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8 q

by Sonny Figueroa

frappatoAfter three straight lessons with white wines, I’m ready for a red, aren’t you? So this month we will drink a red that enjoys a light chill, a necessity perhaps in July.
The grape is frappato, and the wine comes from the Vittoria region of southeast Sicily. The wines of Mount Etna may be getting all the attention, but the wines of Vittoria deserve to be recognized.
The leading wine of the region is Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a blend of frappato and nero d’Avola. We will be tasting straight-up frappatos, which are a little lighter than Cerasuolos and can be enjoyed a little sooner.
Reds like frappato have gained popularity in recent years as consumers have come to appreciate wines that rely on freshness rather than power. Twenty-five years ago it was an entirely different story, as producers in Sicily were betting on international varieties like merlot and cabernet, but tastes have evolved. Nowadays, consumers are far more interested in indigenous grapes like frappato than those grown everywhere else in the world

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by Eric Asimov

Among the many harbingers of warm weather, one of my favorites is the N.Y.U. Hawk Cam, starring a pair of red-tailed hawks that have nested since 2011 on a ledge, overlooking Washington Square Park, outside the office of the president of New York University. As I sit at my computer, I’ve got half an eye on this year’s nestlings, three little hawks that are now tiny white balls of down, too weak to sit up for long. By the beginning of summer, they will be nearly fully grown and strutting the ledge, impatient to fledge into the wilds of Greenwich Village. The hawks are a reminder that human behavior, too, is informed by the seasons. Just as many people gravitate to lighter foods as the weather warms, so do they seek out lighter wines as summer approaches. For this edition of 20 Under $20, whites and rosés predominate, though reds will always have their place, accompanying the grilled steaks, ribs and burgers of summer. For some years now I have made the case that the greatest values in wine are in the vicinity of $20 a bottle. It’s easy to find palatable wines for under $10, but very rarely will those bottles offer any sense of excitement or distinctiveness. Spend a little more, say, $15 to $20, and the number of distinctive, exciting bottles increases exponentially. Occasionally, such bottles can be found for less — one of my favorites here is just $12.99 — but the probability is low. Read more…

Majestic Wine: 5 Questions With Valle dell’Acate Owner Gaetana Jacono

“Life is too short to drink bad wine,” stated Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Celebrating excellence in wine is the rally cry for Vinitaly, the largest wine exhibition in the world. Attended every year in Verona, Italy, by producers, importers, restaurateurs and journalists, all participants are eager to share and discover new trends and exchange ideas on this internationally recognized Italian tradition of excellence. Once again the city of Romeo and Juliet is the world’s wine capital this week, where from April 15-18 Verona is transformed into a prestigious world-class showcase of the best of the best in Italian wines.

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From 15 to 18 April you can find us at Vinitaly 2018.

Our stand | Hall 2 Sicily .  Stand 75 E



Milan, March 7th, 2018 – its name is Bellifolli and it is the new project of the Sicilian cellar Valle dell’Acate, a winery present for six generations in the world of the island’s wine. The project will be illustrated today in an advance presentation at the Palazzo Serbelloni in Milan. A brilliant line of wines created after reflecting on the success of Frappato both in Italy and on International markets; a wine which is fresh and light. A red wine which also goes well with fish and is a fine match to many international dishes. And is much liked by the younger generation. Bellifolli synthesizes the character and the contrasts of Sicily and the Sicilians: the beauty and the moments of folly, the light and the shade, the sea in turmoil and the warm sirocco breeze – all of this which, together, has created an identity which can be seen in one of the marvels of the island, its spectacular Baroque architecture.
“As a child I walked through the streets of our cities protected by the “mascheroni”, the fantastic or grotesque faces which jut out from the facades of the palaces. We Sicilians have lived with them for centuries, they are part of our daily life. They narrate, murmur, observe – comments Gaetana Jacono, proprietor of Valle Dell’Acate –and adds that Interbrand, the principal brand consultancy firm on a global level, has known how to interpret our concept with much intelligence, giving it an up to date style and approach. Here are four wines – Syrah, Nero d’Avola, Insolia, Grillo & Chardonnay – which are marvelously Sicilian and have obtained the effect we hoped for on the younger generations, that of appreciation and total surprise”.

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8 q

corona di riso con funghi misti trifolati.jpegWe marry this plate, light but rich, for a winter which does not wish to go away, with our Cerasuolo di Vittoria which, with its elegance, is a lovely match to this rice ring with mushrooms.

The nose of Frappato, with its notes of violets and raspberries, invite tasting, as does the velvety palate of Nero d’Avola, where red fruit returns together with light sensations of chocolate.  They fuse with the flavors of cheese and the meatiness of the mushrooms. The wine marches alongside this delicious dish. As always, Cerasuolo di Vittoria is “food friendly”, a wine of good structure which speaks of Sicily in a modern and elegant way, it is a “classic” of ours and is aged in large oak casks for a period which is not excessively long.
2014 is  a felicitous year for this wine, entrusted to the knowing hands of winemaker Carlo Casavecchia.

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8 q

From 18 to 20 March you can find us at Prowein 2018.

Our stand | Merumpress, Halle 16 stand E71


We add Bidis Chardonnay to this  rich dish, one cooked in a light way and certainly wintery, a white wine of important structure  but only moderately alcoholic and warm, one which maintains its acidity. And which, thanks to our “white soil”, conserves its freshness. Its elegance is an excellent contrast to this typical plate of peasant tradition. Great balance on the palate.


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Potato cake
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Gateau di patate2.JPG

To this traditional Sicilian dish, which I revisited in an easy and tasty version, I combine our Il Frappato because it takes a red, light, fresh, capable of supporting the potato and salami. Able to take you to Sicily and leave you complexity but lightness in your mouth.
Perfect for a tasty lunch but leave you focused!


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THE HOUSE OF PAIRINGS | recipe of Davide Di Corato

A second course to be served together with Il Frappato.

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