Cheers to the Wonderful Italian Wines for Summertime
“This event marks the changing of the seasons. It is now summer and at the Italian trade Commission, today, we are celebrating Wonderful Italian Wines for Summertime.” This is how Lucio Caputo, President of the Italian Food & Wine Institute welcomed guests to a special wine and food tasting event exhibiting the best summer wines, especially Spumanti,Rosé, Prosecco and Moscato, and food specialties from Italy.
“This is a special occasion that we celebrate almost every year now,” Mr. Caputo continued
to explain, “The idea is to put together Italian food, especially the Mediterranean type of food that is very good for the summer, with some Italian wines that are tailored for the summertime... so I am talking about light white wines, Proseccos, and Moscatos. All wines that are very popular and successful at the moment. Moscato is booming, it is having great success because it is very low in alcohol content and people like to drink it. They can drink a lot of it without any serious consequences. All these light wines are perfect for beach parties and outdoor receptions. We are also presenting some light reds and some blush wines, that are drunk chilled are good with pizza and even fish. Who says that you can only have white with fish?”
Wonderful Italian Wines for Summertime, jointly organized by the Italian Wine & Food Institute and the Italian Trade Commission, welcomed 26 labels: Abraxas Vigne di Pantelleria, Anselmi, Bartenura, Bertani, Bottega Vinaia, Cantine Silvestri, Castel Sole, Cavit, Citra Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, Concilio, Fantinel, Feudi di San Gregorio, Fontanafredda, Le Ginestre, Lunetta, Mazzei-Belguardo, Nando, Planeta, Rocca delle Macie, Sella & Mosca, Serafini & Vidotto, Tenuta Carretta, Testa, Toser, Tutidi and Vanzini. Along with their fresh and sparkling wines there was food prepared just for the occasion by Serafina, Le Cirque and SD26 restaurants.
“Italian wines, as well as Italian food, are a great success because their formula is successful: you get high quality at affordable prices,” Mr. Caputo continued. “The road to success is wide open. Definitely both California and French wines are good but they cost a fortune. And let me add that some Italian wines are so light that you can drink them every day and you don't even get a headache... you don't feel drunk or tired. This is true in regards to food as well, there definitely are foods from other countries that are very good but they are incredibly heavy, and if you eat that food every day you end up in the hospital because of too much grease or too much butter. Italian summer food is very light and also very healthy. This is why we are number one!”
A few words on Italian sparklers: according to etymological sources, the term spumante was not used in a wine context until 1908, more than 40 years following the first Italian sparkling wine using the méthode champenoise produced by Carlo Gancia which was then sold as Moscato Champagne.
Sparkling wines are made throughout Italy but the Italian sparklers most widely seen on the world market are the Franciacorta from Lombardy, Asti from Piedmont, Lambrusco from Emilia and Prosecco from Veneto. Though Franciacorta wines are made according to the traditional method, most Italian sparkling wines, in particular Asti and Prosecco, are made with the Charmat method.
Asti is a slightly sweet sparkler made from the Moscato grape in the province of Asti. The wine is noted for its low alcohol levels around 8% and fresh, grapey flavors. Moscato d'Asti is a frizzante style slightly sparkling version of Asti; it is sweeter and contains even less alcohol, typically around 5.5%. Prosecco is made in both fully sparkling (spumante) and lightly sparkling (frizzante) styles. (Wikipedia)