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

 

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.

amarone-valpolicella-region-by-ryan-opaz-catavino

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.

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”

Mellot label

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!

Liberté offers two new wines.

Romano Brands Fine Wines is announcing the welcomed addition to the very successful Liberté brand with the extension to include the new Liberté Pinot Noir Reserve and Liberté Sauvignon Blanc Reserve

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

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

Upcoming for the spring season, Romano Brands Fine Wines will have an additional Liberté Pinot Noir Rosé as well to add to the repertoire.

The new wine additions will be very price approachable for the consumer, whether it be at their favorite wine shop or in their favorite restaurants.

Quality/price ratio has been designed with the consumer in mind.

The time is now to enjoy great wine.  Liberate yourself from ordinary.

Set yourself free with Liberté.

Enjoy FREEDOM!

 

Rocca Family Vineyards keeps getting the highest well deserved ratings!

 

Robert Parker’s “Wine Advocate” touts Rocca Family Vineyards and awards high scores for two outstanding Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon’s!

In 1999 the two owners Mary Rocca and Eric Grigsby purchased the 21 acre property after a 3 year search for the “ideal” Napa Valley vineyard site.  Mary called upon renowned winemaker Celia Welch, then Celia Masyczek to produce the label’s first vintages.

The debut bottling was the 2000 Syrah, a varietal which to this day garners praise and awards for the Rocca family. But Rocca really got on the map in 2002, when its Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet came in #1 in a blind tasting of 12 Rising Star Cabernets.

Later, the wine was taken with a group of 12 other Cabernets to show in France’s 12 Best Cabernets from California. It came in #1 over there as well. Finally, those same 12 Cabs had another blind tasting competition in SF to see how they would rank by American consumers. It came in #1 again!

Rocca’s star was rising fast. But so far they have been much under the radar, but I have a feeling that this will change soon. The current winemaker Paul Colantuoni worked for many years under Celia Welch and has taken a few pages out of her “note book” and it shows with the new wines.

ROCCA Tesorina 2013v – 95 Pts- Robert Parker

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Rocca 2013 Tesorina is everything you’d expect from their flagship bottling – the “little treasure” – from one of the most extraordinary vintages Napa Valley has ever seen.  We consider it the most complete, profound, utterly beautiful wine we’ve produced to date.  There’s a deep, rich core of sweet black cherry and wild blackberry fruit here, with fascinating complexity that comes from prominent spice notes, hints of spring flowers and graphite and rock dust, and a significant melted chocolate component.

On the palate this is full-bodied, densely packed stuff, with serious depth and substance.  In a perfect reflection of this very special vintage, though, the wine expresses its richness and concentration with exquisite balance and elegance.  The texture of this wine is simply extraordinary.  It’s gorgeously lush and sumptuous, and it finishes with rich, beautifully polished tannins that are reminiscent of the softest cashmere.  This is an iconic expression of a truly exceptional vintage in Napa Valley, and we hope you’ll treasure it for many years to come.

ROCCA Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013-  94 Pts–Robert Parker

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The  2013 Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is the deepest, richest, most complete and balanced version of this wine Rocca has ever produced.  It shows gorgeous weight and density, supported by the exquisitely resolved tannins of the extraordinary 2013 vintage.

The overall theme here is one of perfectly ripe dark red fruit, especially sweet black cherries, beautifully complemented by sophisticated spice and floral elements as well as prominent notes of vineyard dust and rock quarry dust.  The quality of the vintage is particularly evident on the mid-palate, where tremendous richness perfectly matches the luscious black cherry flavors, and on a highly polished, silky smooth finish that seems to last forever.  This is one that you can enjoy for a long, long time to come.

Robert Parker 94 Points The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Grigsby Vineyard from Yountville is a softer, almost Margaux-style of wine compared to the Coombsville. The wine offers Asian plum sauce, a touch of ripe, black cherries and blackcurrants, background smoky oak and a nice fleshy full-bodied mouthfeel with velvety tannins and well-integrated acidity, wood and alcohol. This is a beauty that can be drunk now, or cellared for another 15 years.”

Both of these award winning wines are produced in very limited quantities.

Rocca wines are available in New York exclusively through Romano Brands Fine wines.

Contact Michael Romano at (646) 948-1100 for additional information.

ROSÉ ! – ROSÉ !! – ROSÉ !!!  Attention: Wine Distributors; Wine Retailers; and Restaurant Wine Buyers…

Maison Belle Claire Côtes de Provence Rosé is arriving !!

mbc-web_12x18_72dpi_belleclaire-prestige-with-mbc_8344The new vintage is arriving!  Maison Belle Claire Cotes de Provence Rose is available for your sampling.   Call us NOW to request your sample – (646) 948-1100

13532791_491742694350083_375755471917875301_nYes – Rosé is still red hot.  As a matter of fact, it remains the fastest growing sales category in the alcohol beverage industry. stop-smell-the-rose

Another great vintage was had in Provence and the Rose’ is nothing short of spectacular!  But seeing (I mean…TASTING) is believing; so call me now at (646) 948-1100 to request your sample.fun-fact-picture

So ask yourself if you have the “right” Rose?  If your Rose sales are sluggish, you don’t have the right one!  Get Maison Belle Claire now – it’s the proven leader –                             call NOW (646) 948-1100

Cheers!!

www.MaisonBelleClaire.com

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Romano Brands & Sevenfifty.com – making it easy to order wine!

rbi-logoRomano Brands & www.Sevenfifty.com – are making it easy to order wine!
479402_409955319030465_1923802836_oSevenfifty.com is a state-of-the-art, modern platform for the beverage alcohol trade.

Restaurants, bars, and fine wine retailers can easily search for our products and easily view our wholesale pricing.

Romano Brands Fine Wine customers can discover a trove of educational material about our products, including labels, tasting notes, and detailed pricing information that helps you learn more about our wines.

We understand how annoying it is to deal with applications and resale certificates when trying to set up a new account. We’ve rebuilt this process, and you’ll start working with Romano Brands Fine Wines easily.

Buyers will now be able to fill out all the information needed for an account application and resale certificate just once, then submit your application to any distributor with a single click. You’ll receive completed, electronically signed forms, with no scanning or faxing required.

This service is free but not available to the public – it is exclusive to the trade only.

For the public & trade: please see us at www.RomanoBrands.com

Exclusive for the Trade: join us at Sevenfifty at www.Sevenfifty.com