Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category

Speaking of Bubbles… Part Two

July 13, 2012

There is a lot of average to shitty Prosecco out there.  That is ok I guess since most Prosecco is meant for aperitivo hour in Italy, just something to casually drink alongside little finger snacks at the local bar before sitting down to dinner where the serious wine drinking and eating begins.  Some people even desecrate Prosecco by pouring peach purée into it, something called a Bellini, supposedly this is a popular cocktail around the world, I don’t believe it.  Prosecco should be meant for better things.

To review, Prosecco is a sparkling wine from Italy, more specifically the Veneto area in the Northeastern corner of the country (where Venice is).  Most of the production takes place in the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, just south of the Alpine mountains.  Prosecco is not Champagne, Prosecco is Prosecco.  Prosecco is made mostly from Glera grapes, also known as Prosecco grapes.  The bubbles in most Prosecco happen when you add sugar and yeast to still wine and let it re-ferment in a pressurized steel tank.  The yeast eats the sugar making alcohol and that gives off  CO2 gas which cannot escape the vat and it is all bottled under pressure.   This is called the Charmat Method or Metodo Italiano or Metodo Charmat-Martinotti (Named after a French guy who perfected an Italian’s invention).  This is a quicker, easier way to make sparkling wine and it is cheaper, and it can be done on a massive scale.

There are many great examples of inexpensive Prosecco produced in the Charmat Method that everyone should chug down, but I want to tell you about an extra special Prosecco that is made the old fashion way.

Christian Ca’ Dei Zago of the farm Ca’ Dei Zago crafts some of the coolest Prosecco from just 4 hectares of vines.  His idea is to guide the grapes from harvest to bottle with no extra energy.  This means no pesticides in the soil, no machine harvest, no extra sulphites are added, no commercial yeasts, all the wine is gravity fed.  The secondary fermentation takes place in each bottle (which Christian bottles by hand) with no dosage (sugar and yeast).

Instead the wine is bottled with a bit of residual grape sugar that eventually re-ferments on its own making lightly textured bubbles.  There is no filtration and no disgorgement (where the sediment is removed and an additional sugary-syrupy mix of wine is added and a cork is shoved in).  This sparkling wine is lively and chalky, lemon zesty and bone cracking dry.  You could start a meal with it for sure but it would easily carry all the way through a butter and cream rich meal.

Delicious, delicious noble lees, embrace them.  Think of them as flavor crystals.

Ca’ Dei Zago “Col Fondo” (with sediment) Prosecco di Valdobbiadene . $20. Imported by Williams Corner Wine.

How Do Those Bubbles Get in There? Part One: The Champagne Method

June 21, 2012

Trap an angel, close them in a bottle of still wine, their last gasp of air will create bubbles.  This was the traditional way to do it before running completely out of the heavenly creatures.  Nowadays there are basically 3 ways to get fizz into a drink…

1. Dissolve carbon dioxide gas into liquid and bottle it under pressure (soda pop, sparkling water).

2.  Add sugar and yeast to a big pressurized and sealed vat of still wine to induce a secondary fermentation then bottle it under pressure (Prosecco and other inexpensive sparkling wine).  Called the Charmat Method.

3.  See below!

Take healthy grapes that you or someone else grew…

Crush them somehow…

Add yeast, whether it’s ambient (living on or around the grapes, that white powder stuff on grapes is yeast) or commercially prepared…

Get the fermentation going, yeast strains eat the sugar in grapes and turns it into alcohol giving off carbon dioxide.  Carbon dioxide escapes into the air…

The resulting wine can rest for a while…

Once the still wine is finished it can be bottled with the addition of…

A mixture of syrupy beet or cane sugar and another yeast strain…

Cover it with a crown cap (like on a soda bottle) to trap the secondary fermentation.  The sugary syrup turns into alcohol and the resulting carbon dioxide gas cannot escape!…

The yeast strains that get turned into alcohol turn into sediment and cloud up the wine.  Sometimes it is removed by the process of Riddling.  This is when bottles are placed into this A-frame thing and gently turned and rotated over a few weeks time to get the sediment into the neck of the bottle…

Sometimes the neck gets quickly dipped into frozen salt water so that the sediment holds together in one nice clump…

Then either by hand or with a machine the crown cap is popped off quickly (Disgorgement) and the sediment shoots out from the trapped gas…

pop…

Sometimes the bottle is quickly topped off with the same wine or a mixture of wine and more sugary syrup stuff (called Dosage) to balance out the dryness…

Then a cork is shoved in…

A little wire cage protects your eyes from getting accidentally poked out…

Then the bubbles get transferred into you making you happy.

Wine and Temperature

April 10, 2012

It is starting to get warm here in Richmond.  What temperature is the glass of wine you are being served?  White wines should be served chilled, not cold (45-50 degrees). Red wines should be served cool, not room temperature (60-65 degrees).   Unfortunately some eating and drinking establishments in our lovely city still think red wines should be served room temperature; room temperature being whatever the hell temperature it happens to be that day (ever try to drink a Loire Valley red that is 80 degrees?).  Fine, delicate wines lose all sense of balance when not poured at the proper temperature, they can taste harsh and out of wack doing a disservice to your taste and your wallet.

The obvious solution is storing all red and white wines in one of those temperature and humidity controlled refrigeration cabinets…

Not always practical in our historically quaint and tiny eateries.  Another option is the even more expensive and cumbersome Enomatic wine dispenser system.

The easiest and most cost effective way to enjoy a correctly cooled red wine is to request an ice bucket for your bottle.  Ten minutes in one of these and your bottle of Bourgueil will be properly balanced and refreshing.  

 

The best thing a restaurant could do is to dedicate one of their Lowboy refrigerators for red wines.  Just set it on a not-so-cold setting.  They already do that for the whites and roses, they can make room for reds.  

Wouldn’t you rather be served a red wine that is too cold knowing that it will warm up a bit on your table then to be subjected to a hot wine that has been mistreated and disrespected?

 

You Bet I’ll Have the $11 Bottle of Merlot!

February 20, 2012

Why not?  It is one of the most planted grapes in the world because it freakin rules!

2009 Domaine de la Patience Merlot Vin de Pays des Coteaux du Pont du Gard. $11.  Imported by Jenny & Francois Selections.

Forget Château Petrus and the rest of Pomerol, the real action is down near Costières de Nîmes where the Languedoc and the Côtes du Rhône meet.  Among rolling hills and olive trees, lavender fields and the Mediterranean sun sits Domaine de la Patience, an estate that is a reborn baby.  Re-established, replanted and modernized in 1994 by Christophe Aguilar whose grandfather before farmed the land and sold the grapes to the local coop, it took Christophe six years to bottle his own wines under the  Domain’s new name.

This dark, plummy Merlot falls under France’s Vin de Pays category which is basically elevated table wine that has a geographical context, in this case the area is Coteaux du Pont du Gard, a smaller area within Vin de Pays d’Oc (which covers all of the Languedoc and Roussillon). Vin de Pays wines are allowed to use a wide variety of locally approved varietals and require minimum alcohol and acidity levels along with a cap on permitted yields.  Does this mean a Merlot from Coteaux du Pont du Gard is better than Merlot from Anywhere France?  Not really but an Estate bottled wine (where the same guy grew and bottled the fruit ) might be. This Merlot comes from young 10 year old vines and after fermentation it sits in concrete vats for 3 short months retaining its freshness and stiff power.  It is full and rich and great with all sorts of cuisine, try it next to you grill.

The Pont du Gard!  Where the Romans used to pee.

Also this wine happens to be imported by Jenny & Francois Selections which specializes in organic, naturally made, honest wines.  Look at the back label, and look for others like it.  A search on their website and you will find that Jenny & Francois Selections comes to Virginia through Downey Selections.  If you see their name on the back of a wine label it probably means that it too will be a thoughtful, honest wine..

Wine 101: Things You Should Know By Now

February 6, 2012

So, you have had your first glass of wine ever and you want to learn all about it.  Here are a few things every new wine drinker needs to know.  

All sparkling wine is not a champagne, Champagne is a region in France.  Only sparkling wine from Champagne can be called Champagne.

Malbec the grape is originally from France.  Also called Auxerrois or Côt.  Depending on where it is grown, it will produce many styles of wine.  Fruity and viscous in Argentina, iron fisted and earthy in Cahors, France.

Burgundy is not a generic name for California jug wine.  Burgundy is one of the most prestigious wine regions in France.

Burgundy is the home of Pinot Noir.  It grows in many styles, specific to location: you will never mistake a full bodied Gevrey-Chambertain* for an elegant, delicate Chambolle-Musigny*.  (*These are names of villages in Burgundy; the wines of Burgundy are identified by their exact place of origin.)

Mass produced cheap Pinot Noir is mostly beefed up with black fruited Syrah grapes.  Drink cheap Côtes du Rhône instead.

Burgundy is the home of Chardonnay.  It grows in many styles, specific to location: you will never mistake a flinty, nervy Chablis* for a lush and nutty Meursault*.  (*These are names of villages in Burgundy; the wines of Burgundy are identified by their exact place of origin.)

Chablis is not a mass produced, sweet wine from California.  It is a place in the northern most part of Burgundy where Chablis wine is made from Chardonnay grapes.

Chianti is not a grape.  Chianti is a place in Tuscany.

Sangiovese is the main grape that makes Chianti and a bunch of other wines in Central Italy.  It’s big and fat in Montalcino, snappy and bright in Rosso Piceno, soft and chocolaty in Carmignano.

Pinot Grigio is not a generic name for white wine.  It is the Italian name for a grape varietal.  Also called Pinot Gris in France and Grauburgunder in Germany.

Pinot Grigio is only one of 350 grape varietals in Italy.

Riesling is not always a sweet wine.  Most of it is dry.  Ask the Germans.

Rose wine is not sweet either.  It is fine and dry.  It is also great in the afternoon at lunch.  Order a glass next time you are out.

Rombauer Chardonnay, like Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, has a lot of residual sugar in it.  It is sweet like corn syrup.  It stinks.

White wines should be served chilled, not cold (45-50 degrees). Red wines should be served cool, not room temperature (60-65 degrees).

Humans taste with their noses as much as they do with their tongues.  Smell your wine a lot.

Wine tastes best with food.

Wine does not pair well with chocolate, EVER!

The alcohol flavored grape juice substance at Trader Joe’s and other grocery stores is not really wine.  There is no such thing as $3 wine; it will be fake.  Go to your local wine shop instead.  You can find honest wine starting at $8.

Finding The Pretty From Puglia

January 24, 2012

Puglia, subtle rolling hills, fertile plains with lots of sunshine, pretty.  Puglia, surounded by The Ionian and Adriatic Seas, very pretty indeed.  Puglia gave us the calzone, the pretty pasta shape of orecchiette and the pretty looking tarantula.

What’s not so pretty about Puglia is its mass production of wine.  Tied with Sicily for bulk output of grape juice, Puglia has long supplied the rest of Italy (and the rest of the world) with cheap, forgettable table swill.  Wine from Puglia is frequently used to thicken up wines from other regions and is also a base ingredient for many vermouths produced in the northern city of Turin.  Commercial wines from Puglia can taste roasted and oxidized, dirty and alcoholic.

Grower-producer wines can be pretty though.  There are people that make distinct and balanced wines from grapes that they grow themselves  from vineyards passed down through generations.  Wines that are a thoughtful celebration of Puglia’s hotter than Africa climate.

 

Azienda Agricola Pasquale Petrera di Orfino Rosa is a pretty wine estate that produces pretty wines.

Big, rich, spicy and fragrant you would never believe that the pretty Fatalone wines have a sinister alcohol content…

2007 Azienda Agricola Pasquale Petrera “Fatalone” Gioia del Colle Primitivo.  $17. Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  A slick, high octane, dark fruit attack that is perfectly balanced by a refreshing dose of minerality.  Aged for 18 months before release.  Drink it with roasted meats, spicy pasta dishes and aged cheeses.

2009 Azienda Agricola Pasquale Petrera “Fatalone” I.G.T. Terres Primitivo.  $15. Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  From free run juice that is fermented in contact with the grape skins for only 30 hours, this wine is light and lively.  Almost rose in color but structured and spicy.  This is a perfect pizza wine.  Serve it slightly chilled.

 

Did You Know That There is Old Wine Available in Richmond?

December 8, 2011

Old wine, mature wine, ancient wine from erstwhile 1999.

Dreams of a bygone era gave us Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant’s love affair in the picture show “Notting Hill” , new world Ford acquired old world Volvo and writer Stephen King was hit by a mini-van, but the most important occurrence of this departed year was a wine harvested from the lost realm of Bandol.

The Bandol wine region of Provence sits on the coastal mountain ranges above the Mediterranean.  The best vineyards are situated north of the charming seaside town of Bandol in the communes of Le Castellet, Evenos and La Cadière d’Azur.  The terraced plots of silicon and limestone heavy soils are planted with mostly the Mourvèdre grape and it is one of the only places in the world where it will fully ripen thanks to the combination of hot sunshine and cool northern Mistral winds.  The wines are spicy, animalistic and wild.  In their youth the reds are stiff and tannic and need years to mellow to display their full range of meaty weight and Provencal herbal aromas.

1999 Domaine du Gros’ Noré Bandol Rouge.  $45. Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant.  

There once was a gentleman named Honoré Pascal (called Noré by his friends) that farmed 16 hectares of vines and sold his fruit to some of the most famous producers in the area including Domaine Ott and Château de Pibarnon.   After his death in 1997 his son Alain took over and began estate bottling the wines under the name Gros’ Noré after his father (gros’ means “fat”).  1999 was a cherished year producing ripe fruit balanced with strong substance and a plucky bouquet.  It is only the third vintage of this wine and there is loads of it available in Richmond at a reasonable price considering how expensive the more famous Bandols from Domaine Tempier and Chateau Pradeaux can be.

Nice lookin 12 year old cork.   Most people won’t hesitate to spend $50 on bottle of wine at a restaurant.  Wouldn’t it be nice to prepare a leg of lamb at home with some rosemary and garlic and drink this beauty alongside it?  Maybe take this wine to Bistro Bobette on free corkage night Monday and have the chef’s beef tenderloin, or show up to Enoteca Sogno on free corkage night Tuesday and have pork chops?
Don’t let Bandol become just another footnote in history.

A Salute to the Liter!

November 2, 2011
Literflaschen…

Did you know that there are a lot of big bottles of Riesling out there?  Big liter bottles! 1000 milliliters, that’s 250 more milliliters, meaning you get a whole extra serving of juice!  The best part, they cost about the same as a regular size 750 ml bottle!  Let’s hear it for quantity!



This isn’t jug wine, this is thoughtful and versatile wine from the most noble grape of them all, from one of the best wine producing areas in the world.

2010 Weingut Günther Steinmetz Riesling. $18.  Imported by Mosel Wine Merchants.

From the village of Brauneberg in the Middle Mosel (Mittemosel) Stefan Steinmetz grows and hand harvests this entry level Riesling from two steep vineyard sites, Mandelgraben and Sonnenlay.  The gray and blue slate rich soil produced a big and nervy wine from the  2010 growing season with more than usual high levels of acidity that stand against its powerful must weight.  Ripe and mineral, this exceptional delight will make any breaded and pan-fried meal all the much better.

2010 Weingut Klemens Weber Riesling Halbtrocken. $13. Imported by Potomac Selections.

The Pfalz region is the second largest wine region in Germany and one of the warmest.  The summers are long and hot with some vineyards reaching a near Mediterranean like climate.  The Haardt Mountains protect vines from frost in the winter.   Needless to say ripeness is not much of a problem here.  Though Riesling is the most planted grape you will also find a large amount of the easy to grow Müller-Thurgau.   Other varieties that thrive include Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) Scheurebe, Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) and Traminer.

Weingut Klemens Weber is located in the village of Burrweiler on the outskirts of the Palatinate Forest.  The combination of sunny weather and the well draining sand, stone and clay soil make the wines reliably fruity, fresh and harmonious. The nose is tropically herbal and a little grassy.  You might need more than a liter.  If you happen to be in the town of Burrweiler you can stay with the Weber family and rent one of their rooms for 50 € a night.  They might even give you some free wine.

2009 Weingut Darting Dürkheimer Nonnengarten Riesling Kabinett. $18. Imported by Michael Skurnik Wines.

Kurt Darting also located in the Pfalz, farms 17 hectares of vineyard area with some recently acquired Grand Cru sites. Though most known for his Rieslings he also produces Weissburgunder,  Rieslaner,  Scheurebe,  Portugieser, Muskateller ,Ortega, Spätburgunder
and even Chardonnay  (not all German wines are Riesling).  Total production is around 12,500 cases.  Low in alcohol, plump and piquant, this wine is meant for the long haul against salty and savory dishes.


These wines are meant for everyday drinking and are an easy way to introduce yourself to the wonderfully complicated world of German wines.  They are easily accessible, both in taste and on the wallet and they aren’t so weird and austere to scare you back to oaky Chardonnay.  What’s cooler than a liter of Riesling?

So Long Joe Dressner, Thanks For Everything

September 19, 2011

By now you probably have heard that Joe Dressner passed away after a long fight with brain cancer.  Of course you know Joe is responsible for Louis/Dressner Selections, an importer that brings in natural wines from small, independent vignerons throughout the world.  Most of the wines that have been discussed on this blog are in fact Louis/Dressner wines.  They are quite special, Joe Dressner was special, he will be missed.

Thankfully the culture of wine, especially his kinds of wines will carry on.  To salute the man I had to check in a few of my favorite wines from his portfolio.Here are a couple of wines from the most northern part of Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige.  The area butts up against Austria and Switzerland and is surrounded by the Rhaetian Alps and the Dolomite mountains.  The region has only been part of Italy since the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire after World War 1 and is split into two different cultural areas.  Italian speaking Trentino in the south more associates themselves with Italian heritage, the food is similar to what you would find in the Veneto, a lot of polenta and pasta with an even more heavy emphasis on butter and cream.  You will also find wild game, mushrooms and salt-cured beef.  The German speaking northern Alto Adige (Südtirol as the locals know it) has a more Austrian background, you will find wurst, cabbage, rye bread and buckwheat noodles and of course their greatest contribution Speck.

The Nusserhof estate, run by Elda & Heinrich Nusser, exists on 2.5 hectares within the city of Bolzano.  The steep and difficult to work vineyards are situated in an unusually warm area.  The wines produced have a ripe and concentrated character due to low yields from healthy, organically grown grapes.

(2007) Heinrich Mayr Nusserhof Blatterle. $25.

Blatterle is an indigenous varietal that was nearly extinct (who is knocking down doors to drink Blatterle?).  Traditionally it was made into a sweet dessert wine, this example is bone dry.  The wine is labeled as Vino da Tavola.  By Italian law the vintage can’t be shown but it is identified by the last two digits of the lot number, look for the L07.  By all accounts this wine should have been consumed a few years ago but I was curious to see how it was holding up.  Surprisingly it had a lot of creamy richness to it, not much going on aromatically but the wine picked up a lot of weight in it’s time in the bottle.  The usual apple and pear fruit profile has dropped off and transformed into a salty, mineral thing.  Still very enjoyable, and very different.

2005 Heinrich Mayr Nusserhof Lagrein Riserva. $35.

Lagrein is also an indigenous grape of semi-ancient origins and generally has a clumsy, woodsy tannic structure along with low acidity. Not the case with Nusserhof’s.  The Lagrein Riserva was showing nicely.  It is round and rich, bright and savory, like the oily essence of fresh espresso mixed with black, inky fruit.  This is a wine for mountain men.  Evidently this wine can age magnificently, the bottle I opened was just getting started.  One whiff of its chocolatey, earthy and fresh herbed bouquet you will be in love.“Weingut” is German for wine farm.  Wine labels from Alto Adige are mostly in German.

 Check your back labels for importer information.  If you see the “Louis/Dressner” name it means the wine is going to be something special and unique.  Thank you Joe Dressner for bringing these types of wines to all of us.

“The Natural Wine Movement is not a movement with a leader, credo and principles. If you think there is a Natural Wine Movement sweeping the world, triumphantly slaying industrial wineries and taking no hostages, then you are one delusional wine drinker. The Natural Wine Movement thinks that you might want to lessen your alcohol consumption for a few months.”

Joe Dressner, 2010

Tasting Report With The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar: The Sparkling Wines of Emilia-Romagna!

September 6, 2011

We all love Emilia-Romagna in Central Italy.  We love and lust over the possibility of owning a Ferrari or Lamborghini.  Our favorite cheese is Parmigiano-Reggiano, our second being Grana Padano.   We can’t get enough Prosciutto di Parma or Mortadella.  We insist on only the finest, aged Balsamic vinegar to drizzle over roasted butternut squash.  We love Lasagna.

What we love most of all are the sparkling wines of this region.  There is nothing more magical then the pairing of fatty foods with these bubbly brutes.  Emilia-Romagna is Italy’s heartland and the center of the gastronomic universe.  Aside from Lambrusco, Emilia-Romagna does not have many press friendly, famous, superstar wines, meaning one can find great value, and great surprise from off the beaten path growers.

For this tasting Richmond Wine Culture is joined by The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar.  Tredegar is located right here in Richmond down by the James River and is the nation’s first museum to interpret the Civil War from Union, Confederate, and African American perspectives.

The first 2 wines come from Cà de Noci, a property run by two brothers intent on continuing the thousand year old legacy of working with indigenous grapes and crafting wines that taste of the region.  Their farm sits up against a walnut forest (Noci means walnuts) and has just 5 hectares devoted to vines planted on rocky limestone soil.  “Querciole” is 100% Spergola, which in the old days was confused with Sauvignon Blanc and has a naturally high acidity level making it ideal for sparkling wine production. “Sottobosco” a blend of three different red grapes: Malbo Gentile, Lambrusco Maestri and Lambrusco Grasparossa.  These particular clones can resist the humid growing conditions in the area and are able to flourish without the use of pesticides and chemicals.  The wine is labeled as simple table wine because it does not grow within any of the delineated DOC Lambrusco Zones.

Richmond Wine Culture:  “I love this bottling of “Querciole”, it has a natural secondary fermentation that takes place within the bottle giving it a dancing frizzante characteristic.  The aromas are fascinating, something like orange peal and wheat.  In the mouth I get plenty of salty fruit and sprightly zing.  Perfect for cleansing the palate for that next bite of cured meat.”

The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar:   “Upon entering the newly constructed pavilion, visitors begin their tour with “What Caused the Civil War?” an interactive film which orients your visit. As you continue through the exhibit, enjoy rotating artifacts, detailed timelines, unique hands-on activities, additional films, and more. Continue to move into the War years (1861-1865) and finish with the post-war “Legacies” section which helps to put our world today into perspective.”

Richmond Wine Culture:  “The “Sottobosco” for me is the most exciting of the two, like the “Querciole” it gets its bubbles from a natural secondary  fermentation.  People tend to think sparkling reds from this region are sweet and syrupy, not this wine!  It is tannic and chalky, superb with rich cream sauces and cured pork neck.  Definitely a little strange.”

The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar: “In 1860-1861, the United States split apart. How did we get to that point?  Why did the Southern states leave the Union?  Was war inevitable?  What were the combatants fighting about?  You can explore these and other questions at the Center and learn what motivated Unionists, Confederates, and African Americans.”
Camillo Donati is a third generation wine grower located right outside of Parma.  Malvasia is an ancient varietal historically associated with the Mediterranean but now can be found throughout Italy.  Camillo produces both sweet and dry versions.  All the wines are fermented on their skins without temperature control or added yeasts or any form of acidification.  The Malvasia Secco also has a secondary fermentation naturally in the bottle without the addition of any sugar.  The bottle is closed with a crown cap and will throw off a lot of sediment.

Richmond Wine Culture:  “I am really taken by this example of Malvasia Secco.  It has a very unusual orange color, like a hefeweizen or an IPA, even some kind of cider.  Kind of smells similar to beer as well.  There is plenty of bitter almond notes to go with the coriander laced fruit.  It is almost painfully dry.  This bottle screams for grilled sausages and fried dough.

The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar: “The Center is a place to learn about the Civil War—its causes, its course, and its legacies. It is a place where the people who decided America’s future tell their stories. Here, all of the main stories—Union, Confederate, and African American— get significant space together for the first time. By understanding these three perspectives on a subject that is still divisive almost a century and a half later, we can begin to see the war differently—as a shared national heritage.”

Alberto Tedeschi makes only one wine from one grape, Pignoletto.  Alberto farms just 2 hectares of land by hand, too small to bother using a tractor.  No fertilizers, chemicals or any other nonsense are used in the vineyard.  The grapes are fermented in open vats and then the finished, dry wine is transferred to large wooden barrels to mature and rest on its lees for 15 months before bottling.  Theses wines with their big structure can evidently age for years.

Richmond Wine Culture:  “Alberto Tedeschi has produced an exciting and racy wine.  The color is golden, the nose is complex almost overwhelming with big time rosemary, sage and dried fruits.  The mouthfeel is rich and opulent but is very fresh and cleansing.  The aromatics circulate within the back of the throat.  This is relatively inexpensive compared to other sparkling wines meaning it could be hard to find if it wasn’t a little strange.  Another great bottle for the table, I love that it also has a crown cap. ”

The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar: “What effects do you think the war continues to have on America? We hope that you will visit the American Civil War Center to learn more about how the Civil War and its aftermath shaped our country today. The Center provides a framework for thinking about the impact of the war on us today. We encourage you to think about these issues, learn about them, and discuss them with others.”

2008 Cà de Noci Vino di Tavola Sottobosco Frizzante. $20. Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections

2007 Cà de Noci Vino di Tavola Querciole Frizzante. $30. Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections

2008 Donati Camillo Malvasia Secco dell’Emilia IGT. $25. Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections

2008 Alberto Tedeschi IGT Emilia Spungola Bellaria.  $25. Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections

All available in the Richmond area!