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Italian Flavor Forum V
Loris Scagliarini – June 29, 2006
Photos by B. Solè-March, L. Scagliarini
Introduction • The Event • The Buyers' Feedback
For the Italian Flavor Forum V we returned to one of our favorite locations by the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Yacht Club, located at the end of the pier at One Yacht Road, in the heart of the Marina district.
We enjoy the place so much, and the comments from our guests were so positive that we have already reserved the Commodore room for the Italian Flavor Forum VI, to be held on November 21, 2006.
As usual the first guests were at at the door when the show opened at 2 PM on Tuesday, June 29, 2006. Over 100 buyers for restaurants, wine bars, specialty stores and resellers, as well as importers and wine and food writers participated in the event which lasted until 6 PM.
The show introduced 55 wines – three sparkling, 12 whites, 36 reds and 4 dessert wines – from Piedmont, Veneto, Friuli, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Apulia and Sardinia. In addition, we presented liqueurs from Emilia Romagna, grappas from Tuscany, extra virgin olive oil from Apulia, Tuscany and Sardinia, traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena, baked products made with organic ingredients, chocolate and lozenges from Piedmont and, of course, the balsamic vinegar from Modena-based fruit sauces, which included the best of show product.
The wines were generally well appreciated with, of course, some exceptions. George von Bozzay from The Wine Newsletter, for instance, said that prior to tasting the Barberas and the Infinito blend from Poderi Rosso Giovanni, the Poventa, a Sangiovese-based wine from Azienda Agricola Buccelletti, he was "tempted to leave the show because there was not a good wine." I was truly surprised, as such 'bad' wines included Malibrán's Ruio and Gorio, the two Prosecco DOC from Valdobbiadene, which in April were awarded the gold and silver medal respectively at the 67th L. A. County Fair.
Though von Bozzay added later that he truly appreciated the Grappa del Fauno by the Cantina di Pitigliano, he said that he was expecting more wines from Tuscany. Once more, I was fairly surprised, as most wines at the show were from Tuscany (15, or over 27% of the total). The runner up region was, as might be expected, Piedmont with 14 wines.
Fortunately, judging from the feedback sheets returned to us by a large number of guests, the majority of them had a different opinion about the wines presented. Continue to read for the average scores assigned by the guests.
The Buyers Feedback
|We asked our guests, all wine and food professional buyers, to please judge the products using the following 100-point scale.
- 95-100 = Excellent
- 90-94 = Very Good
- 80-89 = Good
- 70-79 = Average
- 50-69 = Not recommended
As usual, there are huge differences among the evaluations for the same product, especially for the sparkling wines, which appears to be considered by many as a celebratory, or festivity wine, and thus not truly an everyday meal wine. This is undoubtedly why the average score for the Proseccos is relatively low, notwithstanding the 95 to 100 points awarded by many connoisseurs.
Additionally, when talking with many of the buyers and tasters, it was found, as before. that many Americans simply do not favor white wines, especially men.
The Best of the Show
- Best Overall Product:
Balsamic Vinegar from Modena-based Blueberry Sauce, produced by Distilleria Caselli
- Best Sparkling Wine:
Ruio – Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOC Spumante Brut, produced by Azienda Agricola Malibrán
- Best White Wine:
Gavi DOCG 'Pilin', produced by Castellari Bergaglio
- Best Red Wine:
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG "La Togata dei Togati", produced by Tenuta La Carlina s.a.s.
- Best Dessert Wine:
Moscato D'Asti DOCG, produced by Azienda Vitivinicola Colledoro
- Best Spirit:
Fragolino liqueur made with wild strawberries, produced by Distilleria Caselli
- Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Olivolo – Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP Toscana, produced by Azienda Agricola Buccelletti
- Best Balsamic Vinegar:
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena (ABTM) Affinato (aged 12 years minimum), and
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena (ABTM) Extravecchio (aged 25+ years), both produced by Malagoli Daniele for Acetaia "La Tradizione", received the same score
- Best Baked Product:
Cantuccini Biscotti, produced by Quality Bio
|Should you be interested in purchasing the products featured in this article, please use the links provided below to contact the right person.
Trip to Napa and Sonoma
Maurizio Favrel, owner and winemaker of Azienda Agicola Malibrán, producer of the price-winning
Gorio and Ruio Proseccos Valdobbiadene DOC, with WineCountry.IT's English Editor in Chief,
Brigit Solé-March, at the Artesa /Codorniu Winery in Sonoma.
The picture was taken during a visit to some of Sonoma and Napa most suggestive wineries.