The Event
Italian Secrets
© by Sheral Schowe
If you are looking for some fantastico wines from Italy which are not available on Utah’s wine store shelves, there is a way to find them in Salt Lake City, legally.

Il Ristorante Il Sansovino has truly gone the extra mile to locate some very unique wines which pair perfectly with their special Tuscan menu, "Risveglio di Primavera." The genius behind the wine imports and the Epicurean Italian menu is Walter Nassi, owner and heart of Il Sansovino.

Doro Princic Collio Tocai Friulano comes from the region of Friuli, in the northeast corner of Italy. It is 100% Tocai, not to be confused with the Tokay of Hungary or Tokay d’Alsace. The Tocai is a light straw color. It ages in stainless steel tanks then in the bottle for one month before it is released. The palate is full and zesty with floral tones and a finish of bitter almond, which is typical for Italian wines, particularly in this growing region. Collio is one of the smallest growing areas in Italy. Doro Princic, a gentleman of 81 years, is the founder of the estate. His son Sandro has become well-known for his practice of controlling the fermentation temperatures to enhance the wine’s aromas. This wine pairs well with hard to match foods such as asparagus and artichokes. It is also good with light roasted meats.

If you are a Sauvignon Blanc fan, you will love the Schiopetto Collio, also from the Friuli region. It is a straw yellow color with a rich and spicy nose of pears and pineapple. It has a high acidity with a silky finish on the palate. Try this with Walter’s Risottos, particularly those prepared with fresh spring vegetables. This is one of the most flavorful, aromatic Sauvignon Blancs I have experienced.

Traveling south and to the west is Montepulciano which is part of Tuscany’s breathtaking countryside. It is the birth place to one of the most time honored red wines: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The vineyards are located in the zone of Argiano, which is very highly rated for its soil composition. The winery is situated on spectacular slopes that provide ideal conditions for the production of big, full-bodied wines with a great potential for cellar aging. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is the flagship of Fattoria del Cerro, the winery with the most acreage in Montepulciano. The wine is basically Sangiovese, the backbone of Chianti, with a little Caniolo, Trebbiano, and Malvasia blended in. It is extremely rich and full in body with an aromatic nose of fruit, vanilla, and spice. The palate is full of forward, juicy, spicy fruit with sufficient acid to create a lingering, memorable finish. This wine has been termed a "perfect wine" by the cellarmaster of Pope Paul III in 1549, and is referred to as the "King of Wines" by many authors throughout the centuries. Try this with any of the beef, veal, rabbit, or pork selections on Walter’s menu.

June 17, 1999

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