Wine Wednesday – Müller Thurgau

With the holidays right around the corner, Gigi Trattoria has a real gift for you. One of our best white wines is now on our glass list! The Müller Thurgau from Muri Gries is really a stellar wine. From Trentino Alto-Adige right near the Austrian border, this light to medium bodied wine is cultivated 500 meters above sea level. The vines are planted on calcareous till facing east-south and some are up to 30 years old. But the grape itself is much older.

Müller Thurgau is a variety of white grape created by Herman Müller in 1882. It is a cross between a Riesling with Madeleine Royale and is used to produce wines in many countries including Germany, Austria, the United States and of course, Northern Italy. It is considered one of the most widely planted grapes of the “new breed” variety.

The Muri Gries Müller Thurgau definitely makes the top of the list of wines produced with the Müller Thurgau grape. It has a delightful minerality with hints of flowers and citrus fruit. It has a young freshness that makes it beautiful as an aperitif or paired well with appetizers, fish and even lighter meat dishes. We recommend it with our mussels. Our mussels are from Prince Edward Island and most often served steamed in a broth of wine, garlic, red onions and tomato with just a hint of spice. The crispness and earthiness of the Müller Thurgau compliment the mussels while also refreshing the palate.

No matter what it is paired with, the Müller Thurgau from Muri Gries is a wine you cannot miss. It will only be on our glass list for a short period of time so hurry in to sample it. We will bet that you will be buying it by the bottle by your next visit.  If you come on a Wednesday, the Müller Thurgau and all of our bottle wines are 30% off.  And since it is the holidays and we are in a giving mood, a bottle is just $37 and a glass is $12.  Cheers!

Learn more about Müller Thurgau here and here.

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 – 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 – Gavi

In Piemonte, Gavi ranks as one of the most enjoyable white wines.  This seems to follow suit at Gigi Trattoria as Stefano Massone’s Vigneto Masera Gavi is definitely a best seller on our wine list.  It wouldn’t surprise any of our avid Gavi drinkers to know that Massone only grows a single grape varietal, the Cortese grape used to make Gavi.  This close attention to detail ensures no compromises are made when creating the Vigneti Masera Gavi. 

At Massone’s estate, quality comes first.  Both of Massone’s Gavi vineyards are grown organically with no use of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers or systemic chemicals.  Rows of vines are sown with a ground cover which is either tilled or mown and yields are kept very low to assure ripeness.  Sulfite usage is kept to a minimum as well.  Massone takes extreme pride and care when growing the Cortese grapes.

The result of Massone’s delicate touch and organic growing is a lively wine that is definitely a crowd pleaser.  The Gavi is similar to a white Burgundy with ripe fruit but also a clean minerality.  Pear and citrus notes create a lovely nose and an excellent crispness.  This 100% Cortese wine is aged in oak barrels giving it another layer of depth.  We recommend drinking this wine on its own or paired with the Salmone as the citrus of the wine brings out the sweetness of the fish and the minerality balances the saltiness of the olives in the salad. 

It will only take one sip of the Gavi and you will understand why Paul Massone takes so much time caring for his vineyard.  This balanced white is sure to be your “go to” wine if it isn’t already.  For just $10 a glass and $30 a bottle, you cannot find a better deal especialyl on Wednesdays when the Gavi and all our bottled wines are 30% off!

Learn more about Gavi here.

Wine Weekly-Manzoni Bianco

Gigi Trattoria is always looking for new interesting wines that are exclusive to our restaurant.  When our good friend Stephen Strumza brought us a taste of Villa Brunesca’s Manzoni Bianco, we knew there was a home for it on our wine list!  This vine was created by Luigi Manzoni, the Principal of the Viticulture and Enology School in Conegliano.  He made a hybrid of Riesling and White Pinot resulting in a truly exceptional wine. 

Villa Brunesco is the birthplace of some other delicious wines including the Gama Prosecco and the Sauvignon which also made it on to our wine list.  The Villa was built in 1845 by Sponza Ship owners, but they did not start bottling and selling wine there until 1922.  The vineyard of about 70 hectares has balanced soil including clay, lime and sand.  Being close to the sea, a summer heat and late summer breeze gently allow for the grapes to ripen and for flavor to develop.  After being picked, the Manzoni Bianco grapes mature in steel vats for about 4 months.  The end result is a balanced wine that has notes of peach and apricot as well as an elegant acidity characteristic of a Pinot Bianco. 

We’re of the opinion Mr. Manzoni had a stroke of genius when he created this hybrid.  Pairing this wine with our summer menu is a dream. The balance of fruit and citrus in this wine would be a lovely accompaniment to the Bigoli Al Pesce Spada, the Salmone or the Hudson Valley Cheese Plate.  And of course, it is lovely on its own! Don’t miss coming in to the Trattoria to try this unique wine.  A glass of Manzoni Bianco is just $10, but you are going to want to get a whole bottle for just $30!  Stop in this Wednesday (or any Wednesday) when all of our bottled wines are 30% off! 

Learn more about Villa Brunesca here.

 

Wine Weekly – Txakoli

A unique white wine from Spain has been recently making an impact in the states.  Called Txakoli, (pronounced “choc-o-li”), this delightful wine has recently begun making an appearance on wine menus and in wine stores around the U.S.  The  wine became popular in the 1980’s, though it actually originated in Spain hundreds of years ago, around the 18th century.

Drinking Txakoli or txakolina within about a year of bottling is recommended and when served, it is traditionally poured from a height.  This is done in order to decrease some of the effervescence, causing it to be soft and light on the palate.  Found most often in the Basque region, this white wine is dry with a low alcohol content and high acidity.

After much research, Gigi Trattoria found an affordable but delicious Txakolina from a vineyard right outside of San Sebastian.  Mokoroa Getariako Txakolina is fresh and balanced with notes of peach, apple and fresh grass.   The Mokoroa Tolosa family began producing high quality txakoli just four years ago on their 7 hectares of land.

The Getariako varietal of txakoli is grown using a trellis system.  The vines are grown at a greater height above the ground with the foliage forming a continuous canopy.  This not only results in a wonderful wine but an aesthetically pleasing landscape.

Since txakoli is becoming so popular in the US, it is difficult to find many good quality txakolis that are moderately priced.  At Gigi Trattoria we’re proud to offer the Mokoroa Getariako Txakolina for only $30 a bottle.  The price is even more reasonable on a Wednesday when all of our bottle wines are 30% off.  Come on in for a taste of the Basque region!

To learn more, you can visit:
http://www.polanerselections.com/wine/antxiola-getariako-txakolina
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Txakoli
http://www.vinemerchants.com/mokoroa