Fancy Food Show

Fancy Food Show Wine Discoveries: Italy

The last wine discovery from this year’s Fancy Food Show in DC was an Italian gem in Puglia, Tenute Girolamo. They were the perfect find as I was hosting #Winechat the following evening on Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot and one of my favorite wine regions.

Tenute Girolamo is located in the Valle d’Itria between the villages of Martina Franca, Locorotondo, Cisternino and near Alberobello. The Girolamo family has 50 acres cultivated at high density (12.300 vines per acre) which give more than 600,000 bottles of wine per year. They make four IGT (typical geographic indication Italian wine classification) wines…Pétroma, Pétrakos, Iérai Pétrai and Capo di Gallo.

I met Inge Host with AZAA representing them at the show and tasted 3 lovely wines from the Capo di Gallo label. Unfortunately they are not yet distributed in the U.S. but can be found in Europe.

Their website describes Capo di Gallo as “a precious wine which has the excellent qualities of the Puglia wines you can purchase for a good price. Capo di Gallo is done with a selection of Primitivo’s grapes together with other vines of our vine land, but the peculiar taste is given by the 6 months spent in barrels. This wine is deep red colored and the flavor is sweet and complex which perfectly matches the fruit aftertaste.”

The wines we tasted…

  • Tenute Girolamo Capo di Gallo Fiano: Fiano is a classic white found in the region. The wine is straw yellow in color with an herbal & floral nose plus honey on the palate.
  • Tenute Girolamo Capo di Gallo Negroamaro: Negroamaro is one of the two classic red grapes from the region. This wine is full of cherry, leather and pepper.

and my favorite…

Tenute Girolamo Capo di Gallo Primitivo

  • Grape Variety: Primitivo
  • Aroma: Sweet berry and tobacco
  • Taste: Medium bodied soft fruity berry jam flavors with nice spice and tobacco notes
  • Thoughts: Primitivo is the native king of Puglia grapes. This wine, like most, is an intense violet color. It’s a great example of a Primitivo wine!

For more on Puglia wines, visit my #Winechat recap. And here’s a photo from Tenute Girolamo’s website that truly captures the beautiful Valle d’Itria wine country.

Saluté to Italian wine discoveries thanks to the Fancy Food Show!


Fancy Food Show Wine Discoveries: Italy

I made some great wine discoveries from Greece and Italy at the DC Fancy Food Show. The first Italian discovery was Tenuta i Fauri from the Abruzzo region.

This winery is in the Chieti province in Abruzzo’s center. Their thirty-five hectares of vineyards sit among hills that drop to the sea. Photos on their site are gorgeous and their wines were very tasty!

Valentina Di Camillo, her family’s winery started by her father Domenico Di Camillo, was tasting in the Italia section of the show. They have 12 wines in their portfolio, available in Europe and in the U.S. (CA, MA and new to NY).

Our tasting included the following 4 wines, all made with the region’s signature grape…

  • Alba Rosa, Rosato IGT Colline Teatine: This rosé is a blend of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes creating a lovely wine with black currant and strawberry.
  • Ottobre Rosso, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC: The lightest body of the reds had nice caramel and cherry notes. After 8-10 days maceration, the wine then spends 12 months in stainless steel tanks.
  • Santa Cecilia 2009, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC: This wine is 85% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and 15% Sangiovese creating a more elegant wine with cherry, vanilla and cocoa hints.

and my favorite was their…

Rosso dei Fauri 2007, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC

    • Grape Variety: 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
    • Aroma: Violet and cherry
    • Taste: BIG cherry, violet, licorice & dark chocolate notes
    • Thoughts: This is a lovely BIG wine! 2007 was a very bright and sunny season. You can taste it in the bold cherry notes. It was also very interesting the way the body of each red wine and the intensity of flavor increased from the Ottobre Ross (12 months in stainless) to the Rosso die Fauri (aged 36 months before bottling).

Saluté to new Italian wine discoveries!

Fancy Food Show Wine Discoveries: Greece

As mentioned in my last article, I discovered some great wines from Greece and Italy at the Fancy Food Show in DC. The second Greek discovery was Sokos Wines.

Sokos Wines is located in central Greece on the north slopes of the Kitheronas mountain at Erythres. In the caves of this mythical mountain Kitheronas, it is said Zeus and Semeli gave birth to Dionysus-Bacchus, the god of grapevine and wine. What a perfect place to grow grapes and make wine!

Making wine since 1960, they have a large portfolio of wines currently only distributed in Europe (I’m almost positive I tried a few when we lived there), but are working on U.S. distribution. The Show was their first time in the U.S.

I tasted three of their white wines with Argiris Sokos…

  • Drykos Kefalai – Assyrtiko & Chardonnay: This was a very interesting blend of the Greek variety, Assyrtiko, and Chardonnay. In this wine, the Chardonnay added a round full body to the bright acidity of the Assyrtiko. Very nice combination!
  • Malagouzia: These grapes come from the slopes of Mount Kitheronas. It was very peach and apricot forward in aroma and taste with a full body and fruity touch of sweetness.
  • Savatiano: This Greek variety made a nice crisp yet round wine that reminded me of a Seyval Blanc or white Burgundy.

Greek wines are very fun to explore! The grape varieties are new and different to most of us and you can just dream of sitting on a Greek island while you sip them. 🙂 For more on Greek wine, visit New Wines of Greece.

Yamas to Greek wine discoveries!

Fancy Food Show Wine Discoveries: Greece

Last week attending the Fancy Food Show in DC (North America’s largest specialty food & beverage event with 180,000 products and 2,400 exhibitors from 80 countries), I headed right to the International area, Europe to be exact. I knew if there was wine to be found, it would be there. First stop: Greece. Success!

I discovered two very nice Greek wineries to share…Sokos Wines and Nico Lazaridi.

Nico Lazaridi, imported by Fantis Foods to the U.S., was established in 1987 as the first organized wine-producing facility in the Drama region of Greece (in the north). Twenty years later, they have roughly 34 wines in their portfolio.

Nico Lazaridi The Black Sheep 

  • Grape Variety: Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc from Protected Geographical Indication of Macedonia (in Northern Greece)
  • Aroma: Melon, honey and fresh cut grass
  • Taste: Crisp citrus with a slight sweetness, melon and minerality on the finish
  • Thoughts: While not classic Greek grape varietals its very interesting to taste these two together grown in Greece. It’s a nice full bodied crisp wine that’s worth trying if you’re looking for something different. It’s also sealed / closed with the very cool Stelvin Lux top (screw top with , outer aluminum shell looks like a foil capsule) and get the wine very fresh for days!
For more on Greek wines, visit New Wines of Greece.Next more from Greece in Sokos Wines then on to my Italy discoveries.

Yamas to Greek wine!