The Event
Italian Excellence
© by Sheral Schowe
Week two of the World of Wines class was held at CIAOS Restaurant in Sandy. Troy Wilson, the ever gracious chef and owner, along with his staff, once again provided an elegant setting with foods that paired beautifully with our Italian wines.

The flight of six wines began with the Zenato Lugana, 1997 ($11.95) from Northeast Italy. The Lugana, named after its own D.O.C., is a soft, smooth, dry white wine made from the Trebbiano grape. It is probably the best example of Italian Trebbiano on the market. The Lugana comes from the shores of Lake Garda, overlapping Veneto. The Lugana has flavors of fresh herbs, pear, nuts, and a little citrus with bitter almond on the finish.

Our next selection was Argiolas Perdera, 1996 ($9.95). For a relatively inexpensive wine, the Perdera is full of flavor and body. It has aromas of oak and spice with flavors of under-ripe raspberries and plums with spicy cedar on the finish. It has a mouth-watering, high acid content typical for many Italian wines.

The next presentation was the Brusco dei Barbe, 1996 ($10.95). This is a light, easy-drinking, Beaujolais-style red wine. Again, another bargain, for the enjoyable flavors of cherry, strawberry, and raspberry with its ability to pair with foods. This is a great choice for Italian foods such as pizza, lasagna, ravioli, and many of the pasta selections on Troy’s menu.

The Falesco Vitiano, 1997 ($11.95) was then served. The Vitiano is 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, and 34% Sangiovese. It is a spectacular wine, full of rich flavors of plum, cherry, nutmeg, cinnamon, fennel and earth. It was a favorite of the guests for a food pairing with mushroom marinara, steak, lasagna, and gnocchi. The only thing light about this wine is its price.

The Prunotto Dolcetto D’Alba, 1996 ($15.95) was next in the flight. I have tasted earlier versions of this particular wine and was more impressed with those than with this particular vintage. It may need a little more time in the bottle, but I found it to be lighter on aroma and flavor than with previous experiences. It has a lot of sour pie cherry flavors with a finish of wet stone, earth, and wood. It is light in style and would pair nicely with grilled meats without complex sauces.

The finale of our Italian experience was the Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva, 1995 ($19.85). Truly the winner for the evening, the Antinori has aromas and flavors of tea, cedar, strawberry, cherry, and raspberry. There is some black peppercorn and tobacco on the finish. The balanced components of fruit, acid, and tannin will allow this wine to age a little longer in your cellar, if you can stand the wait.

May 20, 1999

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