The Goddess of Wine is still catching up on her October events...sigh... On Wednesday, October 30th, JD and I braved the morning traffic over the canyons to reach the Mr. C hotel in Beverly Hills in order to learn about and taste some Italian wines presented by Simply Italian. These intrepid folks had flown in the night before from a similar event in Chicago and, despite their pleasant demeanor, we could see how tired they were.
The first seminar Regulating Italian Wines in Today’s Market presented by Federdoc featuring Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, President, and Paul Wagner, Instructor for Napa Valley College’s Viticulture and Enology department, started late and ran into the set up for the next seminar. The information presented was a brief recap of some of the legislative changes that have taken place regarding the DO/DOCG system in the Mediterranean region. The system protects trademarks and appellations - not just wine, but all foods that are specific to an area. The presentation was somewhat marred by an attendee who obviously needed to let everyone know how much he knew about the regions and the subject, as he continually interrupted and derailed the presentation, not just in the first seminar, but all through the morning, adding to an already problematic day.
From approximately 11:00am - 12:00pm (starting late because of the lateness of the first seminar), The Character of Veneto Wines presented by U.Vi.Ve. (Unione Vini Veneti) was disappointing due to some conditions that may not have been preventable, given the particular venue. The room was overcrowded and hot and the speakers' low audibility created problems for anyone not sitting in the first few rows. The wines were pre-poured - which is fine - but warmed up a bit too fast due to the heat in the room, so they weren't shown to their best advantage. Speakers Arturo Stocchetti, President of Consorzio Unione Vini Veneti DOC, Alessandro Torcoli, Publisher of Civiltà del Bere and Piero Selvaggio, Owner Valentino Restaurants did their best for a restive and uncomfortable crowd.
From 1:00pm - 2:00pm, the Chianti Classico Revolution: The Black Rooster Crows at the Dawn of a New Age was presented by Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico with speaker Paul Wagner, Instructor for Napa Valley College’s Viticulture and Enology department, was great. Paul is a delightful and charming instructor with a true passion for his subject. The wines were pretty delicious, too.
We broke at 2:00 to run upstairs to the grand tasting and a delicious buffet lunch. However, the tasting was so crowded that it was a bit difficult to effectively taste wines. We did have a lovely taste of the refreshing sparkling wines of Raphael Dal Bo. Truly some of the best Prosecco I've ever had. We tried tasting a few more wines, but the press of the crowd was a bit too much for me, and JD's recently repaired knee was tired, so we went downstairs and sat outside in the cool, fresh air until the final seminar of the day.
From 4:00pm – 5:00pm we were treated to The Fabulous Wine of Piedmont presented by Produttori delle Langhe with speakers Alessandro Torcoli, Publisher of Civiltà del Bere and Piero Selvaggio, Owner Valentino Restaurants. This time, with a smaller group of attendees, we were able to effectively hear the speakers while we tasted through three beautiful Barolos.
We headed for home, opting to forgo the last hour of the walk-around tasting. This particular event underscores my reluctance to attend some of the larger tasting events. When too many wineries are crammed into a room, and the usual crowd of press and trade attendees converge, it becomes a challenge just to move from table to table, and for me, the wines lose their distinctiveness.
Participating wineries - many looking for distribution in the US - included: Azienda Agricola Biasiotto • Azienda Agricola Domenico Fraccaroli • Azienda Agrciola Le Albare • Azienda Agricola Ricci Curbastro • Bennati • Cantina Alice Bel Colle • Cantina Produttori Cormòns • Cantine Monfort • Cesconi • Federdoc • Glocalwine Export • Gradisciutta di Princic Robert • Orion Wines • Poggio Torselli • Pojer & Sandri • Ribevi Wine International • CONSORZIO FRIULI GRAVE: Piera Martellozzo • CONFCOOPERATIVE UMBRIA: Cantina Cardeto • Cantina del Trasimeno “Duca della Corgna” • Cantina Tudernum • Cantine Bettona • Cantine Terre de' Trinci • Sasso dei Lupi • CONSORZIO VINI DI ROMAGNA: Azienda Agricola Alessandro Morini “Podere Morini”• Azienda Randi • Bissoni Raffaella Alessandra • Celli Snc Di Sirri & Casadei Socierà Agricola • Casa Vinicola Poletti • Tenuta La Viola • Tenuta Palazzona Di Maggio • Tre Monti • CAMERA DI COMMERCIO DI UDINE: Azienda Agricola Branko • Azienda Agricola Lorenzon • Azienda Agricola Perusini • Casa Vinicola Antonutti • Comelli Paolino • Forchir Winegrowers in Friuli • Petrussa Società Agricola • Talis Wines • Tenute Tomasella • U.VI.VE. (UNIONE CONSORZI VINI VENETI DOC): Cantina del Castello • Casa Vitivinicola Tinazzi • Parol Vini • Raphael Dal Bo • Roncolato Antonio
For some highlights of the walk-around tasting, check out my friend Randy Fuller's post at Now and Zin Wine Time Tasting.