Steven McKenzie
Steven McKenzie

O ne key point of Steven McKenzie’s talk Friday night is why not try something different at a gathering of friends. And why not when the prices of “different” wines are extremely reasonable.

With that summation he concluded his presentation of 10 Italian wines to the crowd of 30 tasters. What he was talking about was some of varietals used the wines in his presentation. Grechetto, Arneis, Zibibbo, Trebbiano Spoletino are examples. To the casual Italian drinker they might think that these names are regions or maybe the name of the wine’s producer.

These are just a few of the indigenous grapes that you will probably never see grown outside of Italy. But their flavors are so different from those grapes many are accustomed to. So, why not try one of these different varietals especially at these prices “I think you will find that they out perform and usual varietals.”

If you were to try one one on your own from these 10 you should try the . This wine is extremely nice. Smooth,
McKenzie is Caymus Brand Manager, for Ben Arnold Beverage. He has conducted numerous tastings at Wine World over the years. Stay Tuned. More coming.
Where: Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta, SC
When: Friday, February 15, 2012, 7pm.
Here are the wines presented (click to see more):

  1. Arnaldo-Caprai Grechetto/Trebbiano Spoletino 2009
  2. Cerretto Blange-Lange Arneis 2010
  3. Donnafaguta Lighea Zibibbo 2011
  4. Prelius Vermentino 2011
  5. Vinosia Aglianico 2010
  6. Paolo Scavino Dolcetto d’Alba DOC 2009
  7. Quattro Mani Barbera Piemonte DOC 2010
  8. Donnafaguta “Sedara,” Nero D’Avola 2009
  9. Remo Farina Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC 2009
  10. Masseria del Fauno Altemura Negroamaro IGT 2010

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Here are the detailed wine notes:
Arnaldo-Caprai Grechetto/Trebbiano Spoletino 2009
Grechetto is an ancient memory in Umbria. It is a very common variety in the centre of Italy and its origins are dated back to Greek roots. Anima Umbra Grechetto is the grape’s propension to produce a wine inspired to tradition.

Color: Intense straw with green tinges. Aroma: Intense and persistent apple and floral notes that give a quite complex aroma, really fine and delicate. Taste: Dry with a marked elegance, very harmonic. A slight acidity makes it pleasant and fresh. Aging potential: Approximately 3 Years.
From: Umbria, Italy
Winery: Arnaldo-Caprai
Year: 2009

Cerretto Blange-Lange Arneis 2010
Arneis is a native varietal producing a very fruity wine with hints of pear and apple. Its fragrance and flavor are also enhanced by the small amount of CO2 maintained from the fermentation, which also helps to make up for the varietal’s typically low acidity.
From: Italy
Winery: Cerretto
Year: 2010
Goes with: Arnies is an impressive apertif and a perfect accompaniment to seafood, veal and poultry dishes.

Donnafaguta Lighea Zibibbo 2011
“Zibibbo is a synonym for Moscato d’Alessandra.” — From tasting notes handed out. Zibibbo is an indigenous grape.

“Bright straw yellow with greenish hues; this Lighea 2011 stands out for its aromatic richness; typical fruity notes of Zibibbo (orange blossom, melon) merge with herbs (sage and rosemary). In the mouth is crispy, well structured and sapid. A pleasant glass, as an aperitif, to match also with Mediterranean dishes.
Aging potential: to be enjoyed within 4-5 years. The grapes come from the island of Pantelleria (South-western Sicily); Khamma, Mulini, Mueggen, Ghirlanda, Serraglia, Gibbiuna, Barone, Bukkuram, Favarotta.–From their Website
From: Siclia IPG, Italy
Winery: Donnafaguta
Year: 2011
Goes with: All types of oily fish, baked pasta in white sauce, fried fish. Serve it in tulipshaped
goblets of medium size; uncork at time of serving; excellent at 9-11°C (48-52° F).

Prelius Vermentino 2011
Vermentino shows a clean, mineral nose featuring peppered citrus and pear. Flavors of green apple and lime are heightened by refreshing acidity, good richness (without the use of oak) and a wonderfully lingering finish.

Vermentino can be found under fairly intensive cultivation in nearly all the Southern Mediterranean coastal districts from Spain to Liguria and on the two major islands semi-enclosed by that arc, Corsica and more famously, Sardinia. Vermentino is clearly Spanish in origin. It seems to have traveled from Spain to Corsica in the 14th century and from there went on to Liguria. Its appearance on Sardinia was fairly recent, the final decades of the last century, and it was first planted in the Gallura at the island’s northernmost tip. Vermentino is without question Southern Italy’s premier white wine.
From: Meremma DOC, Italy

Year: 2011
Goes with: Almost any seafood goes well as one woudl expect from any grape that hails from the Italian coast. Also, pasta dishes that use Pesto pair well with Vermentino.

Vinosia Aglianico 2010
From: Irpinia Campania DOC, Italy

Year: 2010

Paolo Scavino Dolcetto d’Alba DOC 2009
From: Italy
Winery: Paolo Scavino
Year: 2009

Quattro Mani Barbera Piemonte DOC 2010
Winery: Quattro Mani
Year: 2010

Donnafaguta “Sedara,” Nero D’Avola 2009
It is a very fruity, enjoyable wine reflecting the sunny nature of its homeland. Balanced structure and silky tannins make it pleasant to drink and to pair with a wide range of dishes; a wine to drink throughout a meal.

From: Sicilia IGT, Italy
Winery: Donnafaguta
Year: 2009
Goes with: Serve with pasta dishes with meat sauces, elaborate baked pasta dishes and red meats. Try the wine with lightly cooked fresh tuna. Serve it in goblets of medium size; uncorked at the time of serving; excellent at 61-64 degrees.

Remo Farina Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC 2009
Winery: Remo Farina
Year: 2009
Grapes: Corvina/Rondinella/Molinara
Masseria del Fauno Altemura Negroamaro IGT 2010
From: Puglia, Italy
Winery: Masseria del Fauno
Year: 2010
Grapes: Grechetto 85% Trebbiano Spoletino 15%Goes with: Cold appetizers, soups with legumes, white meat and fish dishes


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