Last month, I was a media guest for VINO2016, the annual Italian multi-day info-tasting event held in New York City.
As it was last year, this year’s incarnation proved an enlightening experience, both in terms of the breadth of Italian wine offerings not yet widely available Stateside, and in the informative nature of the panel discussions. I can, however, tell you – with the requisite amount of false humility – that nothing in VINO2016 compared to the epic-ness of my panel last year, which included impromptu opera singing.
Vittorio Moretti, about to crack open some awesomeness (more on that in a few minutes)
But still, an informative event for both palate and brain. Also, how often does a guy like me get to shake down other attendees such as legendary wine educator Kevin Zraly for money (more on that development in the coming months)?
Anyway, let’s get to the vinous stars of the VINO2016 showcase…
The 14th (holy crap! have we really done fourteen of these already?!??) episode of my Furmint Adventures has recently been published, so I’m sharing it here to give you a five-or-so-minute distraction from working.
And a beautiful distraction it is.
Hungary’s Béres Winery has recently won awards for its construction, and their vineyard site is among one of the most gorgeous that I’ve ever encountered in the wine world (and the wine world is, if anything, not short on gorgeous locations). You’ll see what I mean in the first 50 seconds when you watch the video.
I’m really happy at how this video turned out, not just because I’m also again joined by Master Somm Peter Granoff, and not just because the wines were such excellent examples of dry Furmint (their sweet wines are killer, too), but also because the folks behind Béres seem to be genuinely lovely people (the kind that you want to see succeed).
Last year, I did a sort of double-dip on the Italian wine community. I traveled on a media tour to Asti in the north (to eat fried cow brain and other fantastically odd delicacies, while getting immersed in all things Ruchè). And, since I was in Italy anyway, I was taken on another media tour with Zonin 1821, wrapping around the southern coast of Sicily on a trip with other wine writers and sommeliers. Because, well, Italy.
The Sicily jaunt focused specifically on pairing the various wine brands under the Zonin umbrella with artisan fare from producers of some of the world’s most authentic ancient grain pasta; its historic chocolates; its mind-(and-adrenaline-)blowing coffee; its unparalleled seafoods; and its almost life-alteringly-good cheeses.
I’d thought about if/how/when I was going to write about this trip, but Zonin one-upped me and put together this amazing video of the trip, which I’m happy to report they’ve allowed me to share with you (in which you can see Lorenzo Zonin go for a swim, and me doing my best Family Guy impersonation)…
We’ve got a brand new episode in my ongoing Furmint Adventures series, this time exploring the modern-take-on-tradition that is Holdvölgy Winery.
That modern take on well-proven styles isn’t just part of the winemaking; it’s literally built into the winery operation itself, as you’ll clearly see from the video that the FurmintUSA folks have expertly put together (what you won’t see are the outtakes, in which we explored the massive cellar system at Holdvölgy, and filmed several takes of me running up and down long, steep, narrow flights of stairs… I swear that I will enact my revenge on the film crew in some way for this…). You will also get a glimpse at what might be one of the coolest label designs in the business right now.
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