Wine Wednesday – Zizzolo

What can be more festive than a ruby red wine?  From a 10 year old vineyard near the foothills of Castagneto Carducci in the region of Tuscany comes one of our new favorite reds on the Gigi Wine List.  Zizzolo from Bolgheri Wine Road is a beautiful blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Acquiring this outstanding Tuscan red has added some cheer to our holiday season and we are truly excited to present it to you.

What is so surprising about Zizzolo is that despite its DOC regulation, like many Bolgheri reds, it is considered nothing more than a table wine.  Bolgheri was barely on the wine map until 1974 when a six year old Sassiacia defeated an assortment of Bordeaux wines in a competition.  In 1983 the DOC was established here for whites and rosés.  Not until 1994 did Bolheri reds get recognized as DOCs.  And boy did they deserve the recognition!

Zizzolo falls under the DOC Bolgheri Rosso because it is made of 60% Merlot and 30% Cabernet.  The grapes macerate for 12 days using only natural yeast.  It is aged in barriques, or barrels and then again in the bottle for 12 months.  The result is an exquisite ruby-red color.  Zizzolo has round tannins and notes of fresh fruit especially darker berries.  And what may be the best feature of Zizzolo is that it pairs well with just about anything.  From our Pork Scalloppine to the Bigoli Col’Anitra with braised Hudson Valley duck & Wiltbank Farm oyster and shitake mushrooms, this wine can be enjoyed with many of our Trattoria specialties.  It is even wonderful on its own.

What makes Zizzolo so special is that there are only about 1,800 cases produced a year!  Here at Gigi Trattoria, we are grateful to have such an amazing wine at such an affordable price.  For only $45 Zizzolo is our holiday gift to you.  And if you come on Wine Wednesday, all of our wines are 30% off!  Happy Holidays from our bottle to your glass!

Want to learn more about Zizzolo, click here. To learn more about Bolgheri click here or here.

Wine Weekly – Barbaresco, Beni di Batasiolo

Considered one of the greatest wines of Italy’s Northwestern region, Barbaresco made from Nebbiolo grapes is held with very high regard.  That is why Gigi Trattoria carries one of the best.  Barbaresco, Beni di Batasiolo is aged for 10 days in stainless steel to allow the skins to ferment and then continues its aging for one year in oak casks and another in the bottle.  This process makes for a full-bodied wine with spicy oak, chewy tannins and hints of cherry and blackberry.  There is even a bit of cinnamon on the palate, making it a perfect wine for a brisk autumn night!

From a small village overlooking the Tanaro River, Batasiolo winery creates this 100% Nebbiolo wine.  The Nebbiolo grape, in case you are unfamiliar with it, is a black-skinned red wine grape that is the star of both Barbareso and Barolo.  These are two of Italy’s most acclaimed red wines.  Originally, Barbaresco was Barolo or Nebbiolo with Moscatello and Passeretta grapes added to it for a touch of effervescence and hint of sweetness.  It was not until the 19th century that Barbaresco was vinified for a dry style.  The result being a competitor or brother for Barolo.  Like any good set of siblings, there are many differences between Barolo and Barbaresco.  Barbaresco has a slightly warmer, dryer and milder climate, which causes the grapes to ripen quicker and makes for a less tannic wine.  Still the age and acidity of Barbaresco will please any avid red wine drinker but will be slightly more approachable.

Not that there is a specific season for drinking red wine, but if there were, having a glass of Barbaresco, Beni di Batasiolo on a cold fall night with the smell of spices in the air and the warmth of company, sounds pretty perfect.  That is why we want to offer that comfort to you!  Come into Gigi Trattoria to experience a once in a lifetime chance to have our Barbaresco by the glass for only $15!  A bottle goes for $95 but if you come on Wine Wednesday, this delicious wine and all bottles are 30% off.  Hurry, before the wine runs out!

Learn more about Barbaresco wine here and here.

Wine Weekly – Sagrantino di Montefalco Pozzo del Curato

While rummaging through the Gigi Trattoria wine room, we noticed that one amazing wine doesn’t seem to be getting the attention it deserves.  We want to introduce this delicious wine in hopes that you will come try it and like it as much as we do!

Three hundred and seventy one meters above sea level in Bevagna is the beautiful Villa Mongalli.  At this Villa in Umbria, the powerful Sagrantino di Montefalco Pozzo del Curato was created.  At Villa Mongalli, wines are produced only with grapes grown in the company.  At the first stage of wine-making, each grape variety is vinified separately.  The 2004 Sagrantino di Montefalco is organic and made with 100% Sagrantino grapes.  With flavors of blackberry and licorice, this red wine is elegant and energetic.  Hints of floral and strong tannins make this wine elaborate and flavorful. It holds up to many different dishes.  We recommend it with our Mama Skizza (20% off if you check in on Yelp, Facebook or Foursquare) or our very popular Pork Scalloppine served with Lacinato Kale & Shaved Parmesan.

This wine is truly not one to miss.  We feel so strongly about this that if you come into Gigi Trattoria from now through this weekend and inquire with your server or bartender about the Villa Mongalli Sagrantino you will get 10% off your bottle!  And if you come in on Wednesday, all of our bottle wines are 30% off!  Not only should you not miss any of these great deals at Gigi but you really should not miss trying this exceptional wine.

Wine Weekly – Best Wines to Pair With Our Skizzas!

As many of you may know, Gigi has won the Best of the Hudson Valley award for Best Pizza!  We are so thrilled with this honor that we are offering 20% off our Skizzas Monday-Thursday for the next two weeks if you check-in at Gigi Trattoria on Facebook, Yelp or Foursquare.  Gigi not only wants to give you a great deal but we also want you to get the most from your Skizza experience.  So for this week’s Wine Weekly blog, we are going to let you know just what wines go best with our award-winning Skizzas!

Whether you take our word for one of these delicious pairings, or chose your own, be sure to check in on Yelp, Facebook or Foursquare to get 20% off our Skizzas, Monday-Thursday.  If you come in on Wednesday, all our or bottles of wine are 30% off!  Now that is quite a pairing!

Let’s begin with the Margherita Skizza.  Simple yet satisfying.  Our infamous thin crust is topped with Gigi Tomato Sauce, a blend of mozzarella, swiss & provolone cheese and finished with fragrant fresh basil and a touch of dried oregano.  A wine to pair with such perfect simplicity must be bold yet refreshing.  The Evodia Grenache from Cataluyd, Spain is just that.  The minerality enhances the earthiness of the herbs while hints of black cherry and raspberry add a new depth of sweetness to tomato sauce.  For only $8 a glass and $25 a bottle, you will be making the Evodia-Margherita pairing your new “go-to” in no time!

For meat lover’s there is no Skizza better than the Mamma.  Tangy Gigi Tomato Sauce topped with plenty of cheese and thin slices of robust fennel salami and Tuscan-style porchetta make for a fulfilling 10” of flavor.  To hold up to such a powerful Skizza, you need a wine that delivers.  The Altos de la Hoya Monastrell is just that.  Firm tannins, minerality and a hint of spice in this Spanish wine make it strong enough to pair with the heartiness of the Mama while hints of dark berry and red fruit make the Monastrell well-balanced.  This 92% Monastrell and 8% Garnacha is $10 a glass and $26 a bottle, an affordable pairing for an irresistible Skizza.

Seasonality is important at Gigi Trattoria and we are showcasing the flavors of fall with our Zucca Skizza.  Creamy Delicata squash “pesto” is topped with Coach Farm Fig Goat Cheese, thinly sliced coppa and crispy fried sage leaves.  This Skizza is a delicate balance of sweet and savory with a hint of spice from the coppa.  Either of the red wines mentioned above pair nicely with this Skizza but we believe the best pairing for the Zucca is the admired Lugana Limne.  The refined bouquet compliments the crispy sage while the subtle fruit accents bring out the flavor of the squash and hint of fig.  The Lugana can be paired with any Skizza or sipped on its own for just $10 a glass and $33 a bottle.

Last but not least is one of our most popular pairings, the Bianca Skizza with the Gavi.  Loved by staff and customers alike, nothing beats a warm Bianca with a crisp glass of Gavi.  If you are not familiar with the Bianca, it is our traditional crust topped with Gigi Fig Jam, creamy Coach Farm Goat Cheese, shaved pear, Sky Farm arugula and finished with white truffle oil.  To go with such a complex Skizza, you need a quality wine.  The Stefano Massone’s Vigneto Masera Gavi made from 100% Cortese grapes brings out the flavor of pear and fig.  The citrus notes of the Gavi cut the richness of the goat cheese resulting in a clean palate.  If you don’t already know the Gavi is $10 a glass and $30 a bottle, a steal for such an excellent wine.

Whether you take our word for one of these delicious pairings, or chose your own, be sure to check in on Yelp, Facebook or Foursquare to get 20% off our Skizzas, Monday-Thursday.  If you come in on Wednesday, all our or bottles of wine are 30% off!  Now that is quite a pairing!

 

Wine Weekly – La Corte Primitivo

Exciting news from the Gigi Trattoria wine list!  Starting this week the delicious and affordable La Corte Primitivo will be featured as one of our wines availble by the glass or by the bottle.  If you are not familiar with this Italian red, keep reading.  And if you are, you will be a La Corte Primitivo expert by the next time you order a glass.

In the heel of Italy’s boot, not far from Lecce is the La Corte estate.  La Corte focuses on old vine versions of Primitivo and Negroamaro producing 328,000 bottles a year.  The winemaker Giuseppe Caragnulo has been producing wine at La Corte for over 20 years but the estate did not become popular until 1998.

Both wines from La Corte are fruit-driven.  The La Corte Primitivo is aged more than a year in oak, has refined tannins and a balanced structure.  It has notes of blackberry, strawberry and peppercorn but finishes like raw cherry.  The balance of the Primitivo  makes it a beautiful wine to drink on its own.

We recommend sampling the Primitivo with our Verdure or Margarita Skizza.  The fruit characteristics of the La Corte Primitivo and the light tannins pair nicely with the simplicity of the Skizza.  And for only $10 a glass or $24 a bottle, this will quickly become one of your go-to wines.  Don’t forget that if you come in on Wednesday, all our bottles of wine are 30% off!  Come in and try our newest edition to our glass wine list and sip a taste of Puglia.

Wine Weekly – Altos de la Hoya Monastrell

Let’s take a trip back to Spain in 1872.  That is the year that the grape vines for this week’s wine weekly were planted. The Altos de la Hoya Monastrell is as fierce as its vines are old. This 92% Monastrell and 8% Garnacha is from the Jumilla wine route in the Murcia region of Spain where many Monastrells are produced. What makes the Altos de la Hoya stand out is that it is more balanced than a typical Monastrell. Monastrells usually reflect black fruits and firm tannins. Altos De La Hoya does have notes of dark berry, but there is also a lot of minerality to this wine. The finish is more reminiscent of red fruit than dark and even has a bit of spice. This wine drinks similar to a Rioja, pairing it well with grilled meats, cheeses and even burgers. It is a lovely counterpart to our Gigi Burger and Tuscan Fries with Gigi Dipping Sauce.

 It is truly a miracle that the Altos de la Hoya Monastrell has made it to our wine list.  In 1989, phylloxera hit the Jumilla DO, causing many wine growers to have to abandon their vines.  Bodegas Olivares, the producers of this Monastrell, not only managed to salvage their vines, but even were able to save some of the original vines planted in 1872.  This could be the reason why this Monastrell is unique compared to the other Monastrells of the Jumilla DO that were replanted after the phylloxera tragedy. 

We are definitely happy that the Altos de la Hoya Monastrell made it all the way from 1872 to our wine list!  This balanced red wine is moderately priced at $10 per glass and $26 for a bottle. Come celebrate the Altos de la Hoya Monastrell’s heritage at Gigi Trattoria. And if you come on Wednesday, all our bottled wines are 30% off.  Hope to see you soon!

Learn more about the Jumilla DO region of Spain here.

Wine Weekly – Cerasuolo Rose

Last chance Rose!

Possibly the most loved time of year in the Hudson Valley is when the nights get cooler and the leaves change color.  Well that time is rapidly approaching but we still have some warm days ahead.  So before you put away your short shorts, have one last glass of rose.  At Gigi Trattoria we have just the rose for the end of summer!

First introduced early in the season you may already be familiar with the Marramiero Dama Montepulciano Cerasuolo Rose D’Abruzzo.  This rose is truly like no other with its rich cherry pink color and fragrant nose.  At first glance it resembles a glass of cranberry juice.  Subconsciously you may believe you are in for a burst of berry but there is way more flavor to experience here.  Hints of licorice and even a bit of floral, this rose is complex.  Aged for 12 months in stainless steel and 6 months in oak barrels the Cerasuolo Rose holds up well even to stews, cheeses and cured meats.  We recommend this ruby red wine with our Fiorino.

It’s no wonder that such an intense wine is highly regarded in the Italian wine world.  In order for a wine to receive the Denomination of Origin “Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo” it must be 85% Montepulciano grapes.  The Marramiero Dama Cerasuolo Rose is 100% Montepulciano grapes.  This gives it a dry quality that you expect more from a red wine, making it pleasant to drink even as the weather starts to get cooler.

Before you switch to big bodied red wines and heavy sweaters, come by Gigi Trattoria and experience the end of summer with a lovely glass of the Marramiero Dama Montepulciano Cerasuolo Rose D’Abruzzo.  $10 a glass or $32 a bottle, this wine is a steal!  And if you come in today or any Wednesday, all of our wines by the bottle are 30% off.  The weather man predicts sun and temperatures in the 80’s for the next few days.  What better way to celebrate then with a bottle of Cerasuolo Rose on the Gigi patio?!

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.

Wine Weekly – Non Confunditor

This week in our Staff Spotlight, server Corey Lenko recommended the Non Confunditor.  We thought it would be the perfect tie in to share some information with you about this Toscano Rosso in this week’s Wine Weekly post.  

The Villa of Argiano, home to the Non Confunditor, dates back to the Renaissance.  It was built by the Peccis, a noble family from Siena.  After several decades, it was passed down to the counts of Pieri, who bequeath it to the Marquis of Ballanti Merli and to the Duchess of Caetani from the Counts Lovatelli. In 1992, it was acquired by the Countess Noemi Marone Cinzano. (Got that straight? There will be a pop quiz at the end. 🙂 )The Lovatelli Gaetani d’Aragona family came up with its Latin crest, the Non Confunditor.  Later, the wine from this Villa was baptized the Non Confunditor in honor of the prestigious and glorious past of Argiano.

The Non Confunditor is a unique blend of Tuscan and French grapes that is full-bodied with soft tannins and a long finish. This blend of Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon is best enjoyed during early to mid term.  With notes of spicy black currant, hints of earthiness, a touch of sweetness, and the warmth of red fruit, this wine is lovely on its own or with many different foods including the Gigi Bistecca or Tagliatelle Berta. The bright acidity of this wine leaves a fresh finish with these full-flavored menu items. 

Even though red wine is not a typical recommendation for the summer months, the Non Confunditor is an exception.  Due to the blend of different grapes, this wine is balanced enough to enjoy even on the patio and holds up wonderfully to grilled meats.  We recommend joining us for a bottle sometime soon. Come in and order it on Wine Wednesdays and get 30% off (along with the rest of our bottles)!

Staff Spotlight – Cory Lenko

Want to know more about a bottle of wine?  Can’t decide on something to drink?  Ask Gigi Trattoria server Corey Lenko and he will have the answer. Gigi is proud of our staff, especially those that go above and beyond.  Corey does just that.  In the year he has been at the Trattoria, he has been busy working as a server and a host. Yet, he also found the time to come up with a study guide of our wine list for his fellow colleagues.

Corey is clearly very passionate about wine.  Currently studying for part two of the sommelier test, Corey hopes that in 5 years he will be getting his Master Sommelier Certification with the goal of opening his own place.  It is not surprising that after a successful night at work, Corey goes home to drink a good bottle of wine.  The best bottle of wine this 21 year old has ever had was an Amarone.  It probably would pair wonderfully with one the pizzas Corey makes on his spare time.  His favorite to make is topped with fresh tomatoes, basil and prosciutto.  And, he makes his crust from scratch!

Wine is not Corey’s only strength as a server.  He loves reccommending cocktails or drink specials as well.  Whenever we have a drink special Corey loves to share it with the customers.  He once sold 8 quarts of our Summer Berry Sangria in one night!  If you are dining with us and can’t decide on a bottle of wine, Corey would recommend the Non Confuditor. This balanced red wine is moderately priced and pairs well with many of our menu items.  If you have trouble deciding on an entree, Corey recommends the Bistecca.

Come on in and meet our future sommelier, Corey Lenko.  He will be graduating from the Culinary Institute of America with a Bachelor’s Degree on October 18th.  We are so proud and excited for him and his future endeavors.  Like many delicious wines, Corey has matured and developed in the past year.  He will only continue to grow and become more successful with each step of his career.  Hope you get to see him in action!

 

Wine Weekly – Lambrusco

One of the most recent debates at Gigi Trattoria is if our delicious Lambrusco should be served in a flute or a red wine glass.  Despite the split amongst our staff members and customers, this Graparossa di Castelveto Lambrusco produced by Barbolini is simply superb. 

Lambrusco grapes are most often from Emilia-Romagna where there are five DOC (denominazione di origine controllata) regions. Graparossa di Castelveto is one which the Barbolini family owns.  It is the smallest wine producing region in Modena, where 85% of the wine must be Lambrusco Grasparossa to be called a lambrusco.  The Barbolini lambrusco is 100% Lambrusco Grasparossa. This is one of the most tannic lambruscos out there, making it perfect for Gigi Trattoria since it pairs beautifully with pizza or in our case Skizza. 

You may be thinking summer is not the right time to drink a red wine let a lone a tannic one. However, the fact  that the lambruscos are “frizzante” (slightly sparkling) makes them incredibly enjoyable and refreshing even in the heat.  Served in a flute as Gigi has been doing it for years, it is elegant and drinks like a red sparkling wine.  Served in a red wine glass it gives off aromatics of violet and fruit, especially darker berries. 

Stop in to Gigi Trattoria to try the Graparossa di Castelveto Lambrusco both ways.  Either in red wine glass or a flute, this effervescent wine is $10 by the glass and $32 by the bottle.  If you happen to be dining with us on Wine Wednesday, you can order a bottle for 30% off!