Varietal of the Month:Rosé from Italy

Known as Rosato in Italy, rosé wine is like tasting Italian summer in a glass. Many of the Italian rosé wines are less dry than the popular French and American rosé varieties, simply because the grapes they are made from have more fruit-forward, mineral and herbal characteristics.

Throughout Italy, grape varietals are very regional. If you’re in Tuscany you’ll see rosé made from Sangiovese grapes, in Campania – Aglianico grapes, around Venice – sparkling rosé from Glera/Prosecco grapes, Abruzzo – Montepulciano grapes, and Piedmont – Nebbiolo grapes.

The color of the rosé varies from very light to a clear red due to the amount of contact the juice has with the skins of the grapes. Many Italian grapes have darker skins, as well as a dark interior, which gives the wine a more pronounced color and flavor. Don’t be fooled by a light-colored Italian rosé, even minimal contact with the skins can bring flavors that burst with fruit, flavors.

Wine of the Month:
Corte Fiore Rosé

The Corte Fiore Rosé is made from Montepulciano grapes grown at high altitudes in the mountains of Abruzzo. Refreshingly dry, this pale pink rosé has a crisp acidity with notes of juicy cherries and wildflowers.

This grape is grown only in the Abruzzo region of eastern central Italy. It is protected by the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) from the Italian government that ensures standards and practices that are authentic to winemaking in that region.

Although this rosé is very light in color, it is a medium bodied wine with flavors of juicy cherries and fragrant wildflowers with a long, mouth-watering finish. The grapes are grown high in the mountains and the cooler climate provides a longer growing season which preserves the freshness and enhances the wine’s perfumed floral and crisp red berry aromas.

After harvest, the grapes undergo a gentle crushing that produces the pale rose-colored juice which is fermented in stainless steel at low temperatures.

Food Pairings:
Salads, pizza, mild cheese, seafood, risotto

Grape, Gorgonzola and Walnut Flatbread

1 (8 inch) flatbread
1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 thin slices Speck Alto Adige
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, halved
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon honey
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Black pepper, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the flatbread on a baking sheet. In a bowl combine the gorgonzola, mascarpone, olive oil and salt. Stir to combine and spread over the flatbread. Tear the pieces of Speck and scatter over the flatbread. Top with grapes. Place the walnuts in a small bowl and stir in the honey. Scatter the walnuts over the flatbread. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until grapes begin to caramelize and the flatbread is golden. Garnish with fresh thyme and black pepper.

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