Wine Weekly – Melissa Rosso Mutro

This week, we are going to share some information about Greek and Italian wines from the “toe” region of Italy.  How are these related you may ask? Well, the region of Calabria is  where ancient Greeks cultivated their first wine-bearing vines.  And the connection between ancient Greeks wines and Gigi Trattoria?  One of our favorite red wines;  the Melissa Rosso Mutro.

In the dry, rugged Central Ionian coast of Calabria, the Mutro was born. Made of 75% Galioppo and 25% Greco Nero, this red wine is medium bodied and earthy.  It also has flavors of strawberry, blackberry, cherry and even a hint of chocolate, making this wine delicious on its own or with food.  The name
Mutro comes from the name of the ancient hunting area where Kings would
shoot wild boar. This seems very appropriate since the Mutro pairs
wonderfully with meat.  Enjoy it with our Pork Scallopine or the Tagliatelle
Berta.  The hint of berry adds a fruity balance to the richness of both
these dishes.

It’s only natural that such a great wine would come from a region of Italy once called Magna Grecia or “Great Greece.”  The Greeks can take credit for much of the foundation of the vinification of this region.  Many of the wines founded here wound up surpassing those that were being made in Greece. The Melissa DOC however is a younger region only dating back to 1979.  It means “sweet” which is a juxtaposition of the Ciro DOC, the other major wine
producing region in the area.  The Melissa region is divided from the Ciro region by only 6 miles, making for quite the competition between the two.

The Melissa Rosso Mutro does not have much competition here at Gigi Trattoria.  It is the only wine we carry from Calabria, and one of the gems of our wine list.  And if you come in on Wednesday, all of our bottled wines are 30% off.  Bonus! We bet you will be praising the Greek God’s once you have tried the Mutro.

Learn more about this wine and where it is made here, here, and here.

The Launch of Wine Weekly – Rosé

As you may know, our team is very involved in what we do. We are passionate about the whole dining experience. I believe that being passionate about food means being open; open to new experiences, new flavors, new pairings, and new ideas.

When Gigi Trattoria first opened, we were very much an Italian Trattoria, and our wines reflected that. For the first five years or so, our wine list was all Italian wines. Firstly, they reflected our menu at the time, and paired perfectly with our food. But, secondly, if I’m being honest, Italian wines were dead center in my comfort zone. They were what I knew, had experienced, and liked.

Well, Gigi Trattoria has evolved over time. We now incorporate many Mediterranean elements and ideologies in our menu, which has resulted in our evolution to “Gigi-Hudson Valley Mediterranean.” As our food progressed, I came to realize we needed to re-think our wine menu to better reflect and accompany the flavors and food choices on our menu. Part of that journey was my own experience in learning about Mediterranean wines, especially Spanish wines. I was pleasantly pleased to discover there are now a lot of amazing Spanish wines out there that offer great price performance!

We are really proud of our wine list now. It is a really thoughtful list that represents the best quality and value of Italian and Spanish wines. These wines are built for the food we serve. Wine shouldn’t overwhelm, it should partner with food. There is intrinsically something very complimentary about wines from the Mediterranean. We are also proud of the fact that we are able to pass on good value and quality to our customers. My hope in starting this weekly feature on our blog is to take our loyal clientele on a journey. A journey like the one I took, which will perhaps take them beyond their comfort zone, and give them the opportunity to explore new wines, new flavors, and new pairings.

Image Courtesy of italiaatavola.net

We’ll be talking about a different one from our menu every week, trying to expand horizons while helping you better understand our thought process and how we try to integrate our wines into the dining experience.

And to be clear, this won’t just be me, all of our staff will be participating; our managers, our servers, our bartenders, our chefs…Everyone is very much looking forward to bringing their insight “to the table.”

We hope you enjoy the feature. And, keep in mind, every Wednesday, we offer 30% of bottles in the Trattoria, the perfect opportunity to try something from our list that might have piqued your interest!

We thought we would kick off with a look at two rosé wines that we feature and provide you with some information about both.

 Rosé Bieler Pereet Fils, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, 2011: $30; Glass: $9

  • Classic pleasing warm weather Provencal rosé. Great for sipping and dining. Enjoy with our crispy calamari, seafood risotto or pasta, Gigi Skizzas™ or our antipasti platter with selections of vegetables, cheeses and cured meats.
  • Aroma: raspberry, bing cherries, wild strawberries, spicy minerality
  • Palate: medium body and notes of red berries, bing cherries, spice and no oak
  • Finish: long and refreshing
  • Varietals: 50% syrah, 30% Grenach, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Marramiero Dama Montepulciano Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo, Italy 2010 $10 gls/$32 btl

Cerasuolo – “Cherry Red”

  • Made mostly of Montepulcino grape
  • Cerasuolo can be a sticky term in Italian wine as it has a few different uses.  In general it means “cherry red” in color and can be used to describe the overall color of any rosato (rosé) wine. However, it has some more specific applications as well. First, there is a DOC Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo where the term is applied as part of the DOC to mean rosato that comes from Abruzzo. The Denomination of Origin “Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo” is reserved for wines from vineyards in the region composed of at least 85% Montepulciano. Blending grapes/other non-aromatic red grapes suitable for cultivation in the region of Abruzzo alone or together are permitted up to a maximum of 15%.(2)  Marramiero “Dama” Cerasuolo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo There are standards for color and for character in the DOC Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo as well:
  • Color – cherry/pink
  • Nose – fruity and intense with hints of spice
  • Taste –  bright, fruit driven but still dry

Which would you like to try?

Cin Cin!

-Laura