Summer’s Rosé

Spring is here and so is the newest addition to the Gigi Wine List: La Grand Piece Rosé!  We are delighted to have this delicious rosé from Provence to offer to our valued customers by the glass and by the bottle.  It is the perfect wine for the warm weather that is finally touching the Hudson Valley.

La Grand Piece Rosé produced by Chateau La Coste a picturesque winery just north of Aix-en-Provence.  This 250 acre vineyard adheres to biodynamic principles, striving to preserve terroir, protect fertility and safeguard the essence of the soil.  At Chateau La Coste, they believe that this newest technology brings life to the old wine making traditions while ensuring the quality of the wine.  The result is a truly exceptional rosé. chateau la coste 2

No hard work goes without recognition and just sipping a glass of the La Grand Piece Rosé will show the effort and detail put into this wine making process.  This 2012 rosé is a blend of 75% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 5% Cinsault.  The nose is full of red berries and with a bit of floral notes.  La Grand Piece has an unquestionable crispness that makes it wonderfully refreshing.  Hints of strawberries and citrus leave your palate rejuvenated.  Drink this rosé with grilled vegetables, cheeses and light fish dishes.  We recommend enjoying a glass of this rosé with our Salmone with hearts of palm and fennel. rose photo 2

Not only are we excited to be basking in the warmth of spring at Gigi Trattoria but we thrilled it is rosé season again!  And what better way to celebrate spring then with Wine Wednesday at Gigi Trattoria.  La Grand Piece Rosé and all bottled wines are 30% off!  But at only $10 a glass and $30 a bottle, this rosé is a steal any day.  Come join us on the Gigi Patio and sip a little bit of Provence.

To learn more about this Rose click here or here.

Our New Year’s Toast to Sparkling Wine

We are ringing in 2013 at Gigi Trattoria the right way which means popping open some bottles of bubbles!  And we have some great sparkling wines to celebrate.  From toasty and luscious French Champagne to refreshing crisp and very affordable Spanish Cava, we have some sparkle for everyone.

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva is an all-around crowd pleaser as far as cavas go.  Cava, like champagne, is produced using the traditional method where the 2nd fermentation occurs in the bottle. Yeast and sugar are added to the base wine for fizz and a 1-1.5% increase in alcohol. The sediment of the dry yeast gives this wine a bit of a savory flavor.  Many regulars and staff find that the Segura Viduas Brut Reserva is not only affordable at $26 a bottle and $8 a glass but also crisp, delicious and dry.  It drinks like an expensive sparkling wine would.  Pair this cava with fried foods, such as our Patatine (aka Tuscan Fries) – or really any salty nibble – a Gigi Skizza™ or simply by itself.

If you are not an avid cava consumer, chances are you are pro-prosecco.  And if so you must know that the Prosecco di Treviso from Azienda Casalini is not only rare and unique, it is simply superb.  Prosecco is named for the grape variety, Glera that is generally used to make dry or extra dry sparkling wine.  This particular Valdobbiadene prosecco we sell for $32 a bottle and $10 a glass has the perfect balance of dryness, acidity and sweetness.  Try Azienda Casalini Prosecco with our special New Year’s Skizza made with lobster, chive ricotta and shaved black tartufo.  It is also enjoyable as an after dinner drink.

Another wonderful prosecco we offer is the Prosecco di Valdobbiadene ‘Primo Franco.’  Slightly sweeter and creamier than Azienda Casalini Prosecco, Primo Franco is medium bodied.  Made with 100% prosecco grapes, this DOCG is only $45 a bottle.  It pairs beautifully with risotto.  The creaminess compliments it while the crispness helps to cut the richness.

Like a little pink in your bubbles?  Try the Rose Cantine Ferrari produced using traditional metodo classic.  The grapes for this sparkling wine are hand harvested and then the wine undergoes a gentle press and maceration process in order to achieve the lovely salmon color.  Ferrari Rose is dry and clean with a slight hint of sweet almonds.  This bubbly at $50 a bottle is especially perfect with seafood, such as the Seafood Salad on our NYE menu.

And finally our selection of sparkling wines would not be complete without the Excellence Brut Gosset Champagne.  From the oldest wine house in France, this balanced champagne has notes of apple, pear, almond and a creamy finish.  This 45% Pinot Noir, 13% Pinot Meunier and 42% Chardonnay still goes through first fermentation in oak barrels, as many champagnes no longer do.  The result is champagne you truly cannot pass up.  The CRUDO, Meiller’s Farm beef tartar with black truffles and sunny side up quail egg, on our New Year’s Eve menu is the perfect complement to a glass of Gosset.

Don’t think we forgot about dessert!  The Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato di Asti is a sweet finale to brilliant meal.  Produced mainly in the province of Asti, north-west Italy, this dessert wine is slightly sweet and low in alcohol. The Moscato Bianco grape offers a lovely “frizzante” and elegant floral aromas, as well as delicate flavors of peaches and apricots. The Blood Orange Panna Cotta with Citrus Supremes would be a perfect pairing for this festive sparkler!  For only $10 a glass or $32 a bottle, it is just sweetness you are looking for.

Whether you prefer cava, prosecco, champagne, or a dry martini, there is something at Gigi Trattoria for everyone to toast with!  Come ring in 2013 with Chef Wilson’s 4-course menu for $55, 5-course menu for $75 or our regular a la carte menu.  With bubbles in hand, we wish you all a safe and happy new year!  Cin cin!

To learn more about Gosset click here.  If you are interested in Ferrari Rose read more here.  And if Primo Franco is your favorite you can find more information 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?!

T.G.I.F. Cocktail – Summer Berry Sangria

Summer is the time of gathering with friends, relaxing and keeping things simple. This week, we focus on a weekend favorite (making it the perfect T.G.I.F. cocktail) at Gigi Trattoria, the Summer Berry Sangria. We have simplified some of the preparation so that it’s easy to make at home. While everyone may have their own favorite sangria recipe, try this one, it is  delicious! Whip up a pitcher of Summer Berry Sangria for you and your guests, relax and enjoy!

 

1 Cup Strawberry or Mixed Berry Puree*
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
3/4 Cup Simple Syrup 
2 Cups Lemon-Lime Soda 
1.4 cup Triple Sec
1/4 Cup Vodka
1/4 Cup Berry Liquor (we used Chambourd)
1 Bottle of dark, dry Rose Wine (we use Lurra Garnacha 2011, Spain)

 Add all ingredients together into a pitcher and add ice. 

 *Should take approximately a pint of strawberries, or even better a mix of strawberries and raspberries. Rinse fruit and cut the tops off the strawberries, hull them if they are tough and not at peak ripeness. Toss berries into blender with some water, adding more water until desired puree consistency is achieved. 

**Shout out to our Adrienne Chiaramonte for whipping this up for us on her day off! 🙂

 

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

 

T.G.I.F. Cocktail – Berry Rosado

Ahhh,  the coming of the weekend!  Two whole days away from the stress of flourescent lights, cubicles, and deadlines. This is certainly cause for the celebratory Friday cocktail (or two.) We asked the head bartender at Gigi HV, Lisa Butenhoff, for a festive and delicious drink we could make using fresh strawberries (that are so great right now), to help kick off the weekend. She suggested the Berry Rosado.  To say that people like this one is an understatement. When Gigi HV participated in the ‘Taste of Rhinebeck’, an annual fundraiser for Northern Dutchess Hospital,  she gave away about ten pitchers of this deliciousness. That’s a lot, when you consider each drink was only a few ounces! Luckily for you, you won’t be limited to just a few ounces, although some restraint will be in order!

 

   1 Serving  Berry Rosado

   1  1/2 oz Tito’s vodka
   1/2 oz  crisp, dry  rose wine
   Approx 3 to 5 strawberries (depending on size)
   1 tsp agave nectar (or refined sugar)
   Splash club soda
   1/2 oz lemon juice

 

 

 In  cocktail shaker, muddle strawberries with agave nectar (or sugar) and lemon juice. Mash thoroughly to ensure full strawberry flavor. Add rose wine and vodka. Shake vigorously. Pour over ice and top with club soda. 

You can intensify the strawberry flavor by infusing the vodka with strawberries (as we do at the Trattoria). Combine one liter of vodka with ½ pint of hulled, halved strawberries. Cap and let stand for 24 to 48 hours.

Lisa’s “virgin” version? Muddle the strawberries with a smidge of simple syrup or plain sugar and add to iced club soda or ginger ale.

BTW, if you’re too lazy or tired after your long week to ‘muddle’ through the recipe, you can always come in to Gigi Trattoria in Rhinebeck and we’ll do the work for you! Or, if you’re in need of the strawberries, you can always pick up a pint or two at Gigi Market  in Red Hook. Happy Weekend!