One of the crippling effects of the current pandemic has been the closing of many tasting rooms and the near collapse of the wine tourism industry. To counter its effects, wineries have been reaching out to their loyal fans and connoisseurs through the Internet by holding virtual tasting events on Zoom. Participants sign up online and purchase the wines from their local wine shop or designated distributor or directly from the winery. The wines are then shipped to the participants in time for the online tasting event. At the appointed hour, the wine enthusiasts pop the corks on their purchases (usually a half-hour is recommended to allow enough time for the wines to breathe), they sign onto the Zoom link and enter a password, and they can taste along with the winemaker or a wine expert.
Famed Italian Sparkling Wine legend takes to virtual wine tasting
Franciacorta is one of the most beautiful and legendary territories of the Italian wine-growing region of Lombardy. The name literally means 'short France'. With its rolling hills and rich glacial soil of gravel, sand and limestone, it is ideal for the cultivation of grapes and winemaking and has become one of Italy's most famous regions for the creation of great sparkling wines and a center of enotourism. Among the many names that stand out as one of the most respected sparkling wines in Franciacorta is that of Ricci Curbastro, one of the guiding lights, which established the region as DOCG, the highest designation of wine quality in Italy. The Ricci Curbastro family has been growing grapes in Franciacorta since the 14th century and the name is synonymous with that of fine sparkling wine from the region. With that in mind, winery President, Dr. Ricardo Ricci Curbastro and his son, Dr. Gualberto Jr, Ricci Curbastro took to Zoom and Facebook to lead a virtual wine tasting and discussion of their newest releases; Ricci Curbastro Franciacorta DOCG Brut NV, DOCG Saten Brut 2014 and Franciacorta DOCG Rose Brut NV. Ricci Curbastro is a sustainable Farm Estate Winery and all of the wines are organic.
COVID Pandemic sparks innovation in wine world
Necessity is the mother of invention. That old adage has borne new fruit in the age of the pandemic. Wine producers around the world have taken to the Internet in order to not only sell their wine, but to hold virtual tastings and seminars. In many instances, the instant and global reach of the Internet has served to enhance sales and substantially raise the profile of wines and regions that were hereto for unrecognized.
A carefully crafted blend of Malbec, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon from some of the most favored vineyard blocks on Napa Valley’s storied Mount Veeder, The Hess Collection 19 Block Mountain Cuvee 2016 ($25) is a wine with layered complexity to be enjoyed now or further down the road.
Ferrari-Carano, the well-respected historic Dry Creek Valley winery, which is one of the original historic wineries of Sonoma County, is on its way to bigger and better things. In a record-setting deal, estimated to be at nearly a quarter of a million dollars, the property is to be acquired by legendary vintner Bill Foley as part of his ever-expanding Foley Family Wines. The acquisition will make Foley the third largest vineyard owner in Sonoma County after E and J Gallo and Jackson Family wines. The deal more than doubles the vineyard acreage owned by Foley in Sonoma County.
Oakville is one of the most celebrated of wine districts within Napa Valley. Some of California's most famous coveted labels are located within its confines, most notably Robert Mondavi Vineyards. The other big names that you will recognize are Screaming Eagle, Opus One. Far Niente and its sibling, Nickel and Nickel Other great wine producers include Harlan Estates, and Silver Oak, to name but a few.
Italian Wine Week is that country's biggest showcase in the United States to promote Italian wines in America. Each year, hundreds of producers descend on US soil for two days of tastings, seminars and food demonstrations to promote the best that Italy has to offer. The event attracted restaurant owners, sommeliers, distributors, merchants, journalists and other members of the wine, food and hospitality trade to experience the wines of Italy and hear first hand from the industry leaders who make them.
Sicily is one of the most beautiful locales in all of Italy. The region has been declared a UNESCO protectorate and with its volcanic mountains, lush valleys and dramatic shorelines, it has some of the richest soil to create beautiful wines. The world pandemic has forced one of the seminal events of the wine-producing year online. Sicilia en Primeur, the unveiling of Sicily’s new wines to the world is normally presented with a round of winery tours, tastings and seminars and days and nights of gustatory delights in around the towering mountains and soaring cathedrals that dot this historic region. Not to be undone by the COVID 19 pandemic, the Consortium DOC Sicilia carried forth with an exchange of information on the scents, flavors and upcoming projects in this altered scenario.
Five producers of Prosecco DOC region mounted a massive video outreach to the media to highlight the versatility of Italy's most popular sparkling wine. Arranged by Colangelo and Partners, who have, for the past ten years been the industry leaders in integrated communication propelling a brand's story across the modern broad media landscape from New York, to Cape Town to Bordeaux. Colangelo and Partners provides an ideal fit for premium, artisan brands seeking to build their businesses in the US and beyond. Samples of the sparkling wines presented were sent in advance to each of the virtual participants of wine media and industry professionals for a hands-on tasting experience.
Spring into the new season with Mionetto Prosecco DOC Brut ($13.99). Exceptionally versatile and appealing, this is a refreshing all-around sparkling Italian wine. With its light straw color and vivid yellow color and aromas of golden apples this wine gives way to well-balanced flavors of white peaches and honey. It has a fresh and lively mouth feel that ends with a clean dry finish. Poach a few Diver Scallops in a splash of this lovely brut and sprinkle with a handful of fresh Basil leaves served over thin, Angel hair pasta for the perfect afternoon meal. You can also wait until sunset to enjoy the traditional Aperol spritz made with Aperol, Mionetto Prestige Brut, Triple Sec and a splash of club soda. Garnish with a copious slice of orange and watch the amber sky descend into a starlit night.