Albarino, especially 2 Amigos Albariño is my warm weather wine by Philip S. Kampe

It is the time of year that Sparkling, Rose and specifically New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc tend to steal the show. And many of us die-hard wine drinkers opt for a good cold brew this time of year.

Whatever you choose helps calm the heat of the summer. Add ceviche, shrimp cocktail, lobster and clams to the menu and you have many ‘matches made in heaven.’

After sampling a dozen bottles of various Albariño styles from the Rias Baixas appellation of northwest Spain, it seemed obvious to me that there is another warm weather wine that is off the radar. That wines name and grape is the same-Albariño.

Albariño, as I mentioned earlier, is the most abundant grape grown in northwest Spain, in the Rias Baixas region. The grape is on its way to stardom, thanks to its clean and fresh, crisp flavor that shines through its complexity.

Albariño is a very likable wine, in part, due to what the locals believe about Albariño. The local sentiment says, ‘Albariño is considered the New World wine of the Old World.’

Translating the statement means a few obvious points to reflect on. Albariño does not age well. It is bottled early to help preserve its freshness and tenacious acidity. Tropical fruits abound in the palate, followed by a mouth cleaning minerality on the long, lingering finish.

Pairing 2 Amigos Albariño with seafood and spicy food was today’s challenge. As you can see from the photo, I marinated raw shrimp, scallops and trout with loads of garlic, red pepper flakes, Serrano peppers and high quality extra virgin olive oil. I added a bay leaf and cooked it in a casserole dish at 425 for 25 minutes.

Add a bottle of 2 Amigos or any other Albariño and you have a near perfect pairing.

For close to $20 a bottle-the range of Albariño varies from $12-$45, you could have your new warm weather wine.

Isn’t it time to add Albariño to your warm weather wine mix?

Philip S. Kampe
philip.kampe@thewinehub.com

https://thewinehub.blogspot.com/2018/05/albarino-especially-2amigos-albarino-is.html?m=1

 

Why is Amarone Wine Expensive?

Just outside of the historic city center of Verona , heading north and west towards Lake Garda, you’ll encounter the rolling hills of the Valpolicella region – the name is thought to come from the Greek meaning “Valley of Many Cellars”. It is the second largest producer of quality (DOC) wines. The Valpolicella area encompasses several neighboring valleys that include seven different villages.

Notwithstanding some seriously esoteric exceptions, when it comes to red wine, Valpolicella is dedicated to the production of just three grape varieties: Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. However, as a result of when the grapes are picked and what is done after, the wines can be startlingly different in the bottle.

Welcome: GIUSTI – AMARONE!!  The king of the big red wines of the region.

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Amarone2012 backThe Taste of GIUSTI Amarone…. On the palate Giusti Amarone wine has a medium-plus to high acidity balanced with higher alcohol and flavors of rich black cherry, brown sugar and chocolate. By the way, the older the Amarone, the more it will offer flavors of brown sugar, molasses and fig.

After harvesting the grapes for “Tier 1” Valpolicella Classico, they are immediately crushed and fermented. This is a light, high acid red wine; it generally sees no oak aging and provides a perfect match for the traditional local appetizers. I promise – in Verona, even horse tartar is pretty amazing when accompanied by delicious Valpolicella. During the roughly 120 days that this occurs, the grapes will lose 30-40% of their weight. The result is intense concentration and a very high sugar content, which in turn translates into 15% or higher alcohol levels. It also demands a premium price. You can do the math yourself: a hell of a lot more fruit goes into a bottle of Amarone than a bottle of Valpolicella. The drying process demands an investment of time and space on behalf of the winery.

amarone-grapes-drying-outBy contrast, the fruit destined to become GIUSTI Amarone takes quite a different journey before reaching the bottle. Grapes are picked a bit later to ensure ripeness – usually in mid-October. Then, they are left all winter to dry into raisins.

How to get great Valpolicella Amarone-like wine for under $70!

GIUSTI also produces Valpolicella Ripasso, often referred to as “Baby Amarone”. To make Ripasso, fresh Valpolicella Classico wine is mingled with leftover skins from Amarone winemaking. The resulting wine absorbs additional body and flavor, giving us a dry, medium-bodied wine with a similar complexity to Amarone at prices below $50! Giusti Ripasso is often mistaken by experts as being Amarone and is far superior to many lesser quality Amarone wines on the market.

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Giusti LogoMore than any other family of wines in Italy, the GIUSTI Valpolicella Ripasso truly offers a perfect companion for every occasion. Regardless of the season, occasion or your budget – you’ll never go wrong.

The famous Wine Writer – James Suckling, awarded a prestigious 92 points to: Giusti Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, and also Giusti Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore and he admits “that good wine should touch the soul like music, literature and love.”

To learn more about GIUST wines contact Michael Romano at Romano Brands – Call 516.681.5159

TUVAOES Vermentino of Sardinia awarded “Tre Bicchieri”

Cherchi TUVAOES Vermentino has been awarded with the prestigious designation of  “Tre Bicchieri” by the famous Italian wine publication – GAMBERO ROSSO.

vino-tuvaoes-cherchi[1]The origins of the Vermentino grape are uncertain. It is supposed that many centuries ago, it arrived in Sardinia from Spain, passing through Corsica; while another theory makes its origin go back to the Middle-East, passing by Greece and landing in the Mediterranean islands. The wines developed by this area often have different characteristics, due to the interaction among nature of the ground, climate, workmanships and ample aromatic characters.

sardinia-vineyardsThe color is brilliant straw yellow rather intense with green tints. Showing deep intensity and persistence of soft floral scents that are enticingly pleasant. Tuvaoes has much strength and freshness, conferred by balanced acidity; it remains warm and soft, thanks to the solid structure. You can find the aromatic qualities to be quite persistent to the last sip. Tuvaoes will develop enhanced flavors with a few years of proper aging. Because of the strong structure of this wine it is an age-worthy white wine.  This wine is ideal for any seafood dish as well as light meats. 

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The 2016 vintage is here and ready to ship.  Retail and wholesaler inquires should be directed to Michael Romano at (646) 948-1100

 

AMARONE!!! Wines by GIUSTI coming to the USA!!

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James Suckling awarded a prestigious 92 points to: Giusti Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, and also Giusti Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore and he admits “that good wine should touch the soul like music, literature and love.”

Just outside of the historic city center of Verona , heading north and west towards Lake Garda, you’ll encounter the rolling hills of the Valpolicella region – the name is thought to come from the Greek meaning “valley of many cellars”.  It is the second largest producer of quality (DOC) wines. The Valpolicella area encompasses several neighboring valleys that include seven different villages.

Notwithstanding some seriously esoteric exceptions, when it comes to red wine, Valpolicella is dedicated to the production of just three grape varieties: Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara.  However, as a result of when the grapes are picked and what is done after, the wines can be startlingly different in the bottle.

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The founder of Giusti Wine in Italy’s renowned Veneto region, Ermenegildo “Joe” Giusti — splits his time between Calgary and Italy—knows he doesn’t have to check the vineyards. His team has everything under control. “But for me, good isn’t good enough. I want it perfect,” he says. “I want to have Giusti wine to be recognized as the top Italian brand in the world.”

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He’s well on his way to achieving his goals, despite the fact the winery was only started in 2002. His team, led by renowned fifth-generation winemaker Marco Pozzobon, makes a full range of reds, whites and Prosecco. The wines are sold in some 20 countries, and they’re winning awards and accolades from publications like Decanter, Drinks Business and Gambero Rosso.

Notwithstanding some seriously esoteric exceptions, when it comes to red wine, Valpolicella is dedicated to the production of just three grape varieties: Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara.  However, as a result of when the grapes are picked and what is done after, the wines can be startlingly different in the bottle.Giusti 3

Amarone label

The Taste of GIUSTI  Amarone. … On the palate Giusti Amarone wine has a  medium-plus to high acidity, perfectly balanced with it’s higher alcohol and flavors of rich black cherry, brown sugar and chocolate. By the way, the older the Amarone, the more it will offer flavors of brown sugar, molasses and fig.  Truly delicious!!

Why is Amarone Wine Expensive and so Very Special?

After harvesting the grapes for ‘Tier 1’ Valpolicella Classico, they are immediately crushed and fermented. This is a light, high acid red wine; it generally sees no oak aging and provides a perfect match for the traditional local appetizers. I promise – in Verona, even horse tartar is pretty amazing when accompanied by delicious Valpolicella.  During the roughly 120 days that this occurs, the grapes will lose 30-40% of their weight. The result is intense concentration and a very high sugar content, which in turn translates into 15% or higher alcohol levels. It also demands a premium price. You can do the math yourself: a hell of a lot more fruit goes into a bottle of Amarone than a bottle of Valpolicella. The drying process demands an investment of time and space on behalf of the winery.

amarone-grapes-drying-out

By contrast, the fruit destined to become GIUSTI Amarone takes quite a different journey before reaching the bottle. Grapes are picked a bit later to ensure ripeness – usually in mid-October. Then, they are left all winter to dry into raisins.

Giusti 1

How to get great Valpolicella Amarone-like wine for under $70!

cat_ValpolicellaGIUSTI also produces Valpolicella Ripasso, often referred to as “Baby Amarone”. To make Ripasso, fresh Valpolicella Classico wine is mingled with leftover skins from Amarone winemaking. The resulting wine absorbs additional body and flavor, giving us a dry, medium-bodied wine with a similar complexity to Amarone at prices below $50!  Giusti Ripasso is often mistaken by experts as being Amarone and is far superior to many lesser quality Amarone wines on the market.

More than any other family of wines in Italy, the GIUSTI Valpolicella Ripasso truly offers a perfect companion for every occasion. Regardless of the season, occasion or your budget – you’ll never go wrong.

 

Giusti now owns almost 20% of the land in Italy’s designated Prosecco DOCG region, a major feat, considering some of the other wineries date back hundreds of years. Then again, Giusti’s own family goes back many generations in the region.

Giusti produces the finest quality Prosecco wines and Romano Brands will be introducing two of Giusti’s finest – the “Rosalia” DOC, and the Giusti  Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry.

GIUSTI Wines will be exclusively imported into the United States through Romano Brands and retail and wholesaler inquiries should be directed to Michael Romano at (516) 681-5159.

New added wines for Liberté!

Superior quality at affordable price for the new brand extension of Liberté wines are now available through Romano Brands Wine Imports.

Introducing the new Liberté Pinot Noir Reserve and Sauvignon Blanc Reserve!

Liberté translates into English as FREEDOM!

The overwhelming success of the Liberté line of Loire Valley has engineered into this much demanded Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc for restaurants to use by-the-glass and for wine shops to offer to their clients at very reasonable pricing of around $15 per bottle.  The quality is superior to the price.

The original Liberte’ brand franchise retains the Loire Valley favorites as well – Sancerre; Pouilly Fume’, and a 100% Pinot Noir Sancerre Rose’.

Liberté will be offered in the original following types as well: Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, and Sancerre Rosé.

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The collaboration and wine-design along with the world-famous Mellot family of Loire Valley wines is proving to be a much sought after world-wide wine brand.

The historic 500 year old family owned estate of Joseph Mellot, has become the world renowned specialist in the production of great wines from Centre Loire Valley thanks to their unrivaled know how. Mellot wines express the quintessence of each of their terroirs especially Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. Known for and distinguished by superior high quality in more than 40 countries world-wide, Joseph Mellot wines are the Ambassador for the Loire’s finest vintages and representative of the highest of quality. Under the leadership of Catherine Corbeau Mellot, the Mellot Estate is now committed to sustainable development using Sustainable Agricultural methods to cultivate its vines.

The symbol on the label for Liberté is the famous Fleurs-de-lis which is a stylized lily (in French, fleur means “flower”, and lis means “lily”) that is used as a decorative design or symbol. Many of the saints are often depicted with a lily, most prominently St. Joseph.  The Fleur-de-lis symbol represents royalty, strength, and loyalty.  The Fleur-de-lis epitomizes the high quality which is the noble characteristic of the entire Liberté brand of fine wines.

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Liberté Pouilly-Fumé displays light flint smokiness, and is a brilliant example of the prized Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire. The soft color matches the clarity of the citrus and white stone fruits which create a harmony with the mineral notes.

Liberté Sancerre Rosé – Sancerre Rose is a pale salmon pink in color with a subtly nose of fresh berries. On the palate the wine is delicate and elegant with layers of herb, strawberry and a clean, crisp finish. Some peach and ripe red berry fruit here, but it seems a more serious, less fruit-driven style than some, with a distinctive mineral character. The appetizing, fresh, leafy acidity adds to the elegance and delicacy, finishing very clean and fresh.”  Produced of 100% Pinot Noir.

Liberté Sancerre is known for its flinty, savory Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley of France. Sancerre is the most recognizable appellation for French Sauvignon Blanc in the Loire Valley. The region’s rolling limestone hills and semi-continental climate deliver richly textured Sauvignon Blanc wines with ripe gooseberry aromas, bracing acidity, and flinty-smoke flavors.

Liberté Pinot Noir Reserve is brick red in color and has a spicy red berry bouquet in its’ soft scents. Furthermore, the wine is soft with spicy notes, a light and fruity aroma and a long finish. In the mouth it is soft, with smooth raspberry flavors with soft tannins.  Serve with a soft chill.

Liberté Sauvignon Blanc Reserve displays a very light golden tone in color. The array of aromas exhibit an intense nose with notes of citrus, fruity with great finesse. This approachable Sauvignon Blanc has a nice bite and persistent aromas. It is well balanced on the palate,  that is ample and harmonious.

Wine wholesalers seeking Liberté for your market should contact Romano Brands. For information please contact Michael Romano by calling him now at (646) 948-1100.

There is no greater Sancerre produced – PERIOD!

There is no greater Sancerre produced – PERIOD!

The world’s finest Sancerre made – Joseph Mellot Cuvée “Pierre Etienne”

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Just released February 2018 and received in the USA is the 2015 vintage.

Domain Joseph Mellot is recognized as the world’s benchmark of exceptional quality Sauvignon Blanc in over 40 countries around the world.  Producing fine wines from Sancerre, Domain Joseph Mellot is an ambassador for the best Sancerre of the Loire Valley.

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This historic 500 year old family owned estate in Sancerre, has become a specialist in the production of Great Wines from Center Loire Valley thanks to its unrivaled know how.  Joseph Mellot wines express the quintessence of each of their terroirs.

The Sauvignon Blanc grapes are harvested by hand, sorted and pressed with care. The grape-must is fermented and aged in oak barrels (of which 30% are new) in historic cellars in the heart of Sancerre. An exceptional terroir, wood (barrels) from local forests and the climatic conditions of the cellars begin the alchemy. Fermentation lasts two months; maturing requires another two years of patience. All of this enables the minerality of the terroir to be expressed in harmony with a delicate softness developed through ageing on the lees.

Glass of Mellot

This is a wood-aged wine, named after the founder of the Mellot dynasty in the 16th century. It is richly endowed, packed with fine white fruit that contrasts with the stony steely texture. There is a great tang of acidity and orange zest at the end. The wine is still young and will repay cellaring until at least 2022.

The bottle is a replica of a historical Sancerre bottle. The labels are reproductions of labels from the 1930s.  This is the absolute finest Sancerre available in the world.

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Available in a very deep punted, heavy-glass bottle.   Unfortunately it is very limitedly produced, but, some is now available through Romano Brands Fine wines at (516) 681-5159.

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A must-have wine for restaurants who take serious pride in their offerings, and for the true wine aficionado to savor with someone dear.  Call us today at (516) 681-5159 to place your order.

The benchmark for Sancerre – Joseph Mellot Cuvée “Pierre Etienne”

Fine Wine Importers and Distributors Seeking New Wines…

Romano Brands is seeking fine wine distributors/importers throughout the United States and international markets.

Romano Brands Fine Wines is an exclusive USA importer and producer of fine wines that have proven success and exceptional pedigree.

SAMPLES and pricing are available by request.

Some of the available brands via FOB Western Carriers NJ (Direct Import & Ex-cellars pricing also available) are:

  • 2 AMIGOS (SPAIN) – The finest Albariño available from Spain’s prized area of Rias Baixis
  • BIG BEAST WINES (FRANCE) – New and exciting brand featuring premium red & white wine from France.  Thought provoking, eye appealing and whimsical label for a serious BIG Red wine.

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  • CECCHERINI of Tuscany (ITALY) – Not the ordinary – from coastal Toscana, the indigenous, organic wines produced are Pugnitello, Ciliegiolo, and more.
  • GIUSTI (ITALY) – Finest Amarone and Ripasso made…PERIOD!! Prosecco of highest quality too – DOCG.

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  • LIBERTE’ (FRANCE) – famous long-time winery – Sancerre Rose’, Blanc, and Pouilly Fume too. Price aggressive Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc too – loved by so many restaurants for by-the-glass profitability.
  • MAISON BELLE CLAIRE – Cotes de Provence Rose’ – (PROVENCE, FRANCE) – famous and popular Provencal dry Rose’. Wine Spectator “Spectator Selection” and Wine&Spirits “Best Buy”.  Traditional “corset-shaped” bottle!

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  • TENUTA DE VALENTINA – (ITALY) – maybe the most aggressive priced Pinot Grigio and Montepulciano produced – 750’s and 1.5’s!

Interested Distributors and Importers should contact Michael Romano at:

(+1) 516.681.5159

Return to Sorbillo on the Bowery NYC for Pizza

Charles Scicolone on Wine

I went to Sorbillo Pizzeria on the Bowery in NYC when it first opened.  Together with a friend, Michele and I had  three different pizzas. Michele liked them better than I did, but even she did not think they were that good. Then last month I was invited by Roberto Caporusio of Keste Wall Street to celebrate Neapolitan pizza being granted World Heritage Status by the United Nations. Roberto invited pizzaioli from NYC and other parts of the country.

Pizzaioli: Pietro Nesi, Antonio Esposito and Geggè Cozzolino

I noticed that one of the pizzaioli was from Sorbillo on the Bowery in NYC. I watched him as he made a pizza and when it came out of the oven I went over and had a slice or two. It was wonderful and I asked him his name and he said it was Geggè Cozzolino and he was from Naples. I told…

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2 AMIGOS ~ Spain’s finest Albariño wine is headed to the United States!

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Romano Brands Fine Wines is proud to announce the upcoming arrival of the finest white wine offered from Spain: 2 AMIGOS Albariño D.O. Rias Baixas.

Hailing from the prized Rias Baixas area of the northwestern area of the Iberian Peninsula, 2 Amigos brand of Albariño is the story of two explorers, two world travelers and two great friends. This is the story of a journey…that thirty years of friendship made this project possible.

During all this time, these best of friends, Henri and Rob, have shared all types of personal and professional experiences, projects, successes as well as failures that have left their mark.

All of this has made them, and their friendship, what it is today. They wanted their 2 AMIGOS wine to stand out for its great quality and naturalness. They have taken advantage of the land that has been in their families for more than 300 years, remaining very conscious of the gift nature that has provided them the location of their vines, which together with the knowledge and experienced handed down, generation to generation of wine makers, has truly made 2 AMIGOS a wine treasure.

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Each bottle of 2 AMIGOS exemplifies the history of several generations – the stories, memories, anecdotes, traditions that pass from grandparents to grandchildren as well as the secrets that the wine storage  barrels maintain after the passage of time. The origins, experience and vitality with which, to this day, continues to extract the most out of the fruits of the Galician land, lending 2 AMIGOS it’s unique, delightful  flavor and character.

2 AMIGOS Albariño wine belongs to the Rías Baixas Designation of Origin, made with local indigenous grape: Albariño. A natural and young wine, 2 AMIGOS should be enjoyed 1 to 3 years from the vintage date, while the fresh aromas of white peach, apricot, citrus and jasmine still prevail in a dry, lively, fruity place with a mineral finish of firm acidity.  However, please note that the wine can age pleasantly for an additional five years thereafter with proper cellaring.

 

Fine wine connoisseurs, wine aficionados, and everyday wine enthusiasts are aware that Albariño wine comes from Spain. It is the Galician area of Spain that continues to enjoy an image of being wine producing area that exudes fun, excitement, and an innovative style that is modern and yet traditional in superior quality. This area of Spain is viewed as producing products which offer good value and high quality. Consumers are looking for a safe wine adventure when trying a new wine, especially undiscovered regions or lesser known varietals. Another strong advantage for 2 AMIGOS wine is the delightful aromatic nose, refreshing taste and bone-dry character which complements most current food trends.

Romano Brands Fine Wines will be the exclusive United States importer of 2 AMIGOS and will actively be seeking distributors for 2 AMIGOS Albariño.  Wine shops and restaurants interested in sampling 2 AMIGOS should contact Romano Brands at 516 681-5159 or email at MAR@RomanoBrands.com.  Consumers should ask their favorite wine provider for 2 AMIGOS by name, accepting NO substitutes!

Perfect pairing – Maison Belle Claire

Maison Belle Claire Cotes de Provence Rosé matches so many foods perfectly and should be considered to be the most ideal wine for everyday enjoyment.