Wine maker Robert Mondavi once proclaimed, “Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.”
Perfectly articulated, we completely agree. There is something about the communal experience of sharing a great bottle with people you care about that is so pleasurable and comforting. And if you love good wine as much as we do, there’s no better place to experience it than this month at Vinitaly.
The largest event of its kind, this is more than another wine boondoggle or indulgent festival. This important event attracts every segment of the wine business from all over the globe. On April 14 – 18, thousands of industry professionals will converge on the city of Verona to share in the latest market trends, technology, and innovations aimed at connecting supply and demand for this massive industry.
It’s no secret, we love our Italian travel. And spending a week in this beautiful city with the opportunity to attend 400 plus events all about wine, including some of the best tastings in the world, is a long-time dream at the top of our travel bucket list.
To give you an idea of just how large this event has become, there will be approximately 128,000 visitors. 48,000 of them are international buyers and 80,000 are Italian trade attendees. In addition, there are approximately 4,300 exhibitors from 30 countries, and about 3,000 journalists for an impressive blitz of media coverage from every angle.
Our head is spinning just thinking about it all. And we haven’t had a single glass of wine yet!
In addition to this world-renowned event, Vinitaly has other platforms offered year-round to entice and engage the wine expert or connoisseur. For starters, there’s a wine club where you can discover Italian wines and learn more about each one and how they were made. Then there is the Vinitaly International Academy, launched to educate the world on the complexity of the Italian wine growing regions and now offers certification courses. In partnership with Wine Spectator, they’ve also launched OperaWine, an exclusive event aimed at “appraising the distinctive characteristics of Italian wine.” They have wine business networking events, and they host prestigious wine judging events for 5 star and international wines.
If you haven’t heard of Vinitaly before, we encourage you to check out their website to see the breadth of their support for the entire wine industry as well as their commitment to wine education. It’s an impressive organization, to say the least. We salute our Italian friends for making their impressive mark on the industry.
For our own inspiration and education, we took a trip to one of our local wine merchants and made a beeline for the Italian section. In celebration of this prestigious event, we’ll be pairing some of our favorite wines with our exquisite hand-blown Italian glassware from the Villa d’Este collection. These stunning glasses are treasured works of art, yet perfect for sampling and savoring the rich and fruity palate of a Super Tuscan red, or even a crisp, sparkling prosecco before dinner.
Plate up a beautiful cheese and charcuterie platter on one of our many Italian dinnerware collections, and in no time at all, it’s wine o’clock!
If you’re lucky enough to be in Verona during Vinitaly, and to actually attend, you’re in an envious position indeed. We hope to indulge in the coming years, but meanwhile, we raise our glass to you. Saluti!
In honor of Vinitaly, we have a couple of Italian wine recommendations to explore. And if neither of these sounds right for you, ask your wine merchant for a great suggestion. Italian wines are some of the best wines in the world and spending the time to educate yourself on the various regions and grape varietals is a pleasure in and of itself.
Zardetto – Prosecco Brut NV, $17
This sparkling prosecco is made from Glera grapes sourced from various vineyards in the hilly part of the DOC region, northeast of Conegliano.
Its lemon-yellow color offers elegant bubbles and a hearty white froth. Enjoy the aromas of white flowers, apricot, and herbs with slight honey notes. The palate is comprised of citrus, orange blossoms, and stone fruits which linger on the finish. It's an ideal apertif and a perfect choice for any type of celebration or a quiet night at home.
Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo 2015, $28
Wine Spectator gives this earthy Tuscan blend a 90. “Fresh and enticing, with cherry, raspberry, tobacco and spice flavors. Firms up on the finish, where vegetal accents and tannins linger. Sangiovese and Merlot. Drink now through 2023.”
It has a deep ruby color and a fruity yet spicy bouquet, with cherry and berries on the palate. There is a vivid acidity which is typical of Sangiovese, with well-integrated tannins and an earthy finish.
This Tuscan pairs well with full flavored meats and roasts.
Blend: 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot