Indulge in Italian Wines We Love at Bistro Menil’s November Wine Dinner

Italy is the world’s second largest producer of wine (after France) and each year, one in 50 Italians is involved with the grape harvest. The country is home to more than 50,000 wineries, so it’s no wonder that the boot-shaped nation is referred to as enotria — meaning the “land of wine.”

photo courtesy of wine

photo courtesy of wine

Throughout the millennia, Italy’s wine culture and cultivation has always remained at the forefront of innovation and creativity. In ancient times, Italy was well positioned to lead global wine culture, due entirely to its rich diversity of grape varieties and thousands of acres devoted to vines. Wine became the first “globally” traded product in western civilization, and Italy was at the very heart of the trade.

In more recent memory, Italy has been the bearer of everyday “staples” — think the classic red table wine or Chianti Classico. Production and distribution of this genre of wine created a perception of Italy as a mass producer, where other European wine countries were seen as purveyors of innovation and quality. But a renewed energy and focus on quality over quantity created a revolution, ultimately paving the way for Italy to regain its place as a producer of some of the best wines anywhere in the world.

Bistro Menil’s November wine dinner will highlight some of our favorite Italian wines and celebrates Italy’s longstanding reputation as a leader and innovator in wine culture.

Here are a few tidbits about the wines we’ve selected:

2014 Domaine Vetriccie Corse
Region: Corsica, France
Varietal: Nielluccio, Sciacarellu and Grenache

Sure, Corsica is technically in France, but Corsicans don’t really think of themselves as French. The tiny island has been producing wine for more than 2,500 years, primarily in the Italian tradition. Nielluccio, Sciacarello and Vermentino are the leading grape varieties from Corsica; our appetizer course wine features a blend of 50% Nielluccio (known as the spice wine of France), 35 percent Sciacarello and 15 percent Grenache. The light pink Rose offers floral aromas such as cranberry, blackberry and blackcurrant with a palate of generous fruit and berries.

Food pairing: Fritto Misto of shrimp, calamari, onion, zucchini, fennel & lemon; lightly fried with a parsley mayonnaise.

2010 Corte Alla Flora Loggiato IGT Toscana (Super Tuscan)
Region: Tuscany, Italy
Varietal: Sangiovese and Cabernet Francnov dinner with rose on left

Tuscany is quite literally the center of Italian wine-making. It’s located in the geographical center of the country. With its dreamy landscapes, cypress adorned hills and picturesque stone farmhouses, it’s no wonder how Tuscany became synonymous with Italian wine making and culture on a global scale. Italy’s recent wine revolution was jump-started when storied Tuscan producers began blending classic Italian wines with international varieties. These wines became known as “Super Tuscans.” Our entree pairing is a great example of a “Super Tuscan” and blends 70 percent Sangiovese with 30 percent Cabernet Franc. Unlike other wines from Corte Alla, this blend is made before aging, which allows the varieties to create a harmonious merging during refining.

Food pairing: Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank with creamy polenta and wild mushrooms.

2014 Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superior Rive di Farra Di Soligo
Region: Veneto, Italy
Varietal: Glera

Wine making in the northern region of Italy is a story of the winemaker’s battle against nature. The Italian Alps border the Po River, leaving tiny pockets and unique microclimates along the foot of the mountains. Wines from the north are exclusive gems with an extraordinary ability to age. Our dessert course selection hails from this region, in specific the Valdobbiadene area. This sparkling wine gives aromas of white spring flowers, orchard fruits lead the nose –— both sought after characteristics of wines from Valdobbiadene. The palate offers delicate hints of nut, crisp pear and yellow apple.

Food pairing: Warm Pecan Tart with Vanilla Gelato.

We look forwarding to sharing these delicious Italian wines with you at our November Wine Dinner.


November Wine Dinner – The Italian Wines of Vino Vero
November 22, 4–9 p.m.
$65 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Call 713-904-3537 to make reservations.

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