Day 7 – 12 days of Wine – Italy and Prosecco
Albino Armani Prosecco DOC Extra Dry, Grave, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
Italy is a country with more than 400 grape varieties. Because the country evolved with many regions in isolation due to the Apennine mountain chain that runs down the country’s center, there are many sub-varieties. This brings the total number closer to 2000.
Yes, my friends, there are a lot of grapes and wines to learn about here.
The country and its cities are spectacularly beautiful and full of history. We recently spent 3 weeks in the Northern part of Italy, and I’m still reliving that trip daily. The people, the food, the wine, the scenery… what’s not to love.
While there are many wines we could have chosen, we decided to go with a sparkling wine, probably the one you are most familiar with from Italy, Prosecco.
Parts of the region have spectacular hills, and you will hear people speak about ‘heroic viticulture.’ That’s no joke. Some of the hills are up to 65 degrees!
Prosecco is a sparkling wine made primarily from a grape called glera (that used to be called prosecco) in Northern Italy. These wines come specifically from the Veneto or Friuli Venezia Guilia, which is the Northeast corner of Italy.
The wine is made in the Charmat or Martinotti Method. A base wine is made from the glera. Then the wine is put in a large stainless steel tank called an autoclave for its second fermentation (this is where the bubbles form). The tank is pressurized and holds in the bubbles.
When you put your nose in a glass of Prosecco, you can expect aromas of crisp green apple, honeydew melon, pear, white flowers, apricot, lemon, and lime.
I had the opportunity to attend an online event with Albino Armani, the man, the namesake for the winery. He is humble and knowledgeable and it was an honor to hear him speak about his wines.
He is the President of the Consorzio delle Venezie and has vineyards in Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
As a winery, they see their work as a legacy. The Armani family has 400 years of uninterrupted history in the vineyard, always as farmers. The vineyards and land that Albino grew up on in Trentino had been worked by the family for 250 years.
They produce not only Prosecco but a wide range of varieties and blends from the 3 regions where they have vineyards, including Pinot Grigio and Amarone.
Albino Armani Prosecco DOC Extra Dry
The fruit for this wine comes from Grave Friulana, a little further afield than the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene region best known for Prosecco. This region is in Friuli Venezia Giulia, which is Northeast of Veneto.
While made in the Charmant Method, this Prosecco has surprisingly fine perlage (bubbles). This is a refreshing and delicious wine with fruit notes like white peach, green and yellow apple, and a bit of citrus and mineral notes.
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They make several other Proseccos, all of which are worth trying!
Why we chose this wine
We spoke of Albino Armani as looking at their work as a legacy. With their long history, they understand a long view and look to what they will leave for future generations.
They are protecting varieties that are endangered, like Casetta, which they rediscovered in the 1980s, and have a project called “Conservatoria,” a vineyard that houses 13 ancestral grape varieties. I am grateful for their efforts as a lover of rare and interesting grape varieties and wine.
For them, sustainability is not a catchphrase. It is the way their family has always farmed. They note this on their site:
“Sustainability for our family is an ancient value, which in other times would have been called wisdom or common sense.”
Supporting the ecosystem and the community is just something that they do and have always done.
Ginger seared scallops in peanut sauce
Scallops are delicious and luxurious. For our spoon, we used Bay scallops as they are smaller. Seared with ground ginger to give a boost to the flavor, we served them with a peanut sauce, crunchy fresh carrot and cucumber, aromatic herbs, mint, basil and cilantro, and crunchy noodles.
This slightly spicy bite is lovely with Prosecco.
Check out our book series, “Tempting Spoonfuls” available through Amazon!
Inspired by the flavors and aromas in wines, this book creates “tempting spoonfuls” of flavors to pair with wines.
Robin has always had a love for spoons, with a drawer full of them in all different shapes and sizes. There is comfort in eating something from a spoon and something very sensual also.
Creating a spoon filled with flavors and aromas that will be eaten in a single bite, allowing the flavors to meld and pop in your mouth, is a joyful endeavor, and you are encouraged to make these your own.
The spoons range from savory to sweet, with something for everyone, and while they are paired with wines, they are delicious on their own.
These recipes are wonderful for appetizers and hors d’oeuvres or simple to create something delicious to spoil yourself, much like a pint of ice cream.
Each of these spoons is paired with a specific wine, and you get a bit of background on the wine, its flavors, aromas, and a bit of its story. She also includes other suggestions for wines to pair with the spoon.
The book is a feast for your eyes, with photos of each layered spoonful.
There are also photos of the wines with the elements of their flavor profile surrounding them. Those elements often inspire the pairing.
The goal is to make your mouth water and encourage you to create your own “Tempting Spoonfuls.”
“Tempting Spoonfuls – Pairing single bites with glorious wines” – Our first book paired wines from boutique wineries on the west coast, in California, Oregon, and Washington, with delicious spoonfuls.
This book is 60 pages, 18 recipes, lots of beautiful photos, and insights into some fantastic small wineries!
“Tempting Spoonfuls – small bites paired with wines from around the Globe” – This book takes us around the globe to explore 12 wine regions, a wine from the region, and then gives you a recipe for a pairing!
A slightly larger book at 104 pages, this time you learn about pairing with a type of wine from a region. Rather than a specific bottle, you can look for a style of wine from a region and feel confident that it will go well with the recipe pairing we provide. We give you 12 recipes, each to pair with a wine.
Either of these books gives you wonderful recipes to create appetizer spoons to pair with wines for a party!
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine and WSET 3 Certified. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.
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