Italian Wine Week in New York City: The 2016 Edition

New York Wine Week is usually a lot of fun, especially when the Italians are involved, (and they almost always participate given the fact that Italy continues to be one of the top wine producing regions in the world). New York City restaurants showcased quality wines from both well established, and new and upcoming vineyards, that might or might not be available yet in The United States.
A tasting of select Italian varietals at Morso Restaurant on May 26, 2016 yielded some wonderful and exciting wine finds and reaffirmed my belief that when it comes to certain varietals, some of the most prevalent names you see on New York City wine store shelves and New York City restaurant lists are not always the best that Italy has to offer.
I usually stay away from Prosecco when it comes to sparkling wines. From my experience, most of them tend to lose their effervescence quickly. They are also fruity and mildly sweet, and not much more than that. Prosecco is made from Glera grapes and it is produced using the Charmat Method.
A tasting of the Dom Gio Prosecco D.O.C. helped me change my mind about Prosecco and what they could offer. This Venetian vineyard is managed by two sisters and they produced two Prosecco with different levels of residual sugar.
The Prosecco D.O.C. Extra Dry was lively, fresh, full of fine mousse, and characterized by juicy apple, apricot, and tropical fruit notes.
The Prosecco D.O.C. Brut had a lower level of residual sugar than the Extra Dry but it also exhibited good effervescence. The Brut was delicate, with balanced acidity and bright apple as well as lemon zest notes.
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Another good discovery came from the brother and sister owned Giovanni Ederle Vineyards in Verona. The Giovanni Ederle Donna Francesca White I.G.P. Bianco Veronese 2011 blend of Garganega and Chardonnay was aged in oak and reminiscent of a Bourgogne style white wine. It was refined and complex with sweet papaya, tropical fruit and subtle honey notes.
A refreshing Theria Vermentino di Sardegna D.O.C. 2015 from Alberto Loi Vineyards in Cagliari was also poured at the tasting. This vintage combined balanced minerality and a slight salinity with dried fruit and sweet spice notes.
Complement these quality vintages with well-crafted dishes ranging from pillowy sea scallops wrapped in bacon to crispy and creamy arancini at Morso Restaurant and you have the recipe for a perfect Italian take on New York Wine Week.

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