high acidity and is usually a dry, un-oaked wine. Vernaccia dates back to the 13th century, hence its name which is rooted to the Latin word vernaculus which means “native”. Tocai Friulano is usually light to medium bodied and has a crisp acidity to it but can also be seen as fuller-bodied jug wines.
These are some of the highlights of the fabulous white wines that Italy’s various regions have to offer. Stemming from the 17 types of , there ,are so many options to satisfy any Spring meal.
June 4th-Join The Basic Art of Italian Cooking school for a Tuscan Picnic cooking class at Foster’s Gourmet Hosuewares in Philadelphia. Call 215-923-0950 to register. $55 includes lesson and Tuscan picnic sampler dinner-4 courses.
Mangia Bene, Vivi Bene,